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Madame de Treymes
Description: - Originally published in 1907, Madame de Treymes is a short novella about the efforts of an American, John Durham, to win the hand of his former girlfriend Fanny Frisbee who has become Madame de Malrive by marriage. Durham seeks to use the eponymous character, a cousin of Fanny, to establish a divorce for Fanny whose marriage is a distinctly unhappy one. Unfortunately the aristocratic family works to establish a trap into which Fanny must walk. Wharton's principal theme is a comparison of American and European family values, with Durham as the individualist who refuses to conform to accepted norms and the aristocratic family as a unit that is constrained by deep historical prejudices towards marriage and the Church. In such a thematic choice, Wharton weaves a loose and necessarily brief plot around her study of these differences.
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