In the short story “The Other Two,” Wharton describes a husband, Mr. Waythorn, whose wife Alice has two divorces. At first sight, it seems that Alice is miserable because she marries and divorces in strive for social prestige. Nonetheless, it is essential to notice that Wharton depicts the upper class’s life in the US in the early 20th century. At those times, women were caged within their marriages; society expected them to be decent wives and mothers. Therefore, women had no other way to improve their living conditions and become more privileged than to marry a wealthy man. In this context, Wharton justifies the choice of Alice. What is more, in the story, the lady is presented not only as a cold-blooded strategist but also as a loving and caring mother. For example, Alice decided to interrupt the honeymoon with her new husband because her daughter Lily was diagnosed with typhoid and needed care (Wharton 2). This way, Wharton is supportive of Alice because marriage for her was the only possible means of survival.
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I do not support Alice’s life choices. Without a doubt, in the early 20th century, women were not as free and independent as they are now. Nevertheless, it seems ridiculous that a woman could marry and divorce a man for the sake of money and social status. From my perspective, Alice’s problem is that she might have never genuinely loved either of her three husbands. That is because when spouses love one another, they would not care about the size of income and social status. Undoubtedly, Alice is a kind woman and a good mother. However, her strive for greed deprives her of true happiness in life.
Wharton, Edith, “The Other Two”. Web.