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The Price She Paid   By: (1867-1911)

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The Price She Paid by David Graham Phillips is a compelling and thought-provoking piece of literature that delves deep into the realities and struggles faced by women in the early 20th century. With a powerful narrative and well-crafted characters, this novel explores the intersection of class, gender, and social expectations in a way that leaves a lasting impact on its readers.

The story follows the life of Laura Murdock, a young woman whose journey from a small-town upbringing to the bustling city of New York illuminates the challenges faced by those aiming to break free from societal norms. From the beginning, Phillips masterfully portrays the constraints and limitations placed upon Laura, emphasizing the unfair disadvantages she experiences due to her gender.

The author's ability to capture the emotions and inner conflicts within Laura as she grapples with the options available to her is nothing short of extraordinary. Through vivid descriptions and poignant dialogues, Phillips takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions, from moments of despair and resignation to glimpses of hope and determination. Laura's transformation throughout the novel is both captivating and inspiring, making her a relatable and sympathetic protagonist.

Phillips also excels in painting a nuanced picture of the class divide and its impact on individuals' lives. The stark contrast between the opulence and extravagance of the upper class and the struggles faced by those in lower social strata is vividly portrayed. This stark juxtaposition serves as a powerful commentary on the price that individuals, particularly women, pay when aspiring to change their circumstances.

One of the standout aspects of The Price She Paid is the author's ability to tackle complex themes and societal issues within the narrative. From the oppression of women to the hypocrisies of the aristocracy, Phillips fearlessly explores these topics, shedding light on the deep-rooted inequalities embedded within society. The novel forces readers to confront uncomfortable truths and encourages critical thinking about the prevailing norms of the time.

While Phillips' writing style is undoubtedly captivating, there are instances where the pacing of the story slows down. Some parts feel overly detailed and could benefit from more conciseness. However, this minor drawback does not detract significantly from the overall impact of the book.

In conclusion, The Price She Paid is a deeply moving and thought-provoking novel that explores themes of gender inequality, social class, and the sacrifices women make in their quest for independence and equality. David Graham Phillips weaves an absorbing story that leaves a lasting impression on its readers. This book serves as a poignant reminder of the struggles faced by women in the past and serves as an inspiration for ongoing efforts towards a more inclusive and egalitarian society.

First Page:



David Graham Phillips


HENRY GOWER was dead at sixty one the end of a lifelong fraud which never had been suspected, and never would be. With the world, with his acquaintances and neighbors, with his wife and son and daughter, he passed as a generous, warm hearted, good natured man, ready at all times to do anything to help anybody, incapable of envy or hatred or meanness. In fact, not once in all his days had he ever thought or done a single thing except for his own comfort. Like all intensely selfish people who are wise, he was cheerful and amiable, because that was the way to be healthy and happy and to have those around one agreeable and in the mood to do what one wished them to do. He told people, not the truth, not the unpleasant thing that might help them, but what they wished to hear. His family lived in luxurious comfort only because he himself was fond of luxurious comfort. His wife and his daughter dressed fashionably and went about and entertained in the fashionable, expensive way only because that was the sort of life that gratified his vanity. He lived to get what he wanted; he got it every day and every hour of a life into which no rain ever fell; he died, honored, respected, beloved, and lamented.

The clever trick he had played upon his fellow beings came very near to discovery a few days after his death... Continue reading book >>

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