Lily Bart is our main character and protagonist in House of Mirth. The novel traces her story, her decisions, and her transformation. In many ways, Lily is a typical protagonist; we are sympathetic to her plights, invested in her story, and rooting for her all the way. She is a moral individual (though not as much at the start of the novel), principled, and caring. We even have the excuse of social determinism to let Lily off the hook for her various flaws (materialism, etc.).