Character Analysis Of Lily Bart

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Lily Bart exhibits a penchant for addiction, which first manifested itself as gambling on card games. One of Lily Bart's character traits is her need to fit in with the upper-class society, even though she does not have the money for it. In fact, "for a long time [Lily] refused to play bridge" and simply observed others such as the young Ned Silverton develop an addiction to the game (26). However, in the last year she had found that her hostesses expected her to take a place at the card-table. It was one of the taxes she had to pay for their prolonged hospitality, and for the dresses and trinkets which occasionally replenished her insufficient wardrobe. And since she had played regularly the passion had grown on her. (27)
When she occasionally won "a large sum," she would spend it on material items such as "dresses or trinkets" (27). While this could be a result of her lax upbringing, Lily chose to mismanage what little money she had. Her mother never taught her the value of money and always said never to "live like a pig" (31). Instead of
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Throughout the novel, she could have used unscrupulous means to escape her socioeconomic predicament, but she chose to take the moral high ground and suffer as a result. After Gus Trenor tries to instigate a relationship with her as payment for his monetary gifts, Lily refuses and says that she will pay her debt to him in full with money (151). Gus Trenor advised Lily that he was investing her money, when in reality he was giving her his own money. Because Trenor lied to her and the fact that the monetary exchange was not official, Lily could have easily cut ties with Trenor and not have been indebted to him. After she received her inheritance money, she payed off her debt to him and was left penniless. Instead, she could have used the money to dig herself out of the hole of
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