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The Old Maid - My Delia Dilemma Within my first reading of The Old Maid, I found it difficult to dissect the nature of Delia. Edith Wharton made me work hard to figure Delia out by not only spelling her out directly, but bringing her on slowly. After following readings however, I watched this story as a type of coming of age story about Delia Lovell and never about a maid. Although the name is definitely supposed to reflect our feelings to the character of Charlotte, whom it appeared was destined to become a classic maid in the eyes of Delia, Wharton uses the nature of Charlotte as does Delia, to tell a narrative of a woman who gets another opportunity and does everything within her power not to mess this up. In the old New York of the 'fifties a couple of families ruled, in ease and affluence. Of these were the Ralstons. In these two simple sentences Wharton, in this subtle fashion, begins to weave the story of Delia. Wharton introduces us first on the ruling families of New York and namely the Ralstons, along with their crusty conservative way of life. As she does this she brings us in unconsciously to their world to ensure, by the time we meet Delia we take that the intricacies of the "Race" just as much as she does. Without much notice she plants the seeds for a plot that's very devious in nature by means of the tremor of a muted keyboard. Delia is at first introduced as a woman who has everything; a beautiful, rich, well established mother of two. She goes about her lifestyle accepting her place in the society of old New York. To me she was just another housewife that missed out on love. Because of the in my first reading I had been drawn into the narrative of Charlotte Lovell. Charlotte Lovell's is really a depressing story. Wharton could not.