The Realization Of Lily In The Wild, By Edith Wharton

Decent Essays
Lily was raised to believe that marriage was her reason for existence, she was simply business transaction. The men sit back and wait for a girl to marry, “whereas I have to calculate and contrive, and retreat and advance, as if I were going through and intricate dance, where one misstep would throw me hopelessly out of time” (Wharton 38). Yet Wharton establishes that Lily would not merely marry a man just for his money, “She leaned forward, holding the tip of her cigarette to his” (Wharton 7), Lawrence Selden. A Lawyer who makes Lily question that possibly the business nature of marriage could adapt into an act of love and pleasure. Wharton questions the motivations behind marriage through Lily’s conflicts of the life she has always known…show more content…
Whether she was prepared to admit it or not pleasure was the life Lily needed to uncover to move on. A life without love was no life for Miss Lily Bart, for after each failed attempt at business she ran to Selden. The “real” Lily Bart was only ever alive when Selden was near, Lily realised it, but it was too late, “I have kept her with me all this time, but now we are going to part, and I have brought her back to you - I am going to leave her here. When I go out presently she will not go with me. I shall like to think that she has stayed with you - and she’ll be no trouble. she’ll take up no room” (Wharton 251). Lily chooses pleasure, but she has chosen too late in her life, for her to truly take pleasure from Selden. She leaves the “real” Lily Bart in Selden’s care, so she knows the will be happy and live a pleasurable life, “She went up to him and laid her hands on his shoulders. “Goodbye,” she said, and as he bent over her she touched his forehead with her lips” (Wharton 252). Lily had lived her life and made it to the most important, “She had been unhappy, and now she was happy - she had felt herself alone, and now the sense of loneliness had vanished” (Wharton 262) Then there was Selden, “she must tell Selden, some word she had found that should make life clear between them” (Wharton
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