Edith Wharton’s Writing Style

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Rachael Broder

AP English

Mrs. Collura

2 October 2014

Edith Wharton's Writing Style

Every author has their own unique writing style that defines their work. Edith Wharton, author of such works as Ethan Frome and "Roman Fever", has a very distinguished style. One thing that stands out about her writing is her use of imagery. Wharton uses intense imagery to establish the characters and setting. This allows the reader to become completely immersed in the story. This aspect of her writing is what has allowed her work to survive through the years.

According to LiteraryDevices.net, imagery is the, "…use of figurative language to represent objects, actions and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses"(Bavota). Wharton's novel, Ethan Frome, is an impeccable example of her skillful use of imagery. Her characters are brought to life because of this.

She describes Ethan Frome as, "…bleak and unapproachable in his face, and he was so stiffened and grizzled that I took him for an old man and was surprised to hear that he was no more than fifty-two" (Wharton, Ethan Frome 11). Wharton quickly establishes the main character, Ethan Frome, through her use of such words as "stiffened", "grizzled", and "bleak". These words allow the reader to envision the form of a jaded, exhausted man. Wharton also describes Ethan after his crash as having a, "…red gash…" across his forehead (Ethan Frome 11). The use of the word "gash" constructs a more vivid picture then if she had used a word such as "cut", which takes away the significance of this piece of information. Zeena Frome is described as:

…Tall and angular, one hand drawing a quilted counterpane to her flat breast, while the other held...