Edith Wharton Research Paper

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Ricky Heinlein 5/9/18 Honors American Studies House of Mirth Essay Edith Wharton takes a deserved place among the most famous classics of American literature. She was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize and once received the Pulitzer Prize - for the novel "The Age of Innocence" (1920). But that is what is particularly interesting: she was the last representative of the "Century of Innocence" of American literature, which was blown up by the First World War. Edith Wharton's works are popular all over the world, beginning in 1905 and up to this day. Her work "The House of Mirth", written in 1905, is dedicated to the customs and traditions, typical for the society of New York at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. One of the central …show more content…

Bringing up of the main heroine of the novel is quite in line with the spirit of this society. From the very childhood, Lily, the main heroine, understood poverty is like a terrible disease and must be avoided. She is used to such a bustling, wasteful life and cannot imagine any other. “Her whole being dilated in an atmosphere of luxury. It was the background she required, the only climate she could breathe in.” (Wharton 27). However, not everything goes as planned, their family suddenly falls into bankruptcy, and Lily and her mother find themselves in a small room of a cheap motel. Unable to reconcile with the surrounding sadness, Lily's mother dies, but she does not cease, however, to repeat that her daughter must achieve wealth and a high position in society. Lily, when met at the beginning of the novel, is an impeccably beautiful girl for a rich husband, trying hard to stay inside the high society. Or, perhaps, it is much more complicated than this ancient …show more content…

She is seductive and beautiful, and the author repeatedly emphasizes the physical attractiveness of the heroine, comparing it with a fragile flower or a bright bird. " She had been fashioned to adorn and delight; to what other end does nature round the rose-leaf and paint the humming-bird's breast?" (Wharton 316). Edith Wharton gives his heroine not only an external attraction but also the ability to seduce and conquer men. Seeking to marry a rich and influential representative of her own class, able to provide her with a comfortable life and a decent position in society, Lily Bart has perfected the science of seduction. With subtle irony, Wharton describes the process of seduction, in which the heroine acts as a hunter for a rich

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