House of Mirth

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Houseof Mirth

Houseof Mirth

&quotIwasn`t meant to be good.&quot

Thisis a quote by Lily to two other women who were in the same situationas hers of being penniless. The three women were seated at Gerty’stable after Lily had been sinking lower into dire despair andpoverty. The quote shows that Lily can, at sometimes, be realisticwith herself and realize that she may not be as good as she thoughtshe would be. At the time of the quote, it is now occurring to Lilysenses that she may never achieve her mission of marrying arelatively wealthy man who would guarantee her financial stability ora place in the higher levels of America’s Ney York City society.The goodaspectin the quote means being rich as a member of the elite upper class,social circle and getting into a safe, stable marriage.

Thatwas all he knew-all he could hope to unravel of the story. The mutelips on the pillow refused him more than his-unless indeed they hadtold him the rest in the kiss they had left upon his forehead. Yes,he could now read into that farewell all that his heart craved tofind there…”

Thequote comes at the end of the book at the time when Selden finds thecold body of Lily after she had killed herself through an overdosemeant for sleeping medication. The quote discloses the grief, pain,and reflection that come into the mind of Selden as he flashes backto the last time that she saw Lily as he had kissed her on herforehead. This is interpreted as if she was saying goodbye. In thequote, Selden is seen as a courageous man because of not blaminghimself for being too late to discover his feelings for Lily. This isromantic love between the two, though it ends up in a tragic fashionas Selden mourns the death of the love of his life.


Wharton,E. (2002). The.USA: Dover Publications.