Student Queries: 2005

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Student Queries 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000  

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Psychological Criticism on "The Other Two"
Best works of Edith Wharton?
Title of The Reef
"Roman Fever" in Spanish
Symbolism and Imagery in Ethan Frome
Films and plays of Wharton's works
Ethan Frome and Freud's theory of repression

Finding articles on Wharton?
Women in The Age of Innocence
Wharton's Criticism of Society

Who were Ellen Olenska's other aunts?
Book club discussion questions for The Buccaneers?

Paper topics on Summer

I am writing a paper on Summer by Edith Wharton and wanted to know if you have any ideas for a paper. I was thinking of doing how Mr Royal and Charity are both sturggling to fit in with the different social classes. Any help or ideas?
thanks in advance

Have you checked with your teacher about your topic? The idea you have might work for your paper, if it were to be fleshed out more fully.


Please email me some articles on Summer

Question: Can you please email me artciles that are on Summer by Edith Wharton on this site. I am having trouble navigating the website and i need to find three articles on Summer by Edith WHarton. They can be about anything. Thank youYael

No, we don't have articles online at this site, and we thus can't email them to you. See the FAQ page for some suggestions about getting articles online, or look at the response a few panels below this one.



I am trying to find the poem 'Terminus', but cannot find it...

Liesje V. 11/29/05


Here are two answers from the "Queries 1999" page at the site:

"Terminus" is reprinted in R. W. B. Lewis's biography of Edith Wharton, pp. 259-260.  -- Sarah Bird Wright   10/28/99

This poem is included in the newly-published, two-volume "American Poetry: The Twentieth Century", by Library of America. 
Marjorie A. Zitomer  3/31/00


Since it is probably still under copyright, "Terminus" is not reprinted at this site.

You can often find an answer to a question like this by using the Search feature at the site (see navigation bar at left for the search feature).

Which book is based on her life?

I was wondering which of Wharton's books is based most on her own life experiences? Which of her books' plots resembles her own life?
--B. Power 10/14/05


Wharton's biographies may help you to answer this question, and her autobiography, A Backward Glance, should be especially helpful. There isn't one novel in particular that echoes her life story, but her observations and experiences appear in all of her books.

Wharton: more creative in city or country?

Could you please send me a link or tell me in a few words how did the countryside inspire Edith in her writings?
Thank you,



Note: This question has recently been asked several more times, and no more queries on this subject will be posted. If a reader or an EWS member would like to reply, please send your response to the site.

Please summarize "Roman Fever" for me
I'm going to graduate in next month. Now, i have to review my lession. My subjects i will do in this final exam are: Semantic and American Literature.
Would you please help me to state the essay and summarize " Roman Fever" of Edith Wharton.
I look forward to waiting your helping as soon as possible. 
Thank you very much.
Best and regards,
My My.


If a reader would like to respond, please send the summary to this site as well as to the person making the request.

We get this kind of question a lot at the site; it's addressed on the FAQ page. In short: If there's a summary on the site, you can find it under Summaries; if there isn't, your request will be posted so that readers can respond, but it may or may not receive an answer, depending on who reads it and posts a reply.

There are excerpts from critical articles on "Roman Fever" under Classroom -> Excerpts from Criticism; you can also find them by typing "Roman Fever" into the Search feature.

Edith Wharton's Erotic Story

I am searching for a piece of literature that Edith Wharton wrote that to some would be considered pornographic. I was given a copy by a professor many years ago when he found out she was my favorite author. I cannot find that page now and I have no idea which short story or book it came from. The basic scenerio was a man and woman in a study bursting to consummate their lusts and explore each other. If someone could please help me locate this piece, I would like to revisit it at this time. Heidi



This would probably be a reference to her fragment "Beatrice Palmato."  The fragment is reprinted in Cynthia Griffin Wolff's A Feast of Words .

Ethan Frome and Naturalism

Hi. I am writing a paper for my american lit. class on Ethan Frome. More specifically, how the idea of Naturalism plays a part in the novel and how no matter what Ethan does he can not change his fate because of Naturalism. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone here knew of any really good sites to find information that would help me. Anything you think of would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!Heather 9/21/05

Source of Edith Wharton Quotations

Does anyone know the source of Edith Wharton's quotes, "If only we stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time." and "my little dog, a heartbeat at my feet." Thank you!

K Mack 9/15/05


If you search this site (click on the search bar at left), you can find an answer to the second one; it has been answered on the Queries 2003 page.

If any readers have a source for the first quotation, please contact the site. Thanks.

Book club discussion questions for The Buccaneers?

Question: Our book club will be discussing "The Buccanneers".  What information or study questions could you send me for our discussion?
Thank you. Pat Carpenter 7/30/05


Unfortunately, we don't have any questions for The Buccaneers, although we have discussion questions and summaries for other works.

Wharton Society members and others knowledgeable about Wharton's work: Please contact the site if you'd be willing to provide questions for this or other books for which no questions are currently available. These include the following:

The Glimpses of the Moon
Her Son
House of Mirth


Wharton and Nature

I am working on an ecocritical paper involving Edith Wharton's views on nature/naturalism and how these images reflect in her AGE OF INNOCENCE. What was her educational background in nature? Anything formal? How did she come about her affinity for nature?

Phil Purser



Wharton was very interested in gardening and in natural history; see, for example, Italian Villas and Their Gardens and other works. She had also read the work of Darwin and other scientists. Her letters and the biographies of her should give you a good introduction. Other EWS members may have more information.

D. Campbell


List of Wharton's Novellas

I am seeking a bibliographic list of Wharton's novellas as distinguished from her novels.
Thank You. Karr Editorial, LLC



Critics tend to agree that the following 12 titles could be considered as novellas because of their length:
- Fast and Loose (writ. 1877, publ. 1977)
- Bunner Sisters (writ. 1892, publ. 1916)
- The Touchstone (1900)
- Sanctuary (1903)
- Madame de Treymes (writ. 1906, publ. 1907)
- Ethan Frome (1911)
- Summer (1917)
- The Old Maid (1921)
- New Year's Day (1922)
- False Dawn (1923)
- The Spark (1923)
- Her Son (1932)

A. Heiglmaier


Psychological Criticism on "The Other Two"

i am writting a paper on The Other Two and i was wondering what you knew about the psychological critism on it? like as far as the society being the superego, Waythorn being the ego??? 6/27/05

You can find excerpts from some criticism on "The Other Two" by clicking on Classroom -> Excerpts from Criticism.
Best works of Edith Wharton?

I would like to know what i mean in your point of view the best works of Wharton

There's a list of recommended works here and a list of Wharton's favorite works on the FAQ page. Those most often described as the best include The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, The Custom of the Country, and The Age of Innocence; "Roman Fever" and "The Other Two" would be among her best stories.

Title of The Reef

Why did Wharton choose the title "The Reef"? Is it symbolic? If so, of what is it a symbol?

Thank you,
Lincoln Mullen

"Roman Fever" in Spanish

Question: Please, help me find the translation of "Roman fever" in Spanish! I've tried to order it from Columbia and Venezuela but it was not possible.Isn't the book available in Spain?
Thank you.


A Spanish translation of Edith Wharton's "Roman Fever"  appears to be
available in at least a couple of books published in the  1940s:
Fiebre  Romana.  Buenos Aires: W.M. Jackson  Inc., 1946.
Cuentistas  Norteamericanos.  Ed. Herschel  Brickell.  Buenos Aires: W.M.
Jackson,  1945, 1946.  
Both are listed on WorldCat and may be available for interlibrary loan 
through your local public and/or university library.

--Dan Hefko, 6/16/05

Symbolism and Imagery in Ethan Frome

I am writing a term paper on the symbolism and imagery in Ethan Frome and I am looking for either online articles on this subject or a few really good books on this topic. Any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated.

Nicole 4.5.05


Ethan Frome

Hi, my name is Francesco Composto and I'm a student at FTHS. I am doing a research paper which requires an interview with an expert. Can you answer these five questions and if not direct me to some one who can? It's greatly appreciated! Oh, I'm doing the paper on Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.

1.What symbols did you notice in the book?
2. What were they symbolic of?
3. What did you think Ethan and Mattie could have done instead of killing themselves?
4. Do you think Ethan could symbolize Edith's life?
5. How else could the factors like objects and the setting in Ethan Frome characterize him?

Francesco Composto

P.S. the answers dont have to be long or too in depth please respond by tuesday! Thank you so much.


Films and plays of Wharton's works

: 1) have any films based on EW's works been made other than House of M., Age of Inn., Ethan Frome?
2) Have any of her short stories been made into films?
3) Have any of her short stories been made  into plays that a play-reading group could use?

I would be most grateful for any replies.  Thank you! Lisa G. Tyre 3/29/05

You can find the answers to the first two questions in the Frequently Asked Questions page on the site, as they are among the questions most often asked by site visitors. You can also try the search feature, which would bring up the list of films made from her work.



Spanish translation of "Roman Fever"

I'd like to know if there is a translation, in Spanish,of Roman Fever.


There's an answer to this a few panels above this one.

Ethan Frome and Freud's theory of repression

How did Wharton's early childhood and novel Ethan Frome relate to Freud's theory of repression?

Finding articles on Wharton?

QUESTION: Hi i was wondering how i can find these articles. I see the bibliographies but is there anyway i have find and read the actual articles such as
: Hays, Peter L. "Undine Is Us: Wharton's Attack on American Greed." Etudes Anglaises: Grande-Bretagne, Etats-Unis {Paris, France}47.1 (1994 Jan-Mar): 22-31 Please let me know thank you so much.



Your best bet is to use the Interlibrary Loan office at your university or local library; you can order the articles from there if they're not available at your local library.

Here's some information from the FAQ page on online sources:

The best criticism on Wharton is published in books and peer-reviewed journals rather than online. Many peer-reviewed journals are available online, however, through services such as ProQuest or Project Muse.  If you're a college or university student, or if you live near a college or university, the university library will be your best source for criticism on Wharton.  Most libraries will have several of the journals and books listed in the Wharton bibliographies. If not, they can be ordered through Interlibrary Loan.

Many libraries will have access to FirstSearch, which includes the MLA Bibliography, and they will also have one or more of the following full-text databases. You can go to your local university library's home page and see which of these resources are available to you. However, these resources are generally available by subscription; they are free only on-campus or to registered students and faculty. 

  • Project Muse (Journals from Johns Hopkins University Press)(
  • Ebsco
  • Expanded Academic Index
  • Ingenta/UnCover (charges a fee of $12 and up for each article delivered)
  • UMI ProQuest Direct
  • JStor ( (Back issues of journals, including American Literature
  • Omni Full-Text Mega
  • Gale Group Literary Index includes Dictionary of Literary Biographyand other reference works, such as the Twayne series; here's a list of its resources on Edith Wharton
  • NetLibrary offers two or three book-length critical studies of Edith Wharton, including Hildegard Hoeller's Edith Wharton's Dialogue with Realism and Sentimental Fiction, but you or your school must be a subscriber to access them. It also includes the publicly accessible text collection from the University of Virginia, but that is already available for free from the links on the Works page. 
  • If you do not have a local library or a university affiliation, you can try (free) or Questia ($20 per month).


    Women in The Age of Innocence

    In the world of Edith Wharton's "The Age of Innocence" the acceptable course for a young women's life was as rigid as her corsets (which stand by themselves)" (Stuart Hutchinson)

    Explore Wharton's presentation of women in the novel.

    Michelle Niblock 1/15/05


    This sounds like a paper topic. There are many ways to discuss Wharton's presentation of women in the novel, and some of the summaries and secondary sources should help you.


    Who were Ellen Olenska's other aunts?
    I know that there were three or more aunts that took care of Ellen Olenska one which is Medora Manson.  My question is what were the three of four other aunts?
    Thank you

    Ally 1/19/05

    There's an extended discussion of Ellen's aunts in the Replies on the Queries 2001 page.
    Wharton's Criticism of Society
    I'm writing a paper for school about how Edith Wharton openly criticized the society she grew up in.  Are there any sites where I could find infromation about this specifically?  So far, I've found mostly biographical information, which I don't really need.
    Kelly Clark 1/10/05
    The biographical information should provide some clues; also, many of the works on Wharton discuss this question, at least indirectly. You might try Edith Wharton's Social Register,which discusses her social milieu.