Sum up the major argument that you created in Paper 1. Submit one paragraph of at least 150 words from Paper 1 that integrates the secondary source you found–as it it would appear in a revision of the paper to further support or illustrate the topic at hand. Also, provide a works-cited listing of the source as it will appear on the works-cited page. Critique two peers’ posts: How well is the source integrated? Is anything to be edited to ensure a good flow between the writer’s own statements and the quotation? If the source is summarized or paraphrased, is it clear where exactly the writer starts using it?1
Jamia S. Douglas
Professor Jacob Henson
Pity as Demonstrated By Culwin in The Eyes
“The Eyes” is a story by Edith Wharton, which she wrote in 1910. “The Eyes” is a major theme in this literary piece that employs a ghost story framework to showcase an internal experience. Andrew Culwin is an aging protagonist in the story who has absolute egotism. He has not allowed it to be threatened by any human being by becoming involved with them (Wharton). He is well educated and wealthy, and he has hosted his friends for a dinner party. Culwin’s friends are sharing tales of psychic encounters that they have witnessed, and it is at this time that Culwin offers to share his own story. “The Eyes” is taking place in Culwin’s home and, to be specific, in a library that is filled with cigar smoke. The leather chairs and cigar describes Culwin and his lavish life. As he tells his ghost story, Culwin gives constant descriptions of other people through their wealth, intelligence, and looks, and an assumption can be made that these aspects are lower than his (Wharton). He consistently shows pity for other characters throughout the story, although the story mainly focuses on the set of eyes haunting him. Themes are literary devices, and pity and social norms are explored in “The Eyes.” Culwin emphasizes on the “other,” which implies individuals who are unsocial, unintelligent, poor, and unattractive. Showing pity to them in an aspect that is unavoidable and especially when being wealthy, having a good education, and being attractive persist being a prominent aspect of the social status. When there is a sharp divide between two classes of people in the society, the wealthy and the poor, they will always judge others. Through the ghost story, Culwin portrays the social normality where those who are inferior or the “other” are pitied.
Alice, in the story, is Culwin’s cousin. His perception of women is that they are only necessary because of the roles that they have to perform, such as cooking. He, therefore, sees Alice as an unfortunate woman. Despite the pity, Culwin goes ahead to describe her as follows, “she was neither beautiful nor intelligent-poor Alice Nowell!—but it interested me to see any woman content to be so uninteresting…” (Wharton, Part 11 para 5). Culwin could not understand how a woman can be contented despite being unattractive and uninteresting.
In another instance, Alice kisses Culwin showing her bravely, and in return, he promises that he will marry her (Wharton, Section 2, para 7). Further into the story, it is evident that he does not want to hurt her, and the reader gets insights that Culwin’s proposal to Alice is due to pity. However, in a pretentious manner, he reassures himself that he consciously commits a good act towards her (Wharton, Section 2, para 9). In the 21st century, pity would be among the last reasons for proposing to someone. The story, being written in 1910, an engagement out of pity could have been
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