Jane Eyre Vs House Of Mirth Lily

2046 words - 8 pages

Jane Eyre vs House of Mirth Lily

The novels, Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, and House of Mirth, by Edith
Wharton, contain many similarities and differences of which I will discuss in this essay.
The focus will be on the main characters of each book, Jane Eyre, and Lily Bart and will
include important points and ideas demonstrated in these novels.

To begin, Jane, from Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre, was an orphan who
was raised by an upper-class family who resented her and did not want her, therefore
torturing, abusing, and treating her as someone at a status even lower than the servants.
As a child, she knows that her status is awkward and even later on, as a grown woman,
she is considered a second class citizen simply because of her sex. Further into the
novel, once she has become the governess at Thornfield, the social status put upon
her is inferior to Rochester and others of high class. She is forced into this social
standing despite the fact that she is expected to display the manners and education of
an upper-class woman. In comparison, Lily, of Wharton’s novel, House of Mirth, was
raised in a very prestigious, well-to-do family and grows up to be one of New York’s
most eligible socialites. As an irresponsible, uncontrollable gambler, Lily tends not to worry, nor give her bad habit a second thought because she is under the impression that her “out of reach” way of life and her elite circle of friends will be her protection from the consequences that her actions may bring. However, the novel takes a turn and Lily’s compulsive gambling is discovered, resulting in being cut off financially by her family and being cast out by her peers. For the first time in her life, now poor and alone, she must find a job and a home in the lower-class slums of New York. And, although women without money, in that era, did have jobs, Lily’s problem was that she was not willing to give up the glamorous life she was raised to lead. To point out another difference in status between the two characters, Jane Eyre rarely displayed a longing to be part of the higher class, whereas, Lily Bart is intrigued and attracted by it.

Another comparison between Lily and Jane can be made regarding beauty. This
topic is apparent almost immediately in House of Mirth. In the beginning of the book, it is expressed that, “One or two persons, in brushing past them, lingered to look; for Miss Bart was a figure to arrest even the suburban traveller rushing to his last train” (p.18). He goes on to wonder that, “she must have cost a great deal to make, that a great many dull and ugly people must have been sacrificed to produce her” (p.20). These excerpts demonstrate Lily’s external beauty. This notion is made even more obvious in the line, “the qualities distinguishing her from the herd of her sex were chiefly external”. Lily was beautiful and charming which may have aided her on her way to popularity. Even her name, Lily, implies beauty and can...

Find Another Essay On Jane Eyre vs House of Mirth Lily

Naturalism in The House of Mirth

1521 words - 6 pages throughout The House of Mirth. Wharton creates characters who are victims of their environment, controlled by animal-like instinct. Evidence of this is found from the very first page, when Lawrence Selden succumbs to an "impulse of curiosity" (6), to the very last page, when Selden realizes that Lily had "reached out to him in every struggle against the influence of her surroundings (255-56). By creating a protagonist whose every characteristic and

Lily's Choice in The House of Mirth

2514 words - 10 pages Lily's Choice in The House of Mirth         Near the beginning of The House of Mirth, Wharton establishes that Lily would not indeed have cared to marry a man who was merely rich: "she was secretly ashamed of her mothers crude passion for money" (38). Lily, like the affluent world she loves, has a strange relationship with money. She needs money to buy the type of life she has been raised to live, and her relative poverty makes her

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

1325 words - 6 pages Nature verses nurture is an ongoing debate between people for centuries now. Some believe that a person is born with certain traits and characteristics that will remain true for the rest of their life. Others believe that every person is born into the world with a blank slate that can be mold into an image of whichever the parent desired it to be. In the case of Lily Bart, the protagonist in The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, the

Realism in Wharton’s The House of Mirth

1668 words - 7 pages character may get what he or she desires, but be faced with the unexpected consequences of that desire” [Prompt]. In Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Lily Bart’s ending is an ironic rise because her meeting with Nettie and paying back her debts gives her the strength and courage to chase after her own happiness, but Lawrence Selden’s ending is an ironic fall because of his failure to overcome his cowardice and tentativeness to propose to Lily

Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth

1959 words - 8 pages Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth serves as a strict model of etiquette for high society in the Gilded Age. It teaches one the intricate art of keeping up appearances and assimilating into the fickle leisure class. At the same time, the novel’s underlying purpose is to subtly critique this social order. Lily Bart’s perpetual, although often reluctant quest for financial stability and mass approval is a

The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton

1412 words - 6 pages Irony is common in realist novels that reveal the fall and/or rise of characters among other aspects. It is mostly shown at the end which is usually tragic but tell readers the fate of the characters. Realist novels have plausible events, with cause and effect in their stories — what the characters desire and the consequences they receive because of that. Realism in the novel, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, was clearly shown through Lily

Analysis of Jane Eyre

701 words - 3 pages novel Jane Eyre, three images were portrayed and later symbolize important aspects of the novel. The first image was all the books in the breakfast room. Her cousin John bullies Jane and at one point her threw a book at her head and injured her. This is symbolic of how she is an incapable and anonymous female without opportunity. Aside from her injury it also shows she is well educated because she mentions how she reads as much as possible. She

Injustices of Jane Eyre

887 words - 4 pages Readers are exposed to the different reactions of Jane, Helen, and Miss Temple to injustice. In Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Jane Eyre, there is a great deal of injustice done to these three characters. Jane suffers with injustice throughout her lifetime, from Mrs. Reed’s abuse to Mr. Brocklehurst’s false accusations. She finds it hard to ignore it and always wants to take revenge. Although Helen also suffers from injustice in Lowood, she does

Objectification of Women in The House of Mirth

2161 words - 9 pages Objectification of Women in The House of Mirth        Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth is an affront to the false social values of fashionable New York society.  The heroine is Lily Bart, a woman who is destroyed by the very society that produces her.  Lily is well-born but poor.  The story traces the decline of Lily as she moves through a series of living residences, from houses to hotel lodgings.  Lily lives in a New York society where

A Lacanian analysis of Edith Wharton's "House of Mirth"

3168 words - 13 pages Law and Desire in "The House of Mirth"In Edith Wharton's novel, The House of Mirth, the main protagonist, Lily Bart oscillates between dreams of marriage and equally strong desires for independence and freedom. Despite her training on the social codes of conduct and etiquette, which was ingrained into her daily existence by her mother, Lily exhibits frequent moments of recklessness that threaten her opportunities in the marriage market. Why does

Femininity Through Views of Marriage In the House of Mirth

1143 words - 5 pages of Mirth, written by Edith Wharton, the role of women in society is seemingly expressed through their characteristics. Different aspects of femininity are introduced by how Wharton depicts women in the society. By looking at how Wharton portrays women in the society, readers will have a representation on the role of women as they deal with their morals, money, privileges and affections. In the beginning of the novel, Wharton introduces Lily

Similar Essays

The House Of Mirth Essay

1734 words - 7 pages Lily Bart lived in the upper part of New York society. She loves nice things and extravagance. However, throughout the House of Mirth Lily plays a game. She wants to be virtuous, stay in the social circle, and have the money to keep up with the demands of her so called friends. She involves herself so much into the social life she loses all chance of gaining her riches virtuously or through true love. She misses her chances inevitably: from

Jane Eyre Vs. Leslie Essay

1093 words - 4 pages Comparative Analysis A novel is a form of fictional literature with a more or less complex plot or pattern of events. For this assignment, I chose to compare the two novels Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, and Leslie, by Omar Tyree. Leslie was about a girl, Leslie Beaudet, who attends Dillard University who is struggling wit a dark secret of power in a world that is pulling her in many different directions. To her father, she is a

"Jane Eyre": Loves Vs. Autonomy Essay

1525 words - 6 pages In the novel by Charlotte Bronte, "Jane Eyre", there is a constant battle of love versus autonomy in Jane, the main character. At points Jane feels as if she would give anything to be loved. Yet over the course of the book Jane needs to learn how to gain affection of others without sacrificing something in return.In the early stages of Jane's life she was a very autonomous girl. She grew up in a hostile environment in the home of Mrs. Reed and

A Comparison Of Jane Eyre Vs. Mary Wollstonecraft

696 words - 3 pages Jane Eyre vs. Mary Wollstonecraft   There is no doubt that Charlotte Bronte knew the works of Mary Wollstonecraft, and she knew them well. Although Wollstonecraft's ideas were written a hundred years beforehand, many women did not read her work because it was not easily attainable. Many women were not educated to read this piece of literature and many men deemed it unimportant to their education. Bronte's works were cleverly