House Of Mirth Essay

793 words - 3 pages

Lily and Selden have two conversations in chapters 1 and 6 that show us what Wharton is trying to say about society. Lily as she is introduced through Selden's eyes is a very beautiful and attractive woman. She comes from the upper class of society and as woman we see that her main goal throughout this book is to get a married to a wealthy man. Selden on the other hand isn't part of the upper class, but is well off regardless. The two conversations that they have together tells us a lot about their relationship with one another, and how society at the time is viewed.The setting of this book takes place in the 1900s. In chapter one Selden and Lily have a conversation in Selden's apartment. We know by how Lily was introduced through Selden's eyes in the beginning of the chapter that Selden has feeling for Lily. But Lily being a woman at this time only has one thing on her mind and that's to get married to a wealthy man. Lily is one of those people who has to do everything right and have everything planned if she is going to get what she wants.The conversation between Lily and Selden in chapter one has two parts, one that shows how Lily feels about Selden, and the other that shows how Lily views the difference between men and women in society. First of all Lily states that she is looking for someone who can just be her friend and tell her things the way they are without being fake with her. She wants Selden to be that person. She states, "I shouldn't have to pretend with you or be on my guard against you." It just shows that she isn't interested in Selden at the moment and only sees him as a friend. On the other hand Lily and Selden talk about how men and women are in society. Lily asks Selden if he would ever marry to get away from work, or marry to get more money to buy the things that he needs and Selden replies no. Lily replies, "Ah, there's a difference-a girl must, a man may if he chooses." They go on to talk about clothing and how Selden with his "shabby" coat can still get asked to dine, while as if Lily were to dress shabby, then no one would have her....

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