The House of Mirth
How we cite our quotes:
But we're so different, you know: she likes being good, and I like being happy. (1.1.48)
What is the difference? Is it not possible for Lily to be both good and happy in House of Mirth?
A world in which such things could be seemed a miserable place to Lily Bart; but then she had never been able to understand the laws of a universe which was so ready to leave her out of its calculations. (1.3.10)
This ignorance and self-centeredness characterizes the Lily Bart of the first half of the novel. Compare this image to the woman who refuses to blackmail Bertha Dorset in Book II…
"And for always getting what she wants in the long run, commend me to a nasty woman." (1.4.40)
True; Lily's fate at the end of House of Mirth comes about because she refuses to be nasty in retaliation against Bertha.