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Wharton's stories are refreshing, because the characters are of affluent backgrounds. Since Wharton belonged to the upper-class, she could offer some insight to the psychological workings of the wealthy mind-set. Fortunately, Wharton could express herself well and has left us many good stories. Most of her stories, however, center on unfaithfulness and how betrayal is difficult to reconcile, if it is possible. The stories included in this study are "Expiation," "The Dilettante," "The Muse's Tragedy," "The Pelican," "Souls Belated," "Xingu," and "The Other Two."
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