The Gilded Age Of America By Edith Wharton Essay

1476 Words Nov 29th, 2016 6 Pages
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 Lily finds herself able to integrate herself into society. However, her unwavering ethical viewpoint prevents her from retaining her social class. constantly decides to choose the morally right option, which ultimately leads to her downfall resulting in her inability to switch classes. Lily not only desires wealth, but the social amenities that are included with the lifestyle she seeks. Edith Wharton presents that societies in the gilded age are clearly separated by economic and social aspects through Lily’s downfall, caused by interactions with the harsh upper class, the dingy working class, and those integrated into both. Edith Wharton represents the corrupt elite social class through families such as the Trenors and the Dorsets to…

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