what is the author's purpose for the introducion?
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Edith Wharton is setting up context outside of the main narrative to give us a historical perspective of the time and mood of the setting. She has inserted a second character between the reader and the story. This creates both a distance and eye-witness perspective for the reader. Wharton is also able to establish certain themes before the main narrative. The connection between land and people is one of them. Another is isolation and the experience of being an outsider is another. The reader is given a definite sense of cold dark snow filled nights and the rural isolation that comes with them.