Thursday, April 8, 2010


Miss Lily Bart: Unconventional is the first word that comes to mind. We are introduced to her during an unconventional act. She has some time to spare when she runs into Selden. She decides that she will spend the time in Selden’s pad which is very unconventional for her time. People get to talking when you are spending time alone in a bachelors pad. “She still had the art of blushing at the right time.” I love this quote, she is able to add the wisdom of her twenty nine years to her beauty that she has retained. She knows of the implications going to his pad will imply but she wants to but saves face with the blushing gesture. “I’ll take the risk,” she says wishing to make the innocent impression that society expects. Later we see her most unconventional habit: gambling. For a woman to gamble during this time is ludicrous, I really see no reason for her to gamble either. She is not lucky or skilled at the game so it becomes just an expense for her. Expense leads us to the last unconventional idea that we I will speak of. She makes a conscious decision to marry for money. Now most women do not have choices at who they will marry, the men choose who to court and they general accept marriage proposals. But Lily is clever, and beautiful, and she decides that she needs money before love to live happily. I would have guessed that she could have had Gryce but would fall for another and have to choose between money and love. It is interesting that even though she is so beautiful there is a woman that could beat her to Gryce’s money. That is exactly how she sees it when she says, “Why should Percy Gryce’s millions be joined to another great fortune, why should this clumsy girl be put in possession of powers she would never know how to use?” Unconventional is the word when we look at this statement, she sees the power in money but very few women of that time would make this connection and decide to marry into money for the power.

1 comment:

  1. She is unconventional, as you say, Dane, but she has the intelligence to see that she must appear conventional, and that's what she has trouble doing.