The story was first published in Harper's Monthly Jan. T he air was thick with the war feeling, like the electricity of a storm which had not yet burst. Editha sat looking out into the hot spring afternoon, with her lips parted, and panting with the intensity of the question whether she could let him go. She had decided that she could not let him stay, when she saw him at the end of the still leafless avenue, making slowly up towards the house, with his head down and his figure relaxed.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Editha by William Dean Howells. Editha by William Dean Howells. Editha is a patriotic young lady who convinces her lover, George, to join the army to fight in the Spanish-American war -- a war she claims is "just" and will, once justly fought, raise their status in society.
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To ask other readers questions about Editha , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. Sort order. Start your review of Editha. I did not like this story. I get what it's trying to say and what it's trying to do, but I honestly hate Editha and her messed up idea of love.
I honestly just wanted to reach into the story and shake some sense into her. Sep 17, Jen rated it it was ok. I wanted to punch Editha in the face.
Feb 25, Asma rated it liked it Shelves: in-english , ebooks , short-stories-novellas , war. Editha in Howells short story represented the Americans who believed that war is about glory and honouring their country -and a great portion of them nowadays if you ask me-, doing good by getting freedom to other nations!! George went to war for his Editha and died, and even she was so sad like she didn't know!! The woman who was sad for her son but more happy that he was killed before he killed someone else, and she blamed Editha when she received the letter Editha wrote to George threatening to leave him if he don't go to war!!
Editha felt sorry about George's mother anger but she was more egoistic, and she ended up seeing her as an ungrateful old lady!! And nothing changed, Editha is Editha except that poor George died. Aug 20, Lakin Aleyse rated it it was amazing. I loved this short story. It's like an anti-war satire. I was amazed but delighted at the amount of sarcasm the soldier and his mother had.
Editha is a shit person but a good character for the story. Feb 12, One-Edgy-Anti-Hero rated it really liked it Shelves: great-characters , books-for-classes. I think some users missed the point of this story lol. Sep 06, Tim rated it did not like it. Stereotypical sugar-coated romance. Open-minded woman urges lawyer beau to join the war because apparently fierce, unquestioning patriotism is the only key to her heart.
Lawyer beau has misgivings?! Well, I daresay open-minded woman must call off the engagement to give lawyer beau time to think about what exactly he wants. Seriously, sweetheart, what the hell daring acts of patriotism have you done to make you Uncle Sam's 1 Niece? Open-minded woman feels a little bad when lawyer beau is on th Stereotypical sugar-coated romance. Open-minded woman feels a little bad when lawyer beau is on the casualty list, so she goes to take care of lawyer beau's mother, only to get a very stern, very unexpected talking to from the woman.
Open-minded woman skulks in shame until an artist painting her refers to lawyer beau's mother as vulgar; only then is she liberated enough to freely be pretty and open-minded and, for whatever ill-conceived reasons unbeknownst to me, the epitome of patriotism.
Aug 03, Misty rated it really liked it. This book shows the true ignorance and selfishness that exists in our culture. Jan 27, Elizabeth O rated it liked it Shelves: class-required , fiction , college-years.
Short, quick read. Reflective of the literary movement of the late 19th century contrasting romanticism with realism. I really liked the 'twist' at the end. Mar 17, Rania yousife rated it really liked it. I kind of like it , it was not bad. Yet , she was indeed a person who wanted "impose" her thoughts , opinion etc.. Feb 01, Stephanie rated it liked it Shelves: didn-t-like , short-stories , academic.
Someone Editha needs to be punched in the beginning to see if she changes her mind about war. Such a terrible end! WTF, people! Mar 11, Luke Nathaniel rated it really liked it. A short, well written story, that gives a look into the thoughts of a couple at the start of war. A quick read and worth it. Another American Lit class read that I enjoyed. It was a very touching little story; Howells didn't shy away from a realistically unhappy ending.
Jul 01, Vera rated it it was ok. I actually agreed with Mrs Gearson. I mean it's good to serve your country and protect your nation, but I don't like the notion of war, so I agreed with Mrs Gearson. I liked how she was glad her son was shot before he shot other people, and how she thought of all the innocent families of the other soldiers.
It shows her selflessness, and I really respect her. However, I didn't really Editha. I enjoyed the polite but loving relationship between her and George, but I think she's probably one of th I actually agreed with Mrs Gearson. I enjoyed the polite but loving relationship between her and George, but I think she's probably one of the only women who will happily and willingly let her beloved go to war, and loved him more for going to war as it showed his patriotism and loyalty to their country.
And the way she easily forgave herself, and how she made an excuse for Mrs Gearson 'magnanimously', I didn't like that at all. Who does she think she is, allowing herself to forgive Mrs Gearson for being frank and truthful? Apr 09, Brianna rated it liked it.
I liked this story in the way I like the message and its imagery and it's well written. However, the story drives me nuts. It's the kind of story that gets its point across by showing the wrong way. Editha bugs the hell out of me. I think that she doesn't know what she's talking about and she's not a good person and the worst thing about her is is she didn't learn her lesson. She doesn't live in the real world and she didn't realize her mistake.
The maddening part is not the character Editha her I liked this story in the way I like the message and its imagery and it's well written. The maddening part is not the character Editha herself, but I know Editha's in real life.
Oh, btw: this story is about war and about living not in romantic idealism, but in the real world right now and paying attention to what's happening and our choices. Feb 09, Jake Cole rated it liked it. Howells' critique of romanticism shares certain parallels with the masterpiece of American realist fiction, Twain's Huck Finn, chiefly the movement from romantic perception to horrifying, darkly satiric realism and back again.
But where Huck overcomes the reemergence of Tom Sawyer's absurd inability to distinguish fiction from reality, Editha traps herself in her insular self-delusion.
Howells doesn't have Twain's touch, though, and the short story barely justifies its minuscule length with pros Howells' critique of romanticism shares certain parallels with the masterpiece of American realist fiction, Twain's Huck Finn, chiefly the movement from romantic perception to horrifying, darkly satiric realism and back again.
William Dean Howells’ “Editha,” Richard Lovelace, and Shakespeare
Gearson work to exert power over George. Today, I want to offer a reading that exists in the middle ground between these two position by examining the allusions to works by Richard Lovelace and William Shakespeare that appear in the story. After George and Editha discuss his possible involvement in the Spanish-American War, George leaves, still uncommitted to the patriotic act of enlisting. While he is away, Editha becomes frustrated and begins to prepare for life without her fiance, gathering up his gifts to her and even composing a letter expressing her views. Within the letter, Editha tells him that they can not be together if they do not views things in the same manner. By avowing his commitment to Honour before all else, he attempts to show that he is being true to Lucasta in the act of abandoning her.