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Alice Adams (1921)
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0253215935, Paperback)
Over the pictures, the vases, the old brown plush rocking-chairs and the stool, over the three gilt chairs, over the new chintz-covered easy chair and the gray velure sofa—over everything everywhere, was the familiar coating of smoke and grime.... Yet here was not fault of housewifery; the curse could not be lifted, as the ingrained smudges permanent on the once white woodwork proved. The grime was perpetually renewed; scrubbing only ground it in. —from the novel
This is the story of a middle-class family living in the industrialized "midland country" at the turn of the 20th century. It is against this dingy backdrop that Alice Adams seeks to distinguish herself. She goes to a dance in a used dress, which her mother attempts to renew by changing the lining and adding some lace. She adorns herself not with orchids sent by the florist but with a bouquet of violets she has picked herself. Because her family cannot afford to equip her with the social props or "background" so needed to shine in society, Alice is forced to make do. Ultimately, her ambitions for making a successful marriage must be tempered by the realities of her situation. Alice Adams's resiliency of spirit makes her one of Tarkington's most compelling female characters.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:20 -0400)
Plucky and romantic Alice tries to rise above the crudities of her hopelessly shabby background in this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic about ambition and self-delusion. The lower-middle class Adams family faces a slow disintegration in a small Midwestern town. Alice, a social climber, is ashamed of her unsuccessful family and determined to distinguish herself. Lacking the social props she needs to shine in society, Alice attends a dance and lies about her background, hoping to attract a wealthy husband. But in the end, her high aspirations must be tempered by the reality of her situation. Alice Adams's resiliency of spirit makes her one of Tarkington's most compelling female characters.
2 editions of this book were published by Indiana University Press.
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