Multiple Themes In The Pelican, By Edith Wharton

1307 Words 6 Pages
The Pelican Analysis
In 1899, Edith Wharton published “The Pelican”. She published this short story, like many of her other works, to express the failure that she felt towards herself and her disappointment she felt when her husbands abandoned her. During Wharton’s life she has experienced nervous breakdowns, paralyzing depressions, broken engagements, multiple divorces, and mistreatment by society. Since she has undergone such trauma throughout her life, Wharton thinks of herself poorly and writes her stories based on her past experiences. Therefore, the majority of “The Pelican” was based off of her failure. “The Pelican”, written by Edith Wharton, was a well-known story during the 1880’s.
Wharton became a writer to express her feelings
…show more content…
This theme relates back to the title of how a mother pelican would feed her children blood from her chest so that they wouldn’t starve. The mother pelican demonstrates self-sacrifice for her young as the main character, Mrs. Amyot, shows throughout the story. Mrs. Amyot loves her son Lancelot so much that she studies hard to gain the knowledge to become a lecturer. She does this so that she can earn money to grant her son access to an education. Another theme that is shown during the short story is taking advantage of others. Mrs. Amyot’s audience feels that they are obligated to purchase tickets for Mrs. Amyot’s lectures so that Lancelot can get an education. However, Lancelot has already achieved adulthood, gotten married and had a child of his own to care for. Mrs. Amyot takes advantage of Lancelot by selling his story off as a charity case. She also uses her audience to guilt them to buy more tickets and keep her profit sales up. These are a couple themes that take place in “The …show more content…
An example of a literary is found right in our title. There is symbolism in the title “The Pelican” because the pelican represents the self-sacrifice of Mrs. Amyot. She studied vigorously to gain the knowledge she needed to become a lecturer. Mrs. Amyot went endured these long study hours and intense training so that she could save up enough money to provide her son, Lancelot, with the privilege of an education. There is also irony in this short story. Mrs. Amyot claims that she needs the money for her son’s education and that her job is for him. Mrs. Amyot guilt’s her audience into buying more tickets. However Lancelot has already reached adulthood, gotten married and had a child of his own to raise. The purpose of using these literary devices throughout the story is to help create suspense and drama during the course of the

Related Documents