Edith Wharton discussion

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Summer > The Mountain

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message 1: by Michaela (new)

Michaela Wood | 25 comments Mod
"If ever, in the purest summer sky, there trailed a thread of vapour over North Dormer, it drifted to the Mountain as a ship drifts to a whirlpool, and was caught among the rocks, torn up and multiplied, to sweep back over the village in rain and darkness...

...Charity was not very clear about the Mountain; but she knew it was a bad place, and a shame to have come from, and that, whatever befell her in North Dormer, she ought, as Miss Hatchard had once reminded her, to remember that she had been brought down from there, and hold her tongue and be thankful."
- Summer

What do you think the Mountain represents for Charity and for the people in North Dormer? Why is the mountain there in the story?


message 2: by Jeana (last edited Oct 05, 2008 12:28PM) (new)

Jeana (jeanaclaudine) Although she was horrified in same ways that she was "from" the mountain, I think she could never really be away from it. I think it was truly calling her back. She felt like she had been ignoring it for so long and finally felt that that was the one place where she could go--where she could be accepted. But it wasn't where she belonged.


message 3: by Michaela (new)

Michaela Wood | 25 comments Mod
It's funny because I always thought Charity wanted to get away to the city, she is always talking about "getting away".

Then Harney also made her interesting to herself by speaking respectfully of people on the mountain. HE talked about them as their own "little kingdom" that "looked down" on other people, and "didn't give a damn" about other people.

So, she outs herself to Harney - she tells him she's from the mountain. She's using being "from the mountain" to excite his admiration. I feel like that unlocks her in a really important way, unlocks power she didn;t know she had. I think she uses Harney in this way.


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