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The House of Mirth | Study Guide

Edith Wharton

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The House of Mirth | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

the-house-of-mirth-edith-whartonLily, Book 1, Chapter 1e are expected to be pretty and well-dressed till we drop.Sources: Edith Wharton by Hermoine Lee, Edith Wharton: A Life in Pictures and Text, The Mount, The New Yorker, New York Times, Symbolic or Monetary Exchange: Money, Hospitality and the Home in Edith Wharton's The House of Mirthby Thomas DutoitCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.Set among the New York elite of the 1890s, The House of Mirth is both a tragedy and a social satire. Lily Bart has not been trained to make or understand money: she must marry rich and choose between the lawyer she loves and the dull, corrupt, wealthy men who want to marry her. Can she be true to her evolving senseof morality?Gambling with LoveMAIN CHARACTERSBertha DorsetLilys dangerous high society “friend”Lawrence SeldenLawyer Lily loves; too poor for her worldLily BartBeautiful, naïve, used to wealth; needs moneyPercy GryceWealthy but dull; worlds biggest collector of AmericanaGus TrenorInvests money for Lily; expects sex in returnSimon RosedaleJewish businessman; speaks the ugly truthBeautyLily's beauty is her only asset—she is a decorative object for wealthy men to marry.Woman vs. SocietyLily struggles with her identity in the face of societal expectations.Money vs. MoralityCruel, superficial people easily destroy innocent, beautiful people.ThemesAge at which Wharton began a secret novel called Fast and Loose14Novels Wharton published before The House of Mirth3Months over which sections of the novel were serialized in Scribner's Magazine11Flowers in Whartons gardens at her home, The Mount~2,000The House of Mirthby the NumbersAuthorWharton mocked the New York elite of Americas Gilded Age, of which she was a part. She established her career as a novelist with The House of Mirth, a scathing satire. In 1921 she became the first woman awarded a Pulitzer Prize—for her novel The Age of Innocence.EDITH WHARTON1862–1937ReadingRepresents society and understanding of the individualGamblingSymbolizes risky behavior with money and loveMotifsWaterRepresents Lilys function as currency rather than her value as a personEdith Wharton1905EnglishNovel AuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageThe Houseof MirthDrama

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