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Last Updated on August 7, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 541

"Editha" by William Dean Howells is a short story which examines the subject of war. Therefore, when identifying important quotes from the short story, one must take into consideration the idea of war.

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  1. "The air was thick with the war feeling, like the electricity of a storm which had not yet burst." This quote is the opening sentence of the story. This line sets the mood of the text, foreshadowing the conflict to come, and it immediately addresses the theme of war. In regards to the mood, the idea of a coming storm helps to illustrate the anxiety war brings for those involved. It also addresses the fact that war can be immediate and sudden, although the thought of war coming can be felt.
  2. "She never knew what to think of him; that made his mystery, his charm." Here, the quote addresses how Editha feels about George, her fiancé. She seems to love him for his mysterious nature, yet at the same time, she is not quite clear about who he really is. This mirrors how they feel about the idea of war. Editha supports the war openly. However, George is not as passionate about the idea of war. He sees war as an ironic contradiction to peace. That to find peace, one must go to war confuses him.
  3. "Our country—right or wrong." This piece of dialogue belongs to George. The importance of this quote is grounded in patriotism. When one loves his or her country, the choices the country makes, "right or wrong," do not matter. The country is theirs, and the choices that the country makes is part of who they are. Here, George openly identifies his acceptance of war based upon his love for his country.
  4. "Do you wish me to feel as you do?" This is another piece of dialogue by George. He is questioning individuality. Although Editha openly supports the war, George questions it. This also calls marriage into question. When two people are married, it is sometimes easier to possess the same ideologies. Under these circumstances, some may argue...

(The entire section contains 541 words.)

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