Sexism In The House Of Mirth, By Edith Wharton

863 Words 4 Pages
From the Women’s Rights Movement, to today’s college campuses, women have been expressing their feelings towards the issue of sexism through writing. Sexism has left women feeling weak, unimportant, and worthless. However, writers have managed to use their craft to call out the sexist acts around them and bring awareness to the tough topic. Today, women continue to speak out against sexism, trying to finish the work of those that came before them.
1851, Sojourner Truth delivered a passionate speech titled, “Ain’t I a Woman?”, that possessed a message of sexism. “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and have to have the best place everywhere” (Truth). Truth gets people to think about how differently women are treated than men. Women are seen as weak and incapable of doing what a man can. They are dainty and fragile; they need to be kept clean and pretty.
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Their purpose: entertain the men. The novel, The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton, contains several characters which represent the women of this time period well; one being Miss Lily Bart. Lily clearly understands her role of a woman. “Who wants a dingy woman? We are expected to be pretty and well-dressed till we drop- and if we can’t keep it up alone, we have to go into partnership” (Wharton 8). Lily feels that she is trapped in the position she is in. Young women were under much pressure to get married that it was hard for them not to become desperate when looking for husbands. At twenty-nine-years-old, Lily’s time to find a spouse is running out. However, Lily will not be marrying someone she loves or feels passionate about. Instead she will be marrying someone who could provide her with the most extravagant lifestyle. Women were expected to be dependent on their spouse. Independence was not a sought after trait in a woman. They were taught to just sit still and look

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