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Word Count: 2,254
In the novel The House of Mirth the protagonist Lily Bart is trapped in a world filled with materialism shallowness and hatred In the high society of New York the only way to be accepted is to have money and lots of it In Lilys case she needs money in order to buy the life in which she was raised However the means to attain that money are limited Unfortunately Lily has not been trained to obtain that money in many ways She believes that only by marrying a rich man will she be able to live the life of luxury that she is so accustomed to In this day and age women were seen as inferior to men Therefore womens aspirations dreams and goals were not even considered if they had anything other to do than getting married raising a family or shopping Money is a key theme in this novel and it plays an important role in Lilys life In fact it rules her life in many ways In the past present and even future of Lilys life the desire to obtain money has always been a major part of her life Beginning with Mrs Barts training early on in Lilys life to the what could have been future if she did not kill herself In this essay we will see how Lily Bart the protagonist is a slave to money and how she struggles to make choices between money and love On one hand Lily desires money She cannot survive without it and she will do almost anything for it On the other hand whenever she is with Selden she realizes the shallow nature of the upper class society she so longingly wants to be a part of However even though she loves Selden she will not marry him because he is not rich Hence the struggle between love and money All her life Lily has been accustomed to having money Her
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