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Lily's Choice at The House of Mirth Towards the beginning of The House of Mirth, Wharton proves that Lily wouldn't really have cared to marry a man who had been only loaded: "she was secretly ashamed of her mothers primitive passion for cash" (38). Lily, like the wealthy world she enjoys, has a strange relationship with cash. She needs money to buy the sort of life she's been increased to reside, and her relative poverty makes her position precarious. Unfortunately, Lily has not yet been trained to acquire money through a huge array of methods. Wharton's wealthy socialites do not all procure money in precisely the same manner: money can be redeemed, earned working at a hat store, won at cards, traded scandalously between married men and unmarried women, or speculated for from the stock exchange. For Lily, the sphere of monetary transactions presents strong issues; she had been born, so in a sense, to marry into money, and she cannot seem to come into it another way. She's incapable of mastering the sphere of financial trades, to the point that a direct exchange is gruesome for her highly specialized nature. Finally, these trades and the obstacles they exhibit prove to be the end of her, and Wharton's text joins naturalism's Darwinian principles to an financial universe. Whether Lily's death is accidental or a stranger really does not matter in Wharton's vision, because the decision facing Lily in the end of this publication - to make a transaction or to earn a trade - requires her departure. Close to the conclusion of this book, Wharton's protagonist has to make a choice - but both options are a part of the environment in which Lily has not evolved to survive. In Lily's attempt at wage-earning and her ethical dilemma regarding Rosedale's marria...