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The House of Mirth
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The House of Mirth > June 2018- Entire Book (Spoiler Thread)

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Charlene Morris | 1278 comments Mod
Discussion for entire book. Please realize that this is a spoiler thread.


Charlene Morris | 1278 comments Mod
I didn't know there was a movie made of this in 2000. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0200720/


Charlene Morris | 1278 comments Mod
I am up to chapter 10 in book 2 so I don't want to spoil stuff for everyone else.

From Penguin's discussion questions: "Wharton took the title for her novel from a verse in Ecclesiastics—”The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in The House of Mirth.” Does Lily Bart’s allegiance to the follies and superficialities of society mean that she has the “heart of a fool” or is she trapped by the dictates of her upbringing and the expectations of the times?"


Charlene Morris | 1278 comments Mod
This one is sort of hard to clearly define. While Lily's desires to be in "top" society could be deem foolish especially when she knows she can't afford to spend money in the same manner as her rich friends.

Lily was never taught how to live within her means nor did she ever learn useful skills like sewing which she needed when she went to work at the milliners shop. So this would be more of Lily trapped in her upbringing and expectation of time.

Maybe this will be more clear at the end of the book.


Charlene Morris | 1278 comments Mod
The introduction on my copy mentioned that House of Mirth was a social reflection of Darwin's natural selection theory. I will be honest that I didn't immediately see this until it was pointed out to me at the end (Wordsworth Classic recommend reading the introduction after finishing the book so you don't spoil the story for yourself).


message 6: by Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ (last edited Jun 26, 2018 02:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 376 comments Finished and I loved it. I have always been - well not exactly fond but admiring of Becky Sharp & Amber (Forever Amber) who will connive, betray & scratch their way to the top. Lily hasn't their ruthlessness & relies on her beauty & charm to get her through life. I'm wondering if her self-sabotage was because she liked being free or if her love for Seldon stopped her selling herself to the highest bidder?


Charlene Morris | 1278 comments Mod
Carol ꧁꧂ wrote: "Finished and I loved it. I have always been - well not exactly fond but admiring of Becky Sharp & Amber (Forever Amber) who will connive, betray & scratch their way to the top. Lily has..."

It is interesting that if we combine self-sabotage on Lily liking to be free with Darwin's natural selection theory; it reinforces that the social successes in New York society had to be married even if it was entrapped in a loveless marriage. Gerty and Grace were not social successes even if they had independence.

Would Lily have been a social success in the New York society that she wanted to be if she had married Seldon?


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 376 comments Charlene wrote: "Carol ꧁꧂ wrote: "Finished and I loved it. I have always been - well not exactly fond but admiring of Becky Sharp & Amber (Forever Amber) who will connive, betray & scratch their way to ..."

I don't think she would have had the money to succeed.

The ending makes it clear that she was starting to understand how money worked & to keep track of her goals. The scene with the child I think showed that she may have reset her goals & become a happy wife & mother.


Charlene Morris | 1278 comments Mod
I thought the scene with the child reinforced in Lily what her childhood and upbringing lacked.


message 10: by Lucinda (new) - added it

Lucinda (dewluca) It took me nearly eight months to force myself to finish this book. I kept setting it aside because I was either infuriated or bored. I really have no interest in rich people and high society. I kept hoping it would get better and Lily would develop some insight into her own vapidness . . . but too little too late.

Learned a lesson though. Might be time to be more willing to just quit reading when a book doesn't keep my interest. I tend to be stubborn and force myself to finish . . . especially "classics" . . . but there are too many books and too little time . . . so I might have to learn how to quit. :)


message 11: by Suki (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 60 comments I thought Wharton did an excellent job of introducing Lily as a decorative, easily dismissed, bit of fluff, and gradually scraping away this layer to reveal the strength of character beneath. In the beginning, I really didn't like her much, but I really admired her when she was trying to support herself. It was sad when she came to the realization that she had been raised to be an amusing ornament, and that there really was no other place where she would fit in. I can't help but wonder if her (view spoiler)


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