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Edith Wharton and the Modern Privileges of Age$
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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

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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: 26 September 2021

The Patriarchal Family Neurotic

The Patriarchal Family Neurotic

(p.205) 5 The Patriarchal Family Neurotic
Edith Wharton and the Modern Privileges of Age

Melanie V. Dawson

University Press of Florida

Focusing on the continuance of the patriarchal family in modern narratives, this chapter explores Dell’s idea of a condition called “patriarchal family neurosis,” in which modern ideologies of family life are continually forestalled by patriarchal habits. Tracing contests over bodily forms and property, Wharton’s work repeatedly turns to the touchstone of Beatrice Ceni’s tragedy, while O’Neill invokes Greek myths to depict the patriarchalism infusing American culture and the infantilization of young adults.

Keywords:   Patriarchal, neurosis, family, infantilization, Dell, Beatrice Cenci, O’Neill

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