Thursday, April 15, 2010

The House of Mirth, Part Two

I thought what was said the other day about how Lily seemed to be stricken by the "grass is always greener" syndrome. I agree with the assertion that when Lily has money she seems to be drawn to the lifestyle of the "republican spirit", and then when she is in debt Lily is drawn towards the high society lifestyle. Lily can never be satisfied. Lilly can not figure out what it is she wants. She makes it clear early on in the novel that her intentions is to marry someone rich and live happily ever after. However, as the story progresses she goes from striving for the lifestyle of the rich to wanting what Seldon represents. Then when she begins to lose enough money that threatens her status her "needs" change back to wanting to be in society.

What is up with this, who knows. I feel as though the best explanation for her actions is that there is no explanation at all. I can't think of any instance where someone would want one thing and the all of a sudden want the exact opposite, and then go back once again. I find it frustrating because as I sit here and write this I can not figure out what is going on with her.


  1. I think perhaps it is a matter of simply not understanding the nature of the culture she is in. I don't think happiness, as far as who you're with, really enters into the equation for how she is supposed to look for a husband. However, at some point, she realizes this is precisely what she wants. To admit that though would mean turning her back on everything she has been taught, and thus she can never really grasp what she really wants until the very end when she has convinced herself that such things are impossible for her.

  2. Carry Fisher says at one point that Lily can't succeed because at base she despises what she's trying for, which may contribute to the problem.