I hope that this book will open up as many questions for further debate as it answers in terms of the work of the three writers here discussed. Whilst I have endeavoured to offer a number of thematic or generic readings which have critical concerns in common, I am very conscious of the fact that I have left relatively untouched any rigorously comparative approach to their work. My justification for this omission lies in the rich variety of the fiction of Chopin, Wharton and Gilman within the limits of their own pages, wherein I have been absorbed by their own individual intra-mural connections, correlations and developments. Additionally, in embracing another constraint, confining myself to consideration of their work in the short story, I have been able to raise questions about both the limitations and the licence on offer to these practitioners in the genre, to look at the wider cultural context of the publication of their work, to examine thematic continuities and also to re-define some of the terms of engagement which are appropriate to the scrutiny of their short fiction.


Comparative Approach Rich Variety Short Story Literary Theory Cultural Theory 
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Copyright information

© Janet Beer 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Beer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishRoehampton InstituteLondonUK

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