Character Analysis: The House Of Mirth

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In the gilded age of America, Lily Bart’s world draws a distinct line between the elites and the impoverished. While the lower class strives towards the American Dream, the wealthy are immersed in luxurious amenities that blindside them to societal issues. In the The House of Mirth, written by Edith Wharton, Lily Bart is depicted as a fledgling socialite seeking to enter the exclusive aristocracy of the gilded age; however Lily’s moral standards restrain her ability to obtain a secure, prominent social standing.Initially, she is fixated on the obsession of marrying rich, but this desire stems from her desire to fulfill the void left by her parents’ teaching her to focus on society 's materialistic aspect. Through the first half of the novel …show more content…
The society Lily Bart lives in revolves around money in order to be content; this results in her distaste towards the “dingy” which derives from her mother. Being wealthy is the only way of living according to Lily Bart’s mother, this mindset impairs Lily to view otherwise. She closes herself off from those people but is forced to encounter them after being abandoned by the people she acknowledged as her close friends. Towards the second half of the novel she enters the lower class in debt to the Trenors which results in Lily working to find her place in society. A social circle is more than the amount of money one possess it includes the impression one leaves to other individuals in that group. As Lily hits an all time low tries her hand at hat trimming. In the elite group people see her as experienced but once placed with other women in the working class she finds herself knowing “she was an object of criticism and amusement to the other work-women. ” This specifically reveals how separated each class was and to find a place within one required skill and knowledge. Lily only is equip for the elite life which did not help her in the working class. Her upbringing left her lusting for a rich life without money and failing in the lower class without technique. The difference in these lifestyles depicts how far apart each class was …show more content…
She dies in the end caused by distraught from the draining energy it took to find her place. Inevitable she could not due to the adversity brought by her upbringing. Throughout her journey it becomes clear she did not belong to the rich, poor, or even to the people mixing classes because she could not find true happiness without giving up values important to her. The people she meets correlate to Edith Wharton’s commentary on the strict borders that close off each class, leaving Lily in the

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