Year: 1974 Source: American Literature, v.46, (March 1974), p.16-40 SIEC No: 19851035

C. Wolff discusses the death of E. Wharton’s central character, Lily Bart, in The House of Mirth. In her view, the interpretation Wharton intended was the comparison between the possession of an art object, in the true sense, & the possession of woman as an object of art. Wolff sees women of this era (late 19th century) as adornments or decoration, a symbol of status for a household. The atributes of art are bestowed upon Lily Bart, who cannot cope with this empty view of herslf & chooses death.