Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Edith Wharton and the Modern Privileges of Age$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Melanie V. Dawson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066301

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066301.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Insult, Injury, and Age’s Redefinitional Violence

Insult, Injury, and Age’s Redefinitional Violence

(p.103) 3 Insult, Injury, and Age’s Redefinitional Violence
Edith Wharton and the Modern Privileges of Age

Melanie V. Dawson

University Press of Florida

Tracing insults about aging, alongside perceptions of aging as injurious to the self, this chapter explores the spectacular nature of public insults, real and imagined in fictions by Wharton, Lewis, Fitzgerald, Hergesheimer, Glasgow, and Ferber. These scenarios, which stress aging’s painful visibility, appear throughout assessments of female beauty. Aging patriarchs, who transform their lives in efforts to reinvent their identities, however, are treated somewhat more sympathetically, even when they fixate on early youth, impossibly precious success, and romances with much younger women. When such exercises fail, the texts stress aging’s inevitability. More positive accounts of aging, understood here as a rich maturity, by contrast, appear across agrarian fictions, which circumvent social contexts and instead depict cyclical patterns of natural renewal, thereby rejecting linear conceptions of age and embracing aging as part of a life of accomplished productivity.

Keywords:   Public insult, Fitzgerald, Glasgow, Ferber, Female beauty, Aging patriarch, cyclical patterns, natural renewal

Florida Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .