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The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth


by Edith Wharton

The House of Mirth Women and Femininity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

All her concern had hitherto been for young Silverton, not only because, in such affairs, the woman's instinct is to side with the man, but because his case made a peculiar appeal to her sympathies. He was so desperately in earnest, poor youth, and his earnestness was of so different a quality from Bertha's, though hers too was desperate enough. The difference was that Bertha was in earnest only about herself, while he was in earnest about her. (2.2.64)

This is the second time Wharton has suggested that women don't like other women – that they tend to side with men instead of their own gender. Do the actions of the characters in House of Mirth support this theory?

Quote #8

She drew herself up to the full height of her slender majesty, towering like some dark angel of defiance above the troubled Gerty. (2.4.28)

What an odd term to describe Lily, particularly in contrast to the squeaky-clean, virginal Gerty Farish. Lily has become much harder and determined than her helpless self in Book I.

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