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Research Paper | English Language and Literature | India | Volume 8 Issue 12, December 2019
The Burden of Leisure: A Study of Henry Jamess The Wings of the Dove
Abstract: The Wings of the Dove belongs to the last phase of James’s career as a novelist. In this novel, taking international theme as the base Henry James takes up the characters that belong to affluent class and enjoy maximum leisure in their lives. The Wings of the Dove is considered as the “tragic masterpiece, the richest and most moving of his works, ” 1 representing the highest expression of the concept of art and life developed by him during a career of nearly six decades contemplating upon observation and analysis of affluence and leisure in the contemporary European and American culture. The novel, The Wings of the Dove, Whereas exposes the affluence of Milly with her refined tastes for leisure derived out of traveling and social parties, therein it is also a story of Kate’s horrified views regarding poverty and her attempt to acquire affluence through Densher with the help of the intrigue. The novel, also reveals Mrs. Lowder, the British affluent lady, always in search of affluent society for leisure as well as social status through her niece Kate Croy by providing her necessary support of leisure. The story equally exposes the decaying British aristocracy that is represented through Lord Mark attempting to arrest his monetary bankruptcy by marrying either the rich American girl, Milly, to inherit her fortune, who has a very short life being victim of a fatal disease or alternatively Kate Croy, the niece of Mrs. Lowder, to acquire the fortune of Mrs. Lowder, Kate Croy being the only scion of her wealth. The entire novel, on the whole, depicts effluents in easy mood enjoying leisured activities as an international group. The last two books of the novel dilate upon the innocence of affluents and expose the deceit of common people as an attempt of material acquisition.
Keywords: affluence, affluence, moral intent, aspirations, culture, aristocracy, suitor, wings, dove, attitude
Edition: Volume 8 Issue 12, December 2019,
Pages: 1617 - 1621