This story is about a woman named Editha. Editha was engaged to George and told him it was his duty to his country to sign up and go serve in the war. Editha wanted a hero for a husband and she secretly wanted him to go to war so that she would have that hero. After an argument with him she finally convinces him to go. George dies in the war and his mother blames Editha for his death. Editha is in denial and accepts no responsibility for the death of George or the reasons that he chose to go to war in the first place. Editha was engaged to a man named George Gearson.
A war had begun and Editha became excited about the concept of having a hero for a husband. Editha, right away started encouraging George to sign up for the war, she believed it was his patriotic duty as an American. George did not believe in war and was raised to be passive. George s father had lost his arm in the Civil war and his mother did not want him to suffer the same thing. His father and mother together decided to discourage George from going to any war. George and Editha got in a heated argument about the war and their different opinions and he left to go out.
George told her he would come back for dinner. At this point Editha considered their relationship over. She did not see how she could continue to love a man who did not love his country as much as she did. When George left, that was it for Editha. She decided that if he could not believe the way she did then he did not deserve her. She sat down and wrote him a letter and gathered all the things he had ever given her and put them all in a box. In the letter, she told him that she could not be with a man who was not loyal to his country first of all.
She could not be with a man who did not believe the way she did and therefore she was breaking up with him. After thinking it over, Editha decided that she was jumping the gun and that since George said he would think about what she had said, that she would give him a chance to think her way, which she considered the only way. George went out to a bar that night and had a few too many drinks with his friends. After a few drinks he became a little more patriotic and signed up for the war and even encouraged his friends to do the same. His friends even nicknamed him Captain because of his leadership in encouraging them to sign up.
George showed up late that night at Editha s house to tell her that he signed up for the war. Editha was very excited but tried not to show it. She did not want him to think that she was the one who pushed him into signing up. Editha just listened to him and encouraged him and told him that he did the right thing. George asked Editha to do one thing when he was getting ready to leave and that was to take care of his mother if anything should happen to him. He told her that his mother would not be happy with him for signing up for the war but that he wanted to make sure she was taken care of if he dies in the war.
Editha said she would be more than happy to check on his mother, but that nothing would happen to him. He would come back to her as a hero. Editha handed George the letter that she had written him earlier before she had learned that the had signed up. Editha told him if he ever doubted his decision to sign up he should just read the letter that she had written him and he would know that he had done the right thing. He got on the train, waived goodbye and that was the last time she saw him. The first skirmish that his battalion was involved in returned a lot of causalities.
George was one of the men on the list that was killed. Editha looked and looked at the list hoping that there might be another Gearson, but everything matched up. Just like she promised, Editha got up out of sick and distraught bed and went to check on George s mother. Editha s father offered to go with her and they traveled from New York to Iowa to George s funeral. George s mother blamed Editha for everything. The letter that Editha had given George had made its way back to the states and into the hands of George s mother. Now George s mother blamed her for his death and said that she pushed George to go to war.
She said that George would have never gone on his own. This shocked Editha and she did not know what to say. In the end, Editha is having her picture painted and the lady doing the painting is commenting on how George s mother treated Editha. She remarks that it was cruel of the woman to treat Editha that way after Editha got up out of her sick bed to go all that way to comfort her. Up until this point Editha had been depressed about what George s mother had said to her and maybe was even questioning whether any of it was true.
The remarks this lady said made her feel better and she went back to her old self, with no remorse in what she had said or done to cause the death of George. This story is about human emotions with the war looming heavily in the background. Editha wants George to go to war, but not really because she thinks it is his civic duty as she implies. Editha wants George to go to war because she thinks he should prove himself to her. Editha wants George to go to war for the completion of her idea of him. She feels that she deserves the best and that a war hero would be a nice conversation piece to have dinner parties.
Editha does things and says things in a round about way so that George can not tell she is actually doing it. She says things that are implied but not said plainly. This way she gets her point across but does not look like she is just pushing him off to war. Human beings depend on other human beings to give them a sense purpose. Sometimes one needs other people to do or say things to make one feel as if we have been on this earth for a reason. In Editha s case, she needed George to prove to her his sense of purpose and to prove to her that he had a reason to be on this earth.
Editha felt like George needed to prove to her that he deserved her. If he could not prove to her that he deserved her then she would just dump him. This writer does not think there could have been love in this relationship on the part of Editha. How could you put such conditions on love. How could one send the person they love of to war just to complete their idea of that person. This story was tragic because a man lost his life trying to prove his love for a woman who really only wanted him around as a showpiece. Editha does not realize what love really is and what is saddest of all is poor George died for it.