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House of Mirth - The Nature of Nature Nature, whether in the form of the arctic tundra of the North Pole or the busy street-life of Manhattan, has been seen by Naturalist authors as a phenomena which necessarily challenged individual survival; some phenomena, also, which operated on Darwin's maxim of their "survival of the fittest." This contrasted sharply with the Romantic opinion, which worshipped Nature because of its beauty, beneficence and self-liberating powers. At Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, '' Lily Bart tries to "live" within the urbane "drawing-room" society she inhabits. Though Selden uses Romantic nature imagery to explain Lily, throughout the novel such Romantic imagery and its accompanying meanings are always subverted. By simply invoking different understandings and perspectives of "Nature," Wharton demonstrates that not only will be Lily's ability to "accommodate" to various environments isn't always salutary, but also that blossom imagery, utilized in an ironic manner, catches perfectly Lily's requirement for "climates of luxury." It is Wharton's picture of a "hot-house," nevertheless, which ultimately catches the odd nature of the things, to Wharton, actually is Nature. Lily, even though a city-dweller, is clarified by Selden as anyone who is intimately connected with a benevolent, life-giving Nature. He exclaims, "The mindset revealed the long slope of her slim sides, which gave a sort of wild-wood grace for her outline- like she were a captured dryad subdued to the conventions of the drawing-room" (13). Selden's idea of Lily's "sylvan freedom" along with her interconnectedness to all things "organic" is echoed later in the novel, when Lily is either portrayed as, or in comparison to, a "rose," (167) that an.