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Tom Grogan is a stevedore on the 1890s New York City docks.
Tom dies unexpectedly and his wife Mary decides to carry on his business by taking Toms place.
It is not easy to maintain the fiction that she is Tom Grogan,
nor to keep the business afloat in the face of many challenges.
The temptations of illicit passion are a theme in Ethan Frome. Wharton had been advised to take up writing more seriously to relieve her stress and tension, and many point to the possibility of autobiographical elements in the novel. Wharton delivers austere and penetrating impressions of rural working-class New England as the environment to explore Ethan Frome's marriage to an unsympathetic Zeena and the infatuation he develops for their maid.
An idealistic young man, the title character of Nicholas Nickleby is left to find work and to support and protect his mother and sister after his father's death leaves them penniless. After his cold-hearted Uncle Ralph turns down his pleas for help, Nicholas Nickleby is left to find his own way, opening him up to all manner of queer folk, rogues and scoundrels. Dickens shows himself not only to be a literary genius but a comic one as well.
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