ENG 214- G
The Power of a Woman
“When it was said that it was done to please a woman, there ought perhaps to be enough said to explain anything; for what a man will not do to please a woman is yet to be discovered” (Chestnutt 30). In the “Passing of Grandison” and “Editha” both authors bring to light the ideas of women and the impact they have on the actions of men. Both Charity and Editha have used their influence as women to convince their partners, Dick and George, of completing tasks they would not have done, other than for the love a woman.
When I read both “The Passing of Grandison” and “Editha” Charity and Editha appeared to be on different ends of the spectrum but in actuality they …show more content…
She has a conversation with Dick after running off with his father’s slave Grandison and she says “Oh, Dick,” she had said with shuddering alarm, “what have you done? If they knew it they’d send you to the penitentiary, like they did that Yankee ” , and he replies “But they don’t know it,” he had replied seriously; adding, with an injured tone,” you don’t seem to appreciate my heroism like you did of that Yankee; perhaps it’s because I wasn’t caught and sent to the penitentiary. I thought you wanted me to do it.” (Chestnutt 41). This proves that Charity’s motivation did not rely on him completing the task for her own selfish reasons, she valued what the Yankee did because he did it to help someone without any reward but Dick only did it to marry Charity. Once they get married, Charity only agreed “if only to take care of you”( Chestnutt 41). The motivation of Charity was selfless not selfish like that of …show more content…
The most important are the letter she wrote for him to read when he went off to war was tied with red, white and blue ribbon. In this moment she feels that could not accept a forced sacrifice of him going off to war, she was being “pushing, threatening, compelling” (Howells 53) and that was not a “ woman’s part” so she will give him time. Editha wasn’t giving up the idea she just put the letter down, “having done what was laid upon her by her love itself to do..”( Howells 53) . Another reference that shows that Editha’ s motivations are purely driven by patriotism and not humanity are that after George announces he is going off to war they embrace each other like strangers, and the stranger said: “What a gorgeous flower you are, with your red hair , and your blue eyes that look black now, and your face with the color painted out by the white moonshine!” (Howells 55) He describes her is in patriotic colors, red, white and blue, but also he notices that the blue has turned black which is a sign of negative energy, I believe he can sense that her motivations are not only for love and affection but for her own selfish and patriotic