The House of Mirth | Critical Essay by Cathy N. Davidson

This literature criticism consists of approximately 13 pages of analysis & critique of The House of Mirth.
This section contains 3,693 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Cathy N. Davidson

Critical Essay by Cathy N. Davidson

SOURCE: Davidson, Cathy N. “Kept Women in The House of Mirth.Markham Review 9 (fall 1979): 10-3.

In the following essay, Davidson discusses the options for women, particularly of Lily's class, in early-twentieth-century American society.

Edith Wharton, while writing her first major novel, contemplated calling that work either “The Year of the Rose” or “A Moment's Ornament” but finally decided on The House of Mirth.1 This choice, alluding to Ecclesiastes 7:4 (“the heart of fools is in the house of mirth”) and rich with metaphoric and ironic implications, is, as I will subsequently argue, clearly the wisest one. Yet the two earlier provisional titles also suggest something of the basic plight of the novel's protagonist and the general predicament of women in the society that...

(read more)

This section contains 3,693 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Cathy N. Davidson