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Character Analysis Of Edith Wharton's 'After Holbein'

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Analysis of Anson Warley In Edith Wharton’s “After Holbein” In Edith Wharton’s “After Holbein”, Anson Warley is characterized as a self-centered snob who refuses to believe that he is no longer the young socialite that he once was. This denial forces him into a delusional state throughout the entire story. Interestingly, Wharton develops this character by allowing the reader to see pieces of his personality unfold by way of his delusions, as well as by the reactions of others toward him. Warley never experiences a change in his personality, even as he ages he cannot let go of his arrogance and as a result, he remains a static character throughout the story. The author introduces Warley as a man who is slowly losing his mind and is aware of it, but who is too conceited to ever admit it. Wharton relates that Warley’s younger days were filled with parties where he mingled with and was a part of New York’s high society. His ego will not let him forget these days where “no party was complete without Anson Warley.” Although Warley is aware that he is no longer a young man anymore, he feels that “it was still a privilege, a distinction to have him to dine…his old friends were faithful and the new people fought for him.” This kind of mindset exemplifies Warley’s proud attitude. He believes himself to be a legend in his own time who could only dine at the “right houses.” This of course did not and had never included Evelina Jaspar’s house, who was regarded as “New
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