Wharton’s noble social background was very influential on her writing. It allowed Wharton to give an insider’s perspective on the wealthy people of New York during this time. Due to her first hand view of society during the Gilded Age, Wharton was able to satirize this society and also reference the tragedies that go on through out it. In a letter to Dr. Morgan Dix, a rector of Trinity Church in New York, Wharton wrote: "Social conditions as they are just now in our new world, where the sudden possession of money has come without inherited obligations, or any traditional sense of solidarity between the classes, is a vast and absorbing field for the novelist” (Wharton “To Dr. Morgan” 98). In the novel, The House of Mirth, Wharton displays this opinion of society through the main character of the novel, Lily Bart. Lily is an unmarried woman without wealthy parents and no significant income of her own. In order to achieve financial and social stability, she must marry...
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...as Gossip Girl and 90210. Without Wharton’s novels, people of the twenty-first century would not know what goes on throughout the upper class.
Dwight, Eleanor. Edith Wharton: An Extraordinary Life. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994.
Lee, Hermione. Edith Wharton. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. Print.
Olin-Ammentorp, Julie. “Edith Wharton’s Challenge to Feminist Criticism.” Studies in American
Fiction. 16.2, 1998. 237-44. Rpt. in Novels for Students. Ed. David Galens. Vol. 15.
Detroit: Gale, 2002. 72-76. Print.
Singley, Carol J., ed. A Historical Guide To Edith Wharton. New York: Oxford UP, 2003. Print.
Wharton, Edith. The House of Mirth. New York: Vintage Books, 2012. Print.
Wharton, Edith. "To Dr. Morgan Dix."The Letters of Edith Wharton. Ed. Nancy Lewis. New
York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 5 Dec 1905. 98-100. Print.
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