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Quotes

Quote #7

But now, at the actual crisis, this difference seemed to throw the weight of destitution on Bertha's side, since at least he had her to suffer for, and she had only herself. […] it was to Bertha that Lily's sympathies now went out. She was not fond of Bertha Dorset, but neither was she without a sense of obligation […]. Bertha had been kind to her, they had lived together, during the last months, on terms of easy friendship, and the sense of friction of which Lily had recently become aware seemed to make it the more urgent that she should work undividedly in her friend's interest. (2.2.64)

It's clear that Lily genuinely does want to help Bertha – which makes it all the more frustrating that Bertha turns on her helping hand. This is not the first time Lily has felt intense personal obligation in return for financial help.

Quote #8

If Judy knew when Mrs. Fisher borrowed money of her husband, was she likely to ignore the same transaction on Lily's part? If she was careless of his affections she was plainly jealous of his pocket. (2.4.42)

This just drives home the point that a man's job in the world of House of Mirth is to make money, not to love his wife. That explains Judy Trenor's discriminatory jealousy.

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