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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

Chapter 11 - Women, Art, and the Natural World in Edith Wharton’s Works

from Part IV - Sex and Gender Revisited


Edith Wharton’s representation of the natural world offers new insights about how nature and art inform female authority and women’s roles as cultural producers. Her distinctive representation of both the bonds and disconnections between art or culture and nature suggests women’s continuity with nature and also reveals how nature influences the relationship between women and culture through institutional power dynamics and ideologies of domination. An ecocritical approach to Wharton’s work illuminates how her deep knowledge of art coincided with her representation of the natural world and provides new insights into her understanding of women’s lives as both enhanced and limited due to their relationship to nature.