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The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth

by Edith Wharton

Respect and Reputation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

"No; but your taking a walk with me is only another way of making use of your material. You are an artist and I happen to be the bit of colour you are using today. It's a part of your cleverness to be able to produce premeditated effects extemporaneously." (1.6.18)

Is Selden's view of Lily an accurate one?

Quote #5

Selden continued to look at her; then he drew his cigarette-case from his pocket and slowly lit a cigarette. It seemed to him necessary, at that moment, to proclaim, by some habitual gesture of this sort, his recovered hold on the actual: he had an almost puerile wish to let his companion see that, their flight over, he had landed on his feet. (1.6.103)

Looks like Selden, too, is as interested in the power dynamics of his relationship with Lily as he is in Lily herself.

Quote #6

This real self of hers, which he had the faculty of drawing out of the depths, was so little accustomed to go alone! The appeal of her helplessness touched in him, as it always did, a latent chord of inclination. It would have meant nothing to him to discover that his nearness made her more brilliant, but this glimpse of a twilight mood to which he alone had the clue seemed once more to set him in a world apart with her. (1.8.52-3)

If there are indeed two different Lily Barts, then Selden is only in love with one of them. He's not willingly to take the package deal.

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