If you got it flaunt it

In the book, The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton, the characters are extremely interesting in how they choose to present themselves. There is one social group in which they are all rich upper class Americans, with an aura of snobbishness surrounding them. Then there is one woman who ran with this crowd and she did not quite fit into the label of a “snob”, yet she was consumed with Veblens theory of “conspicuous consumption”. That character was Lily Bart. Wharton portrays these characters to think that what they have, and in some cases do not have, is wonderful and should be flaunted. Thorstien Veblens whole idea of conspicuous consumption is to broadcast what one has. In his piece Theory of the leisure class, he states, “the consumption of luxuries , in the true sense, is a consumption directed to the comfort of the consumer himself, and is therefore a mark of the master.” The word mirth in The House of Mirth, clearly defines what Veblen is saying. Mirth means festivities, fun, glee, all those definitions is what the people in the book are looking to have or do. But when they do it, they go all out, show off at those festivities. These people were the upper crust of the fashionable New York City society, yet had false values and it showed. In the beginning of the book, we see that Lily has a sense of arrogance. There was an uncertainty of whether to hate her or to be totally intimidated by her. She came across as an heiress, but by no means was she even close to one. The way Lawrence Selden described her, one could imagine her to be a dainty; beautiful woman. “Her vivid head, relieved against the dull tints of the crowd, made her more “conspicuous” than in a ball room”, Lawrence said. Lawrence was obviously impressed by Lilys demeanor and class. When Lily and Lawrence went back to his apartment, one could tell that Lily was consumed by the silly ideals of the women from that time period. She co…

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