The House of Mirth Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 82 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The House of Mirth.
This section contains 569 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The House of Mirth Study Guide

The New York upper-class society of which Wharton writes in The House of Mirth could be characterized as one of affluence and relative ease. At the height of the social ladder were the aristocrats, such historical families as the Astors and the Vanderbilts. They came from old names and old money, and members of such families set the standards for other members of their social class. Arrivistes or the nouveau riche, people who had more recently earned their fortunes, also made up an important part of old New York society. Though they did not have a lustrous family history, they often held even greater wealth than the aristocratic families. The upper-class entertained themselves by attending the theater and opera; paying and receiving social calls; attending lunch, dinner, and house parties; traveling abroad; and summering in such fashionable spots as Newport, Rhode Island.

By contrast, New...

(read more from the Historical Context section)

This section contains 569 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The House of Mirth Study Guide
Copyrights
Novels for Students
The House of Mirth from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.