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Women of the 21th Centure

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Women of the 21th Centure

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  • April 2005
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Women and Society during the early 20th Century

Women always had to deal with all kinds of situations throughout history. Sex was becoming to be a woman's way of expressing herself and in a way have control over certain situation Edith Wharton's "Summer" and John Steinbeck' s "The Chrysanthemums" show two characters (both of them women) struggling between society‘s rules and laws and their own believes and desires. Both stories were written in the beginning of the 20th century and both authors made it very clear that the women's thoughts were unacceptable. While Charity Loyal in "Summer" had the ability to satisfy herself sexually with a city boy and go as far as she could be her desires. Elisa Allen in "Chrysanthemums" fantasized about the idea of being with another man, but did not take her thoughts into action. Both, however, seem to look in nature the answer for the constant struggle to achieve freedom. This theme, like sex, is renowned all throughout the stories. Wharton decides to start the story with a description of the town where Charity Royall lives. She says, "A little wind moved among the round white clouds on the shoulder of the hills, driving their shadows across the fields and down the grassy road that takes the name of the street when it passes through North Dormer. The place lies high and in the open, and lacks the lavish shade of the more protected New England Villages" (91). North Dormer seems to be a very peaceful place. The description gives a tone of calmness and happiness. This is very important for Charity, since she has an especial connection to nature all through out the story. When she is looking to free herself from North Dormer, Galante Gonzalez, 2

she looks for it in nature. After a long day working in the library (where Charity is usually by herself), Wharton shows how happy Charity becomes once she is able to leave and be outside with nature. She says, "She loved the...

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