Short Story Of Editha

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True American? What makes you patriotic? Throughout American history patriotism has been measured by one's desire and willingness to fight for their country. A man fighting in a war for his country for instance, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and others; represents love, respect and an undying servitude to their country; to not feel this way is considered unpatriotic. In "Editha" by William Dean Howells, a young woman named Editha Balcom feels a man's place is behind his country. Her love interest George Gearson feels war is the wrong answer; he feels that it causes chaos in the world. Editha and George have a contemporary relationship. She feels a man must fight for his country in order to be a real man. Contrary to Editha's…show more content…
George and Editha's relationship is hinged on these very things. Their relationship is very contemporary because even though this short story was published in 1905 it mimics the relationship between men and women now. Gender roles have always been a source of controversy, with men putting unfair standards of femininity upon women and vice versa. In this short story Editha is lacing unfair standards of masculinity upon George. For example, Editha has just finished speaking to George about her feelings and thoughts on the war, when she has a thought; "but now, it flashed upon her, if he could do something worthy to have won her-be a hero, her hero-it would be even better than if he had done it before asking her; it would be grander" pg.55. In this quote Editha reveals her true feelings and objective towards George; she feels as a woman she is entitled to some grand performance of love and that as a man George should oblige. Editha's feelings towards George's manhood are extreme, but they are contemporary in some respects; in today's modern society women have placed a large number of expectations on men. Men are deemed weak if they are not aggressive, successful or virile; even our children stories place excessive standards on men they are supposed to be heroic rescuers who take care of the women's every whim. This relates to Editha because she displays the same imbalanced "macho" perspective on men that has been displayed throughout history and that is still displayed in American women
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