The House of Mirth | Critical Essay by William E. Moddelmog

This literature criticism consists of approximately 13 pages of analysis & critique of The House of Mirth.
This section contains 11,077 words
(approx. 37 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Cathy N. Davidson

Critical Essay by William E. Moddelmog

SOURCE: Moddelmog, William E. “Disowning ‘Personality’: Privacy and Subjectivity in The House of Mirth.American Literature 70, no. 2 (June 1998): 337-63.

In the following essay, Moddelmog examines Wharton's narrative strategy of demonstrating the difficulties inherent in portraying female subjectivity by distancing herself, her other characters, and her readers from Lily's inner life.

What is one's personality, detached from that of the friends with whom fate happens to have linked one?

—Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance

The pivotal moment of Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth (1905) occurs during Lily Bart's second visit to Lawrence Selden's flat. Having decided to use Bertha Dorset's love letters to Selden as ammunition to regain her own social standing, Lily finds herself passing by Selden's building and is drawn to his “quiet room.”1 The flat...

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This section contains 11,077 words
(approx. 37 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Cathy N. Davidson