The House of Mirth tells the story of Lily Bart, a woman who is torn between her desire for luxurious living and a relationship based on mutual respect and love. She sabotages all her possible chances for a wealthy marriage, loses the esteem of her social circle, and dies young, poor, and alone. The novel is Wharton's first important work of fiction, written in the style of a novel of manners, and considered to be part of American literary naturalism.
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