The Custom of the Country Questions and Answers

The Custom of the Country

Undine, the main character in Edith Wharton's novel The Custom of the Country, craves money and social standing. She is undereducated, vacuous, and selfish. She uses her beauty to tempt men into...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2019, 7:01 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

Though an undine, in folklore, was a water spirit, Undine Spragg was named, indirectly, for the French word ondule, meaning "to wave" or "to undulate". The word was from the name of a patent hair...

Latest answer posted May 29, 2009, 12:36 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

Ralph Marvell comes across as way too trusting, and it is his trusting nature that is ultimately responsible for his losing his money, his son, and, eventually, his life. Marvell realizes that, in...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2021, 7:00 am (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

This is an interesting question! I will endeavor to answer your question to the best of my ability. First, a bit of history. Chafing dishes were popular in England during the turn of the 20th...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2015, 9:19 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

In The Custom of the Country, Undine Spragg comes from Apex City, Kansas, but she moves with her family to New York. It's a story about a young woman and her efforts to climb the social ladders she...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2011, 6:44 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

Edith Wharton uses a variety of narrative techniques and conventions from multiple genres. The sudden shifts in language and style reflect an unstable society where the rules for polite behavior...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2019, 5:21 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

One feature of language in chapter 20 of Edith Wharton’s novel The Custom of the Country is that it is informative. At certain points, the language serves a practical objective purpose. One such...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2020, 4:35 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

At the end of chapter 26 of The Custom of the Country, the Spraggs go to Europe. Page numbers vary by edition. The text discussed here pertains to their vacation, beginning with “After a moment of...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2021, 9:13 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

The novels The Custom of the Country and Far from the Madding Crowd have similar narrative techniques since they each employ third-person narrators, dialogue, and characterization. The third-person...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2021, 11:12 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

As in most of her work, Edith Wharton employs the literary effects of irony and cynicism to her novel The Custom of the Country. Chapter 19 takes place at the “great Nouveaux Luxe” restaurant in...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2019, 7:54 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

In chapter 46 of The Custom of the Country, the history of Undine Spragg's multiple marriages is finally disclosed in full to Undine's estranged son, Paul, through Mrs. Heeny. Mrs. Heeny kept a...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2019, 4:24 am (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

A distinctive feature of the language used in the novel The Custom of the Country is its informative quality. Doubtless aware that most of her readers do not move in the same rarefied social...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2021, 12:23 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

The Custom of the Country has an omniscient narrator who treats her characters more or less equally. The major characters are all satirized to some extent, but their interior lives are also shown...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2019, 5:01 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

A "novel of manners" is a subset of the novel form, but it does not preclude a work from being a classic. "If, as in the writings of Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, and John P. Marquand, a realistic...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2009, 9:03 am (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

To a significant extent, Undine’s ambition and constant dissatisfaction are expressions of both her social class and the modern era as a whole. A study by Beverly R. Voloshin entitled “Exchange in...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2021, 11:32 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

Most of Wharton's work is to point out the ridiculous lifestyle of the rich and famous in her era. They do things without knowing the reasons...only because they have always been done that way....

Latest answer posted June 19, 2009, 1:24 am (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

The character of Undine Spragg is meant to embody the social naivete that often accompanies the newly-rich: this is evident in her fixation with "names and last names", the need to catch up with...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2012, 8:49 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

In the novel The Custom of the Country, Edith Wharton uses a picaresque narrative style to tell the tale of Undine Spragg. A picaresque novel is one in which a roguish but charming male protagonist...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2021, 1:29 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

American literature at the turn of the twentieth century is noted for the ornateness of the language and the stylistic complexity of expression. Edith Wharton’s novel The Custom of the Country is...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2019, 8:22 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

Undine Spragg is a young woman living in old New York in a very wealthy society where women's rights are still null. As such, Undine and other females do not have the chance to lead fulfilling...

Latest answer posted December 4, 2017, 2:09 am (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

To the naked eye, one could assume that Undine Spragg changed when she turned from a midwestern rich girl into a New York City socialite with links to the most prestigious families. In a closer...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2011, 3:42 am (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

Undine and Elmer had a sufficiently passionate time together back on their hometown of Apex. It was deep enough for them to elope and get married in secret, only to have the union annulled by...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2018, 3:38 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

In The Custom of the Country, Edith Wharton presents the dynamics of the "who is who" in New York society at the beginning of the 20th century. The title of the novel The Custom of the Country is...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2011, 3:22 am (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

The traditional roles of men and females are switched in the characters of Undine and Ralph in Edith Wharton's novel The Custom of the Country. The character of Undine is a perfect representative...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2012, 9:27 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

The point of view of the narrative in The Custom of the Country is important in presenting the characters’ thoughts, while dialogue offers the exact words that they are speaking. Throughout the...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2019, 2:51 pm (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

Chapter 19 of The Custom of the Country is written principally from the perspective of Charles Bowen, a peripheral character whose main purpose is to observe and comment. Bowen is acquainted with...

Latest answer posted March 21, 2020, 11:44 am (UTC)

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The Custom of the Country

Before you focus on Undine's lack of maternal instinct, you may want to go back into her background to find cues as to why Undine develops such negative traits. Your thesis could state that...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2014, 8:28 pm (UTC)

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