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House Of Mirth Literary Analysis

Decent Essays
The House of Mirth is a novel that revolves around Lily Bart’s attempts to find a husband as a way to have a successful life. Through discussing Lily’s attempts to find a spouse, Wharton gives a glimpse to upper class society in the late 1800s and early 1900s. For the first passage, Selden ponders on Lily Bart. For the second passage, Lily confesses to Gerty her true intentions of marriage when Lily experienced distress about her current state and her past choices.
Through a close reading of the two passages, the diction, grammatical elements, and poetic devices utilized in these excerpts help unearth the passages’ hidden messages. For the first passage, through diction, the passage sheds new light. The words “no less conscious” convey that Selden is not influenced by what people tell him about Lily, since he understands Lily at a deeper level through Selden’s and Lily’s talks at his flat and Bellomont than Lily’s other friends understand her. The words “the woman he knew” implies the version of Lily that Selden has seen a glimpse of when Lily acts like her true self and expresses her actual thoughts. “The vulgar estimate of her” shows the version of Lily that most of her friends perceive. However, they fail to perceive Lily’s true self, since Lily attempts a facade in public. The words “Selden was in impassioned self-absorption” indicate Selden felt deeply attracted to Lily that most of his attention was focused on Lily. Selden’s love for Lily allowed him to not judge
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