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Playing the RacesEthnic Caricature and American Literary Realism$
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Henry B. Wonham

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161946

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161946.001.0001

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Edith Wharton's Flamboyant Copy

Edith Wharton's Flamboyant Copy

Chapter:
(p.127) 4 Edith Wharton's Flamboyant Copy
Source:
Playing the Races
Author(s):

Henry B. Wonham (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161946.003.0005

This chapter explores Edith Wharton's ambivalent attitude toward the social conventions that structure her fictional world. It argues that caricature allows Wharton to challenge categories of class and ethnic organization even as she underwrites their authority more firmly in the realm of ethnic representation. The chapter focuses on Rosedale, the “impossible Jew” of The House of Mirth, and on Lily Bart, herself a caricature of the white woman of fashion.

Keywords:   Edith Wharton, Life, Puck, anti-Semitism, ethnicity, identity, class, caricature, assimilation, illustration

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