An analysis of house of mirth and loneliness in edith whartons novel

The house of mirth summary

She reluctantly goes to help her hostess and listens while Mrs. Bertha George Dorset quickly realizes her mistake and covers herself, but ends up smiling brightly when she figures out that Lily is considering Percy Gryce as a future husband. First page Previous page Page: 5 of 6 Next page Last page These thoughts so engaged her that she fell into a gait hardly likely to carry her to church before the sermon, and at length, having passed from the gardens to the wood-path beyond, so far forgot her intention as to sink into a rustic seat at a bend of the walk. He is one of the rising elite, a man who will soon join the fashionable New York set even though he is ostracized when Lily first meets him. The use of descriptive details is important in the novel. His home forms a private enclave that will not be interrupted and into which very few people are allowed. Peniston but is unable to find someone to marry her and now is starting to feel quite old at age twenty-nine. Who wrote this essay? In reconstructing Lily's past we learn a great deal about Lily's future. The numbers then increased exponentially: after ten more days, sales had reached 80,, and after another ten days, , Wharton both prospered and chafed under this regime; she wrote prolifically and made a tremendous amount of money, but many critics have noted that the quality of her work, particularly after World War I, suffered under the influence of its rapid production for a mass market. Instead of going to church, Lily instead goes into the library at Bellomont in order to see Selden. Her footsteps flagged, and she stood gazing listlessly ahead, digging the ferny edge of the path with the tip of her sunshade.

The critic Edmund Wilson speculated that Wharton turned to fiction to ease the tensions of her marriage; certainly the world she created through her writing must have been a welcome haven from the tedium and disappointments of life with Edward.

This is a society where every little detail is noticed and interpreted, and for which there are numerous possible interpretations. Lily is shocked because she is hoping to marry Percy, but correctly asks Judy Trenor to help her by not asking her to play bridge again that evening, a habit she knows Percy would disapprove of.

For Lily this dual nature will be the paradox of her character; she will be hunting for a suitable husband on the one hand, but unable to commit herself to marriage and sex on the other.

The house of mirth movie

Lily's companion looked rapidly from one to the other of the two men of the party; Wetherall walking respectfully at Lady Cressida's side with his little sidelong look of nervous attention, and Percy Gryce bringing up the rear with Mrs. After barely catching her train, she sits down and starts to look around for someone else who might be heading to Bellomont with her. Uncover new sources by reviewing other students' references and bibliographies Inspire new perspectives and arguments or counterarguments to address in your own essay Read our Academic Honor Code for more information on how to use and how not to use our library. The depiction of Lily's character throughout the novel, however, has been one of abject carelessness. Because Desai's Bim and Wharton's Lily are both flawed figures who manage to stand erect, weathering storms of hostile circumstances that whittle down their will to live and sense of self worth. As a result of this, marriage becomes the only way of actually entering society, the only alternative being a form of social or literal death. The first years of her marriage were spent in frequent travel and in making the proper social rounds in New York and Newport. Is Lily too naive to grasp the significance of these events? Bertha Dorset, a married woman, spends her time trying to win Percy Gryce until Selden shows up. Even though the arrival of Selden removes Mrs. He was institutionalized in , and in , Edith divorced him. She hardly knew what she had been seeking, or why the failure to find it had so blotted the light from her sky: she was only aware of a vague sense of failure, of an inner isolation deeper than the loneliness about her. Analysis There is always a sense of ascendancy and descendancy implicit in everything that is done in the novel.

This can be seen in the importance of her learning about Americana before speaking with Gryce. Are his scorn and aloofness attitudes only a man could assume in the society Wharton depicts?

house of mirth chapter summary

Books are not read, instead the library is merely used for smoking or flirting, the two being inseparable. She finally mentions Mrs. Rosedale was still at a stage in his social ascent when it was of importance to produce such impressions" Her desire for a comfortable life means that she will not marry for love without money, but her resistance to the rules of the social elite endangers her many marriage proposals and leads to a dramatic downward spiral into debt and dishonor.

The house of mirth characters

She would settle permanently in Paris in the early s. This is a cruel society, one that is always testing, and one where the slightest event in the past will haunt the rest of the novel. The shimmer of expensive china, the buzz of vacuous conversations conducted in affected accents, the ring of self-assured laughter spilling forth from the made up faces of social butterflies and the dispassionate flirtations between social aspirants and calculating husband-hunters provide a glittering backdrop to her spiralling descent into the realms of penury and obscurity. There's a problem with this paper. She first attempted to write a novel at the age of eleven, but her mother criticized her first lines, effectively dissuading her from fiction writing for several more years. No one, however, appeared to profit by the opportunity; and after a half hour of fruitless waiting she rose and wandered on. But not girls - not poor, miserable, marriageable girls! What hooks you? Are his scorn and aloofness attitudes only a man could assume in the society Wharton depicts? Lily is thus a sacrificial lamb not only in the realm of Wharton's novel but also in the world projected by the readers who would take its lessons to heart. Though her education—at the ends of a series of governesses—was intended only to provide her the social graces necessary for a society wife, she spoke three languages before adolescence, and read widely in the great literature of Western culture. The essays in our library are intended to serve as content examples to inspire you as you write your own essay. Let us know! You know I must be off tomorrow morning. In this cruel world the people are portrayed like photographs or paintings.
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An Analysis of House of Mirth and Loneliness in Edith Wharton's Novel