Free Study Guide The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton|
THE HOUSE OF MIRTH: LITERARY ANALYSIS
3. What kind of lover/husband would Lawrence Selden be?
4. What does Lawrence Seldenís insistence that he is merely a spectator mean in relation to his ability to judge Lilyís morality?
5. How does Wharton portray the working class? Look at the characters
Nettie Struthers and Mrs. Haffen as well as Lilyís fellow workers at the
6. Critique the racialized treatment of Simon Rosedale? How does
Wharton deploy anti-Semitism in her condemnation of social climbers?
7. How does Wharton use Mrs. Peniston to embody the older generation
of old rich? How do they come across with her as a representative?
8. How does Wharton represent womenís economic options? Look
at the characters of Carrie Fisher, Lily Bart, Gerty Farish, and Bertha
Dorset to see the range of economic options of women as Wharton represents
9. Analyze the contradictions of Lily Bartís nature, especially
that between her desire for luxury and her inability to carry through
with plans to ensure that she has it.
10. Analyze the characterization of Gerty Farish as a parallel
character to Lily Bart. How does Wharton set up the alternative between
Gerty Farishís choice to live poor by respectability and Lily Bartís choice
to live in luxury but
with moral laxity?
11. Analyze the parallel between Lawrence Selden, as a man of little income, and Lily Bart, as a woman of little income, both in the same class in New York society. What does Wharton imply by setting up this parallel?
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