It is a moral fable with timeless insight into the problem of finding and keeping clarity of vision in a corrupt culture. The novel also reflects aspects of the feminine experience that are common, in one form or another, to modern Western culture. Edith Wharton leaves little doubt about her condemnation of that world. She does, however, leave some doubt about her protagonist.
Her mission is to marry a relatively wealthy man, thereby ensuring her financial stability and a place in the higher levels of New York society.
Unfortunately, though, her desire to marry someone wealthy clashes with her feelings for Lawrence Selden, a man of modest means whom she truly loves.
She also suffers from an inability to make decisions, which causes her to pass up several good marriage opportunities in hopes that she can do better.
Book Two chronicles Lily's gradual expulsion from society after a false rumor spreads that she has had an extramarital affair.
She eventually joins the working classes before dying at the end of the novel from a sleeping medicine overdose. Read an in-depth analysis of Lily Bart. He is a lawyer by profession, but he is not particularly wealthy, which prevents Lily from marrying him even though they love one another.
Throughout the novel, Selden struggles between his desire to remain detached from society and his wish to court Lily and convince her to marry him. At the end of the novel, he resolves finally to propose marriage to Lily, but his decision comes too late—he finds her dead in her apartment.
Read an in-depth analysis of Lawrence Selden. Most of the characters including perhaps her husband know that she has a history of extramarital affairs, one of which may have been with Lawrence Selden.
She is described as a nasty woman who enjoys making other people miserable, especially her own husband. She invites Lily on a cruise with her, her husband, and Ned Silverton around the Mediterranean, but only so Lily will distract George while Bertha has an affair with Ned.
Bertha, the novel's antagonist, spreads the rumor that Lily and George are having an affair, then uses her money and influence to keep Lily out of society forever. Read an in-depth analysis of Bertha Dorset. She is a kind, generous woman who does a lot of charity work.
In Book Two, she becomes one of Lily's only friends, giving her a place to stay and taking care of her when everyone else abandons her. At the end of the novel, he asks Lily to marry him, an opportunity that she passes up at first. Later on, he becomes her friend, and visits her after she becomes very poor and very sick.
Read an in-depth analysis of Simon Rosedale. In Book One, Lily asks him to invest her money for her in the stock market. Instead, Trenor invests his own money and gives Lily the profits.
When Lily finds out that the money is not truly hers, she resolves to pay Trenor back rather than agree to be his friend.Read an in-depth analysis of Lily Bart. Lawrence Selden - Selden is a detached observer of the New York society that Lily aspires to join.
He is a lawyer by profession, but he is not particularly wealthy, which prevents Lily from marrying him even though they love one another.
Edith Wharton Biography Critical Essays The Critics: The House of Mirth as Gilded Age House of Cards. May 09, · The House of Mirth: SETTING / CHARACTER LIST / CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS by Edith Wharton Cliff Notes™, Cliffs Notes™, Cliffnotes™, Cliffsnotes™ are trademarked properties of the John Wiley Publishing Company.
May 09, · The House of Mirth: SETTING / CHARACTER LIST / CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS by Edith Wharton Cliff Notes™, Cliffs Notes™, Cliffnotes™, Cliffsnotes™ are trademarked properties of the John Wiley Publishing Company. The House of Mirth: CHARACTER ANALYSIS / DETAILED CHARACTERS by Edith Wharton Cliff Notes™, Cliffs Notes™, Cliffnotes™, Cliffsnotes™ are trademarked properties of the John Wiley Publishing Company.
The House of Mirth Analysis Edith Wharton. Homework Help Simon Rosedale's character in Edith Wharton's novel The House of Mirth has a philosophical basis that is as easy to notice as it is to.