A Son at the Front (Library of America) by Edith Wharton PDF

By Edith Wharton

Encouraged via a tender guy Edith Wharton met in the course of her war relief paintings in France, A Son on the Front(1923) opens in Paris on July 30, 1914, as Europe totters close to warfare.

Expatriate American painter John Campton, whose in basic terms son George, having been born in Paris, needs to file for responsibility within the French army, struggles to maintain his son clear of front while grappling with the ethical implications of his actions. A poignant meditation on artwork and ownership, fidelity and responsibility, A Son on the Front is Wharton’s indelible tackle the struggle novel.

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Extra info for A Son at the Front (Library of America)

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As a public speaker, she was able to give a face and a voice to millions of immigrants in America, and The Promised Land remains an important book on many levels. It is the first text in English by a Jewish writer to describe both life in the Russian Pale and life as an immigrant in America. The book also forcefully addresses the two issues that lay at the heart of all Antin’s efforts: public education and unrestricted immigration. Finally, her portrayal of assimilation reflects an important contemporary reality, as countless Jewish immigrants went through the process themselves.

Its Jewish residents (never really citizens) were disenfranchised both socially and economically. Antin explains how this rejection enables her to embrace her new country so quickly and so fully: “Where had been my country until now? What flag had I loved? What heroes had I worshipped? . Well I knew that Polotzk was not my country. It was goluth—exile” (78). Antin’s relationship to her traditional religion is not as clear-cut as her attitude toward Russia, however. Her apparent dismissal of Judaism— the faith that infused her childhood and sustained her people for thousands of years—is not as easy or complete as some critics make it out to be.

I was in very earnest proclaiming to the world my love for my new-found country” (77). Such affirmative declarations serve as powerful testimonies to the Americanizing process. When viewed as a story of unhindered assimilation—in which freedom, education, the English language, and American history and values are successively acquired—Antin’s narrative reinforces the type of Americanization that has long been celebrated in the nation’s history. The popularity of The Promised Land attests to the fact that its reaffirmation of America’s assimilationist ideals was appealing to both nativeborn and newer Americans.

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