Author Archive

Civilizing the Modern “Primitive” Girl

By • Nov 29th, 2011 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

A few months ago, I wrote about arguing for Wharton’s reversal of the feral tale in her novel Twilight Sleep. I have taken that idea and tweaked it a little bit. Here’s a section of thesis that talks about the New Man Dexter Manford’s attempt to “civilize” the flapper, his daughter-in-law Lita:   The New…
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Scientific Management in the Home

By • Sep 30th, 2011 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

My research has taken a turn to thinking about how scientific management in the home affects children. I think I am going to argue that Wharton depicts the application of Taylorism to the home as faulty and the attempt as damaging to children because it strives them into the products rather than members of the…
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By • Aug 25th, 2011 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

Last weekend I visiting Biltmore, the Vanderbilt Estate in Asheville, North Carolina to compare this home with Wharton’s house. The author specifically said she did not want to build a home as large and imposing as George Vanderbilt’s. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take picture inside Biltmore, but here is a picture of the…
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Field Trip

By • Jul 24th, 2011 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

Yesterday I visited The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, Massachusetts. (Kudos to my dad for joining me!) Since I am studying how her characters create and use space, it was very useful to get a first hand look at what she considered an ideal space. The construction and decoration of The Mount is largely…
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The Mother’s Recompense

By • Jun 30th, 2011 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

As I mentioned, I have been thinking about Wharton’s novel The Mother’s Recompense this week. This novel poses some problems for tracing the themes of childhood and space. The story opens when Kate Clephane, middle-aged resident of the French Riviera who left her husband, child, and home almost two decades earlier, is called back to…
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A Feral Girl?

By • Jun 28th, 2011 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading, reading, reading, coming up with some ideas for the direction of my thesis, and eventually deciding against most of them. One idea that has stuck around (for a few weeks anyway) involves the feral child. In the late nineteenth century, G. Stanley Hall, who established the National…
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Edith Wharton and Children’s Spaces

By • Apr 22nd, 2011 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

Hello! My name is Katelyn Durkin and this summer I will be studying the relationship between Edith Wharton’s portrayal of children’s spaces and contemporary theories of child development. I am very excited to have to have the opportunity to explore Wharton’s novels extensively and to produce an original critical work. Sex, divorce, rebellion, escape, neglect,…
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