There is something special and lively in the way that Wharton writes, that induces a reader's imagination to envision a picturesque scene for her story.
While reading I can't help but be overcome with a feeling of bubbly happiness and childish giddiness. I almost feel as though I am the one who is being flirted with during parts of Lily and Selden's low-key whimsy. That feeling is extremely hard to express and activate which shows Wharton's mastery of story telling.
There are also so many moments while I'm reading which are comparative to the feeling of being outside in the fresh air with the sun kissing your skin against a background so green and full with nature. Yeah ... it gets that deep when reading this book.
I actually feel so completely immersed in this feeling that I often forget my surroundings because I'm too busy blushing at Selden's witty remarks. So clearly I'm enjoying the book and I am so happy that I decided to read it.
Simply put, I am often overwhelmed with pleasure every time I pick up the book, so much so, I have decided to carry it with me every where I go so that I can get a little fix each day.
In reading the words of Wharton I am reminded again and again about how true it is that fiction has the ability to transform and inform the public in thinking about our society. That is shown through Lily's hunger for freedom to exercise her agency. It's made more poignant by her frustration for her need to scheme to just get the choice of living a vapid wealthy life or one with a lover who brings her passion. The simple ability to choose is what is so clearly the focus of the beginning of the book and so precious still today.
Recently ideas about what feminism means and femininity in relations to a woman's sexuality or the practice of a woman using her sexual woes for greater advancement has been the topic of discussion. It's reflective in the recent controversy surrounding people like Emma Watson, who supposedly made hypocritical statements about Beyonce's overt display of her sexuality or just as recently, a blogger who said her relationship with sugar daddy's empowers her. I think this book shows very clearly that in all these situations and those presented in the book (where the femininity of a character is the focus) a woman can still be strong willed and intelligent and should not be shamed for a choice which does not harm anyone.
Lily proves it so well through her tactful ability to appease her competitors like Bertha Dorset, and entice her suitors, while still endeavoring to find herself a wealthy husband. I love how she battles with her self about her choices and her motivations and I think anyone can read this book and take so much from it and what it could mean to be strong and feminine.
Of course, I'm still too early in the book to say for certain that it is helpful for feminists to read. How far have I gotten in the book? I haven't even made a dent yet and yet I'm so in love with Wharton's writing.
It's day 15 of reading this book as I slowly creep to the end and I am on page 66 of 347 pages. So far so good.
Tell me what you think of the book so far or about the whole Emma Watson controversy. Don't be stingy with your thoughts!