As the last of the chapeters in the House of Mirth were consumed I found myself totally unsatisfied. I dont understand the reason that niether Lily or Sledon come out and express their love. I was actually at the poitn where I had to put the book down, and remind myself that this isn't real life, but as I was calming myself I was thinking about a the same feelings I had during The Blithedale Romance. The way I feel about novles is more like an investment, you invest your time and effort into it hoping for some sort of pay off, but that doesn't always happen. This novel and others like it, leave the audience feeling empty at the end, the investment of Lily and Seldon never matures to the point where there is a gratifying payoff. Watching Lily go through this novel and not only miss her opportunity at loving someone but, missing her chance to tell the one she really loves that she in fact does love him, leaves us with nothing. Why have a novel that never reaches its ultimate potential? This makes me wonder if Wharton felt the same way I do after I finish, like the piece was never fully developed or reached felt final in any way.
The other thing I've been wondering and really trying to work out in my head, is why exactly does Lily not play her trump card and expose Bertha for who she really is. This makes absolutely no sense. All Lily really wants is to be part of high society, yet she seems to want to do it in a quasi honest way. Whereas everyone else around her doesn't care how they get their status, just as long as they get it. Again, this only adds to the frustration that is Lily. She never reaches her potential as a character and to me this is perplexing, Wharton alomst teases us with this character and this book.
As I get my closure with this book, I understand where this book stands within the canon.
Good book, but very limiting when in characters develope....or don't.