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Sex and New York: Female Relationships in Wharton and Bushnell1

  • Author(s): Kakihara, Satoko
  • et al.
Abstract

Although published nearly a century apart, the works of Edith Wharton and Candace Bushnell grapple with the same issue of women’s efforts to establish independence in New York City. Wharton’s The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence, published in 1905 and 1920, exemplify this struggle in a naturalist tradition, where women find fulfillment and survival only as objects of men’s affections. The urban city, traditionally characterized as a masculine space in which society places women in a subordinate position, sets the stage for several of the authors’ works, in which women attempt to gain social footholds among men who wield their professional and financial power over them.

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