Writing Techniques in The House of Mirth

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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The House of Mirth certainly qualifies as a realist novel, even while revealing the inadequacy of that term. Looking back at the literature of a century ago, scholars and teachers often use the word realism as a blanket term for the novels that experimented with new techniques for capturing authentic experience. Coming on the heels of many of these experiments, Wharton's book employs the styles developed as a result of several of them.

Books of this period are generally long, filled with what seem to the reader to be trivial details. In books by authors like William Dean Howells and Theodore Dreiser, however, detail played a crucial function.

As the industrial machine expanded its capacity and replaced goods once made in the household with readymade wares, the United States increasingly became a consumer society. As this happened, people began to make judgments of character based on the products people...

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This section contains 444 words
(approx. 2 pages 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.