The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton examines conflicts between rigid social expectation and personal desire. Lily Bart is adept at playing society's games, which expect her to achieve an advantageous marriage.
Torn between her desire for luxurious living and a relationship based on mutual respect and love, she manages to sabotage all her possible chances for a wealthy marriage. Beautiful and well-trained as to "proper" behavior, Lily has many opportunities to marry a wealthy man, but none of them ever seem to work out.
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