Moffat had visited her right before her marriage to Ralph, but he had decided to stay out of her affairs. She's looking for a wealthy husband who will buy her whatever she wants, thinking that will fulfill all her dreams. Preview of The Custom of the Country Summary: Modern American marriage customs and divorce are two of the main themes in Wharton's novel. She gives birth to a son, Paul, but barely pays him any attention. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. She desires all the benefits of having married rich, but she soon discovers that Marvell is just not financially equipped to provide for her taste in that way. It is clear that she will let him remain with Ralph only if he sends her a large sum of money. She marries Ralph Marvell, a would-be poet and member of an old New York family that has social status but no longer enjoys significant wealth. So get hooked on and start relishing The Custom of the Country overview and detailed summary. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Having been awarded custody of their son, but allowing him to live with Ralph (it was inconvenient for her to raise him in Europe), she demands that the boy be sent to her. Soon she's in Paris where she meets Raymond de Chelles and seduces him. Corrections? Most of Wharton's work is to point out the ridiculous lifestyle of the rich and famous in her era. Bill Murray worries no one will show up to his TV show due to a terrible snowstorm in New York City. At least they know each other well enough to have real expectations for the marriage. Undine takes a trip to Europe, leaving Paul and Ralph behind. . The Spraggs, a family of midwesterners from the fictional city of Apex who have made money through somewhat shady financial dealings, arrive in New York City at the prompting of their beautiful, ambitious, but socially naive daughter, Undine. (Critical Survey of Literature for Students). He also resumes work on a novel. The center of her life, a social world of opulent display, becomes an expensive drain on his resources when business is not going well. Once more, she divorces. She also resents having to spend most of her time in the country because her husband cannot pay for expensive stays, entertainment, and shopping trips in Paris. Now Undine can marry Raymond because she's technically a widow, so she promptly does. Peter, however, is unable to divorce Clare, and dismisses Undine. Paris: Ellipses, 2000. Literature Network » Edith Wharton » The Custom of the Country » Chapter 35. Undine's predatory pattern is predictable. It seemed to him that now at last life Undine, meanwhile, keeps up a busy schedule of social engagements. Undine, who appears to have had a relationship with Moffatt that might prove embarrassing to her, begs him not to do anything that will endanger her wedding to Ralph. After withdrawing to the Chateau Marmont, a passionless Hollywood actor reexamines his life when his eleven-year-old daughter surprises him with a visit. You can help us out by revising, improving and updating The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton. As stated in The Disillusion of Marriage: The Failing Quest for Happiness in Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, Summer, and The Custom of the Country "Her rise through the ranks of New York society from the nouveau riche Mr... Get The Custom of the Country from Some must give up their ground for trees, and some for pastures. There she captures and marries a young man from New York’s high society. After Ralph and Undine are married, Ralph gradually realizes that Undine cares less for him than for the social world. The Custom of the Country is a 1913 tragicomedy of manners novel by American Edith Wharton. Undine Spragg, a cunning and attractive woman living in New York during the early part of the Twentieth Century, rises to the top of the city's high society. "[4] Maria DiBattista calls Undine "The Serial Bride. Omissions? View production, box office, & company info. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides. Ralph, in an attempt to support Undine’s extravagance, goes to work in a business to which he is ill-suited. "[6], Undine Spragg in The Custom of the Country acts as if she is entitled to a rich, luxurious lifestyle. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen, and ultimately the fall of Versailles. The transaction over, he felt the deceptive buoyancy that follows on periods of painful indecision. One day, Undine sees Moffatt, who comes to propose a disreputable business deal to Ralph; the deal succeeds and Undine goes to Paris to meet Peter, where soon she spends all the money. ... How does Wharton represent the custom of the different classes in "The Custom of the Country"? Directed by Sofia Coppola. Like other national literatures, American literature was shaped by the history of the country that produced it. Looking for a movie the entire family can enjoy? Far from a dignified, morally superior character, the book's heroine, the beautiful but vulgar Undine Spragg, is a selfish monster who takes society (or rather, several different societies) head on, suffers a bit for her lack of subtlety but comes out filthy rich. A young mother reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father on an adventure through New York. Raised in the fictional town of Apex, she’s the product of a family who has risen to a certain social status through sketchy financial dealings. Ralph, meanwhile, returns to the Dagonet household with his son, Paul, for whose sake he begins to work hard at the office. "Wharton personifies consumer culture through Undine Spragg, demonstrating how individual agency gets lost when involved in the system."[7]. Updates? As in most of her work, Edith Wharton employs the literary effects of irony and cynicism to her novel The Custom of the Country. A love story of a courtesan Violetta and a nobleman Alfredo. Undine Spragg, a cunning and attractive woman living in New York during the early part of the Twentieth Century, rises to the top of the city's high society. For even more, visit our Family Entertainment Guide. The Custom of the Country is arguably the best of her novels, rivalling The Age of Innocence — I think this one would get my vote. An editor The deal does not go through in time to meet Undine's deadline, and Moffat also informs Ralph that he had once eloped with Undine and then was divorced from her—the secret she feared that New York society would discover. The Custom of the Country Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to As Undine’s deadline approaches, with the deal not yet concluded, Ralph consults Moffatt, who tells him that the matter is going more slowly than expected and that it will take a year to materialize. Add the first question. Although Ralph dotes on Undine, his finances do not permit the extravagant lifestyle Undine desires, and she feels that her in-laws scorn her. A young girl recounts growing up in San Francisco in the '70s and '80s with her gay dad.