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Quotes

Quote #1

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?

Quote #2

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…

Quote #3

"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.

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