Wharton’s The House of Mirth

The paper discusses the destructive nature of unrestrained ambition as highlighted by the character of Lily Bart in Edith Wharton’s novel `The House of Mirth`.

The author demonstrates that the novel, `The House of Mirth`, revolves around a young beautiful woman (Lily Bart) who aspires to join the upper class and in her quest for success ruins her own life. The paper studies the many faces of Lily?s ambition and shows why it turned into a negative force for the protagonist. The author feels that Edith Wharton’s strength was exposing readers to both sides of ambition.
She was proud of the fact that unlike other women, she did not think that marriage was the solution to all her problems. She did not want to be an ordinary woman and thus marriage for its own sake was not important to her. In Book I, we see the rebellious side of Lily’s personality. It is here that we learn of some really important things about this character and her wild rather unrealistic ambitions. She harbors some foolish beliefs that make it impossible for her see beyond the obvious.