Gender, Philanthropy, and the Great War in the Works of Wharton and Hemingway
Comparison study drawing on Derrida's theories of the gift to examine the complicated attitudes of both authors regarding the authenticity of philanthropy within the context of war relief. Argues that while genuine philanthropy appears elusive in Wharton's treatment, public volunteer service does offer women characters opportunities for liberation and self-fulfillment. Hemingway's war fiction, on the other hand, focuses on the ultimate gift of death as an opportunity for sympathetic identification with the other (e.g., the mentally ill, the enemy, the civilian). Compares Wharton's The Marne (1918), "The Refugees," and Summer (1916), with Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms and "A Way You'll Never Be."