Title: A Wicked Woman
Author: Jack London
Main Character: Loretta – an innocent, attractive young girl who knows little of the word. She lives in the shadow of a sister whom, while very much loved by Loretta, acts as a limiting force in Loretta’s life. Her innocence and her sheltered life makes her quite gullible.
Other Characters: Ned Bashford – a “philosopher” who has fallen for Loretta; Alice Hemingway – Ned’s former love who has set up Loretta and Ned; Jack Hemingway – Alice’s husband who knows about her matchmaking; Billy – Loretta’s former beau who is ignorant, sickly and clingy, his marriage proposal is rejected by Loretta; Daisy – Loretta’s older sister whom she thinks she cannot be separated from; Captain Kitt – Daisy’s husband who believes that Loretta must stay by Daisy’s side
Setting: Santa Clara
Narration: Third person, singular, not an omniscient narrator
Summary: Loretta travels to Santa Clara to get away from Billy, her ex-boyfriend whose marriage proposal she has rejected.
She stays with the Hemingways who introduce her to Ned.
Ned is some sort of philosopher who has a strange way of looking at women, especially after his failure with Alice Hemingway; his main criterion for a woman is her appearance and not her “truth” (London). After sometime, Ned falls in love with Loretta, who has come into her own away from her admired elder sister. Ned and Loretta’s relationship is almost destroyed by a letter from Billy which prompts Loretta’s calling herself a wicked woman. Ned assumes the worst of Loretta and Billy’s relationship; thus, he tells Loretta that they cannot be together and that Billy and Loretta must wed. However, when Ned finds out the truth about what happened, he is immensely relieved and goes on to propose to Loretta.
Tone/voice: matter-of-fact and without flowery prose
Style: The story uses language that is straightforward and is easily understood. It is written in normal, casual language as we can see from line such as “It was because she had broken with Billy that Loretta had come visiting to Santa Clara. Billy could not understand.” (London)
Irony: Irony can be found in Loretta’s proclaiming herself to be a wicked woman because of a kiss, and because of Billy’s misinformation about the kiss’ meaning.
Theme: the intricacies of relationships
Symbols: Daisy – can symbolize what Loretta thought were here limits; Billy – can symbolize Loretta’s previous ignorance
Critique: “A Wicked Woman”, as well written as it may be, may perhaps present the wrong picture of a woman as being too gullible and weak when it comes to dealing with those around her. Loretta is portrayed as a “pretty, young thing” that is overly emotional and dependent on the affections of those who love her. The “loves” of Loretta are also quite disconcerting as one is ignorant and manipulative (Billy) and the other is superficial and very conditional in his love (Ned).
London, Jack. “A Wicked Woman.” Literature Collection. 13 July 2009 <http://www.literaturecollection.com/a/london/265/>.
Cite this A Wicked Woman report
A Wicked Woman report. (2016, Nov 22). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/a-wicked-woman-report/