The House of Mirth | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 38 pages of analysis & critique of The House of Mirth.
This section contains 10,138 words
(approx. 34 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ruth Bernard Yeazell

SOURCE: Yeazell, Ruth Bernard. “The Conspicuous Wasting of Lily Bart.” In New Essays on “The House of Mirth,” edited by Deborah Esch, pp. 15-41. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

In the following essay, Yeazell examines the milieu of appearances and consumption in which Lily must navigate and which ultimately leads to her downfall.

Few fictional heroines have been as consistently under observation as Lily Bart, and few heroes have proved such consistent observers as Lawrence Selden.1 Yet he scarcely registers her most notable performance. Indeed, by the time that Lily drops Bertha Dorset's letters into Selden's fireplace, the very inconspicuousness of the act testifies to its moral significance. In “a world where conspicuousness passed for distinction, and the society column had become the roll of fame” (II, 3, 168), Lily unobtrusively destroys the evidence that would threaten her principal enemy with exposure—a parcel of adulterous love letters from Bertha...

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This section contains 10,138 words
(approx. 34 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ruth Bernard Yeazell
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Critical Essay by Ruth Bernard Yeazell from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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