Proceedings of the 3rd Annual International Conference on Social Science and Contemporary Humanity Development

Reinvented Maidenhead in Commercialized Marriage: A Cultural Perspective on The Custom of the Country

Authors
Wan-Zhu Ouyang
Corresponding Author
Wan-Zhu Ouyang
Available Online September 2017.
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/sschd-17.2017.7How to use a DOI?
Keywords
Edith Wharton; Consumerism; Cultural Studies; Marriage; The Custom of the Country
Abstract

Despite female employment in certain professions, most women before feminist movement, especially those from leisure class, practically resorted to marriage as a means of procuring financial support and domestic security, and thus being reduced to inferior status in domestic life in exchange for accepted position. Edith Wharton bucked the trend by portraying a female social climber in The Custom of the Country (1913), who utilizes marriage to her advantage, buying into aristocratic class with her erotic attraction. This reversal of female imagery, from a submissive figure at the mercy of the husband to the dominant, acquisitive one, is attributable to American consumer culture that took shape at the beginning of 20th century. This study will investigate the cultural factor constituting the core of the novel and thus seeks to reveal the influence of American consumerism on the novelist and her framing of female characters. It defies the norms of stereotyping women in the writing of realistic novels by her male counterparts. The paper will examine how the consumerism exerts influence on formation of the protagonist's identity and conducts. Conducting cultural studies will shed a new light on inquiry into American society and culture in 1920s by contextualizing the novel.

Copyright
© 2017, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

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Volume Title
Proceedings of the 3rd Annual International Conference on Social Science and Contemporary Humanity Development
Series
Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research
Publication Date
September 2017
ISBN
978-94-6252-401-9
ISSN
2352-5398
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/sschd-17.2017.7How to use a DOI?
Copyright
© 2017, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

Cite this article

TY  - CONF
AU  - Wan-Zhu Ouyang
PY  - 2017/09
DA  - 2017/09
TI  - Reinvented Maidenhead in Commercialized Marriage: A Cultural Perspective on The Custom of the Country
BT  - Proceedings of the 3rd Annual International Conference on Social Science and Contemporary Humanity Development
PB  - Atlantis Press
SP  - 41
EP  - 47
SN  - 2352-5398
UR  - https://doi.org/10.2991/sschd-17.2017.7
DO  - https://doi.org/10.2991/sschd-17.2017.7
ID  - Ouyang2017/09
ER  -