Thursday, April 15, 2010

Financial Freedom vs. Debt Cage

Lily would like to have her cake and eat it too. We see through her endeavor that it is impossible for her to achieve the two things that she wants most in life. These two things are financial stability, and a life of morality. She is given a chance to black mail Bertha, regain her social standing, and then marry Rosedale giving her financial stability. Blackmailing Bertha would go against her morals so she doesn’t do it, yet she holds onto the letters. This shows the struggle that is going on within her throughout the novel. In times when she feels trapped by her debt she begins to like the idea of just regaining her social standing and marrying into someone who can give her the finances necessary to achieve the social standing that she wants. But when she frees herself of debt she then begins to think about what would make her happy in a marriage besides the social standing aspect. Seldon is who could make her happy from a relationship standpoint. This is very apparent when Lily is planning on a walk with Gryce (who she plans on marrying and achieving her financial stability). The money is so close all she has to do is take the walk and begin the courting process. But then Seldon pops up, and she decides to take a walk with him. This ruins her chance at financial stability because Gryce feels snubbed and decides not to court her. Soon enough the pressures of the debt she falls into return her think to finding a man with money to marry. She starts talking to Rosedale, and realizes that this is her next chance to achieve a rich marriage. But holds out once again because she feels she can do better. There has to be a man like Seldon but with money. That side of her that wants a relationship pulls her away. It is a never ending spiral until she sees Nettie. Nettie shows her that true happiness comes from the relationship and finances may come as a side dish. But Seldon is to slow to come to her when she most definitely would accept his marriage proposal, and she dies. And thus ends the spiral.

1 comment:

  1. These are the two things that Lily wants above all, and they're mutually exclusive. In reading your post, I'm reminded of just how many times Selden comes between Lily and the completion of one of her plans, though whether this saves or destroys her is a matter of debate.