Charity And Harney Character Analysis

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As the novella progresses, Charity openly opposes the expectations society places on her. She refuses to abide by the restrictions about male and female interaction, as her affair with Harney evinces, and her opinion concerning North Dormer radically alters. Suddenly, North Dormer, like Royall, appears to represent every restriction she’s felt in life and the Mountain no longer seems to be a source of shame, but one of comfort and freedom. At this point in the plot, Charity possesses the strongest emotions toward North Dormer and the Mountain. Charity views North Dormer as possessing “all its mean curiosities, its furtive malice, its sham unconsciousness of evil” (238). In this moment, Charity most openly rebels against, and demonizes, North …show more content…
After Charity marries Royall to hide the evidence of her affair with Harney, she reconsiders the worth of North Dormer and the Mountain. Following Harney’s departure, Charity realizes that her relationship with Harney results in her bearing the burden of her pregnancy and facing potential censure from the inhabitants of North Dormer. While this relationship concludes with personal anguish for both characters, Charity must agonize over the limited options available to her. Wharton’s highlighting of how the relationship severely impacts Charity and how Harney faces no true repercussions depicts how society burdens women with consequences for their sexual actions and fails to do so for men. Charity responds to the stringency of societal expectations with a foolhardy affair with an individual she knew little of. She so desperately craves freedom that she fails to acknowledge the potential hazards to result from her actions. While Charity copes with her situation, she comprehends the reality of the Mountain. As she suspects in earlier chapters, society restrains individuals to virtually no extent in the Mountain. After seeing her mother, Charity understands that she received opportunities from living in North Dormer that would have been wholly unavailable to her otherwise. In contemplation about her mother, Charity realizes …show more content…
During the events of the story, Charity mainly experiences the social strictures of North Dormer, with a slight encounter of the less inhibited Mountain. Her inability to compare her situation to other societies causes her to view North Dormer and the Mountain as two absolutes when it comes to the expectations placed on individuals. While Charity believes that the sway of North Dormer over her actions is consummate, she behaves rashly which invariably leads to finding herself pregnant and with limited options. After Charity’s encounter with the Mountain and subsequent contemplations of New York, she no longer resists North Dormer and Royall, but rather accepts the moderately restrictive society. Until the conclusion of the novella, Charity cannot formulate accurate conceptualizations of her situation, North Dormer, and the Mountain because she considered the restrictions too great against her for a majority of the tale. This influences her to rebel in kind to her idea of the extent of North Dormer’s demands of her. Only when Charity learns to immerse herself in North Dormer’s expectations, as she fulfills in her marriage to Royall, does she recognize her ability to escape the censure from those around her by working within the system around

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