Patriotism In Sylvia Plath's The House Of Mirth

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The desire to flourish financially during the late 1800s held great popularity among many. In being known as the “land of opportunity, many individuals eagerly set out for America as a path to wealth. Due to the great industrial expansion during this time, great cities such as New York became one of the ideal places to settle. In The House of Mirth, America holds a sense of hope and growth to those who set foot within it, but overtime this financial ambition holds no value. The true stability of Americas economic status is expressed when a rich socialite, Mrs. Peniston, states, “Everybody felt poor ... it had been a bad autumn in Wall Street, where prices fell … general entertainments were discountenanced, and informality and short dinners …show more content…
There are many emotional and mental aspects that may reflect ones inner national pride but to some a physical object is more favorable. Americana also known as a type of artifact related to the history and culture of the United States was a popular object that translated to ones individualistic patriotic identity. In The House of Mirth many men were occupied with historical books that served as a noble symbol of their love for their country. Through conversing about Americana, Peter Gryce, a young educated man shows his appreciation for his country through his actions when, “his eyes became less opaque; it was as though an incipient film had been removed from it … it was the one subject which enabled him to forget himself” (23). A rooted interest in American history shows to play a major role in the lives of many. In exploring ones culture a sense of pride is raised and associated with the American …show more content…
Having The House of Mirth in the time period and setting of the Gilded age, a form of power shifts to those whom are economically stable and strays from those who are not. This distinctly American theory of survival of the fittest created by Charles Darwin sets the basis of social acceptance and power within a society. Many believed that being wealthy was apart of natural selection in which they were able to become superior to others. This idea is clearly shown through Lily’s lover, Selden’s thoughts when he ponders, “Was it possible she belonged to the same race … the dinginess made him feel how highly specialized she was … ugly people must, in some way have been sacrificed to produce her” (141). This predetermined idea that others have been eliminated to produce he success of an individual shows the immense acceptance of this theory. In soon being financially unstable Lily is then casted out of society and all power that once was is no gone. The concept of survival of the fittest is a common American idea that depicts the idea of social acceptance to be based upon ones financial

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