The House of Mirth Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

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.
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In the final analysis, The House of Mirth is a tragic tale about how an innocent girl can be driven to desperation by a cold and hypocritical society. Lily has better taste than anyone in her set; she is nobler and truer to herself than any of her friends.

Nevertheless, with neither money nor a husband, she is helpless, powerless to resist the whims of a society focused on its own pursuit of pleasure. Much of the appeal to readers of The House of Mirth lies in its revelations about how the rich live; it does the same cultural work as Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. But unlike Robin Leech's show, Wharton's novel is bitterly critical, portraying Wharton's own class (or at least the newest members of it) in a very negative light.

1. Ultimately, what do you feel prevents Lily from marrying?

2. In her autobiographical writings, Wharton...

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This section contains 379 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The House of Mirth Study Guide
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The House of Mirth from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.