What is Editha's last name?

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Editha's last name is Balcom. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Balcom, also are characters in the story. Although the primary conflict is between Editha and her fiancé, George Gearson, both her parents' opinions on the war also differ from hers.

Editha's mother is basically opposed to the war, and she regrets that the young men have to serve. Knowing of George's principles, she thinks Editha is wrong to pressure him to join up. Mr. Balcom is not convinced that the war will lead to an effective solution, but she suspects it will not last long.

Author W. D. Howells presents Editha as extremely naive but also convinced of her own idealism. She professes to be motivated by abstract concepts like patriotism, liberty, and heroism. Nevertheless, she is also dazzled by the material trappings of militarism, such as the uniforms.

Editha is sure that George should become a soldier, even though she knows that he is does not support the war or want to fight. His decision to join because he wants to make her proud leads to his senseless death.

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