Once Lily accepts what she has done and learns that her mother's death did not make her a bad person, her conflict can finally be resolved. As a result of resolving her conflict, she is able to mature because of the struggle, just like other people are able to grow and evolve from their own mistakes. This is evident when she admits "Before coming here, my whole life had been nothing but a hole where my mother should have been, and this hole had made me different, left me always aching for something, but never once did I think what he'd lost or how it might've changed him" (Kidd 293). Lily finally realizes that her mother's death has not only affected her, but also her father, T. Ray, and the calendar sisters. Through the course of Lily's struggle, Lily learns a lot about life and matures into a wiser
In “Debasing Exchange: Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth,” author Wai-Chee Dimock argues that the society portrayed in the novel, which is a reflection of 19th century upper class New York, revolves around the idea that the business ethics of the economic “marketplace” determines all aspects of the culture. More specifically, this causes all forms of social interactions to be viewed as “currency,” with the precise value of a certain act or relationship determined by whoever possesses the most power. As Dimock herself puts it, “as a controlling logic, a mode of human conduct and human association, the marketplace is everywhere and nowhere, ubiquitous and invisible” (375). While some might wonder whether the marketplace really is the ultimate guiding structure for this particular fictionalized society, Dimock contends nevertheless that this interpretation is a viable one, due to the marketplace’s “ability to reproduce itself,” and thus “assimilate everything… into its domain” (375). I myself find Dimock’s argument both interesting and useful in interpreting The House of Mirth because of the clarity with which she presents the often complicated, critical lens of Marxism.
Through out the book I have found numerous amount shocking events on why Lily left. Some Reasons why Lily left was because she wanted to know if her mom actually left her when Lily was just young girl. When Lily was little she had over heard her mom and T-Ray fighting one day in the hallway. Right when Lily looked in the hallway she saw a gun on the floor and she decided to pick it up; right when Lily picked it up she heard a loud bang
By noting the subtitles of human conditions under the stress of strict societal control, Edith Wharton created literature that is true to the society she portrayed. Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley probably would have liked to cause each other bodily harm, yet their society ruled that such behavior would not be tolerated. Therefore, they buried their feelings and expressed them only in subtle movements and off the cuff remarks, bits and pieces of communication that most people would overlook. However, Wharton realized that these fragments composed the only true communication and therefore composed the real story of Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley.
Since her mother died she has had to put up with her abusive father who doesn't really care about Lily. Having to not only deal with this but the fact that she doesn't have any friends in school doesn't really help. “People who think dying is the worst thing don’t know a thing about life.” Lily says this in the beginning of the novel. This is an important quote showing Lily’s bravery because Lily’s life has been profoundly affected by her mother’s death. This statement suggests that living with someone else’s death can be more painful than dying. She grew up without a mother and the taunting guiltiness that she killed her own mother. In some ways I share this quality with Lily. At times I can be a brave person but like everybody else I'm not always so brave. One time when I was brave was when I was first coming into the high school. I was always so nervous at just the thought of high school so when the big day came I was very anxious. I was brave enough to get through it all and now I'm more comfortable in the
She is expressed as dealing with “teenage problems” if I do say so myself a lot of issues that most teenagers have: identity, popularity, self-consciousness, and parental issues. The 14-year-old throughout her story feels a deep sense of longing for her mother as she did not know her, because she died when Lily was only 4 years old. In Chapter 1, Lily talks about how she misses her mother, and how she feels completely responsible for the fact that she doesn't have her. This quote, "This is what I know about myself. She was all I wanted. And I took her away," is significant to the whole plot, because it helps us understand one of Lily's main concerns and desires. I myself have lost a parent at a very young age, and struggled to comprehend what happened, and how it would effect me through the course of my life. Lily Owens notices that she does not fit and is held back from that fact that her father does not care about Lily's life nor her needs. In Chapter 1, Lily indicates that she is “..worried so much about how I [she] looked and whether I [she] was doing things right, I [she] felt half the time I [she] was impersonating a girl instead of really being
For example, only a few weeks after staying in the pink house, August asks Lily what she loves, Lily responds, “‘And since coming here, I’ve learned to love bee’s and honey.’ I wanted to add, And I love you, I love you, but I felt too awkward,” (Kidd, 140). Lily tells August about the many things that she loves, she even wants to communicate her deep admiration for August but is unable to. August is like a mother figure to Lily also because she cares a lot about her and provides Lily with a kind of support and love that no one has ever expressed to her. For example, when Lily finally tells August about how she killed her mother and expresses how she feels unlovable, August consoles her and ensures her that she is admirable. “‘That’s a terrible, terrible thing for you to live with. But you’re not unlovable. Even if you did accidentally kill her, you are still the most dear, most lovable girl I know,” (Kidd, 242). Throughout her entire life, T. Ray never cared enough to emotionally support Lily, and Rosaleen’s personality was too snarky for her to understand Lily’s position. Lily finally has someone to talk to and releases all her pent-up guilt, regret, and pain to August. August and the sisters of Mary also provide Lily with a sense of motherly instinct and protection. For example, when T. Ray tries to come and take Lily back to the peach farm, they all stand up for her and protect her from her
DocViewer Page of 3 Zoom Pages In the beginning of the book Lily’s relationship with her parents was not really good , she really did not know her mother all she knew was the horrifying confusing accident that happened when she was only four years old. All Lily remembered about her mother was when her mother was fighting with T. Ray and she was packing all of her clothes , going in and out of the closest and seeing T.Ray yelling at her mom. Lily also remembered that she saw a gun on the floor and Lily grabbed it and shot her mother on accident.
Helen’s death became a meaningful experience during Lily’s adulthood. Lily’s younger sister, Helen had found herself in an insecure position as a young pregnant woman where she considered herself no longer fitted in society. Instead, of moving back to her parents, she moves in with Lily where she could not do anything to prevent Helen from committing suicide. This demonstrates to the readers, how tough it was for Lily to lose her sister, knowing that she had a great and long life ahead of her. Instead of Lily doing what she enjoyed the most all she could think about was her sister’s death and feeling nothing but, hopelessness and, pain. The readers are able to note how significant this passage is because losing someone close and building good memories was a strong thing for Lily to let go. She preferred staying home in bed and there were even times where everything bothered her such as the birds chirping and the kids laughing, which made her considered in quitting her job as a teacher. In conclusion, as Lily slowly begins to recover,
Selden, who is not rich, but is self-sufficient and comfortable. Lily's incredible outer beauty cannot mask the internal suffering which she endures. This is Wharton's way of revealing the emptiness and greed behind the glittering exterior of elite society. The Dorsets, despite their fabulous wealth, are the most unhappy characters in the novel. Bertha is a cruel and bitter antagonist, and her husband is a lonely, pathetic old man. Edith Wharton spent her entire life rubbing elbows with the upper-crust, yet still believed that money cannot buy happiness. The House of Mirth may be categorized as a "novel of manners," a literary genre which explores the struggle of the individual in society, and most commonly, the way in which that struggle effects women and
Throughout the novel, Lily is able to depend only on herself and her own strength to get through tough times. When she was only eight years old, her family was hit by a flash flood that threatened their home. Her father
Lily Bart has to die because she is completely incapable of adapting to this world of direct transactions, and in the end the only two paths she sees both lie firmly in that realm.
Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth chronicles the tale of Lily Bart, a young socialite stuck at the crossroads of rejection her society to pursue her ambitions or relenting to societal expectations placed on her. In literature, naturalism, a philosophy that frequently overlaps with the theory of Social Darwinism, applies “scientific principles of objective observation to the study of human behavior and characters within the context of their surroundings” (“American Literary Naturalism” Twentieth-Century). In short, naturalistic novels explore the interactions between humans and their environment as the human tries to navigate it. House of Mirth is a naturalistic novel in that it explores Lily’s attempt to survive in her own cruel environment.
The genre of comedy, throughout the history of dramatic art has always served to not only entertain audiences, but to make them aware of their own individual flaws, or flaws that exist in society. (Weitz, E.) Comedy has no precise definition, and its boundaries are broad. One function of comedy however has remained the same - to hold up a mirror to the society of the time but through pleasure, inviting audiences to reflect and also providing amusement. Set in the late nineteenth century, the play An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde (1895) epitomises comedy, as both a literary and dramatic genre. Wilde was masterful in his ability to combine aspects of evolved comedic traditions and dramatic conventions to critique Victorian society. Drawing on characteristics of Greek and Roman tragicomedy, the choices in the play’s plot involves elements of tragedy as well as scenes that serve as comic relief and give the audience a sense of finality through a happy resolution. (Bureman, L) Focussing on the upper class stratum, Wilde employs a comedy of manners Molière style, of the Restoration Period in the seventeenth century in the play by combining forms of comedy with aspects of realist drama. The portrayal of archetypal figures such as Lady Chiltern and Lord Goring satirize rigid moral value of the time and expose their hypocrisies, through dialogue involving irony, wit and humour. Elements of farce and disguises characterized by ‘commedia dell’arte’, a form of comedy first developed in
By noting the subtitles of human conditions under the stress of strict societal control, Edith Wharton created literature that is true to the society she portrayed. Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley probably would have liked to cause each other bodily harm, yet their society ruled that such behavior would not be tolerated. Therefore, they buried their feelings and expressed them only in subtle movements and off the record remarks, bits and pieces of communication that most people would overlook. However, Wharton realized that these fragments composed the only true communication and therefore composed the real story of Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley.