Reporting on the Lives of Women (Appendix F)during the time in which House of Mirth was written was very eye-opening to me. It's easy to read the novel and think about how bizarre and sad Lily's life and behaviors were and to write it off as just a story. But realizing that Edith Wharton's purpose in writting the book was to satirically comment on actual women and behaviors present in that time, makes it much more incredible. It's so sad to me to think that women lived with their only goal being to get married and find a rich husband who can support them.
Then I realized that I large percentage of today's women only live with the goal in mind to marry rich. I hear people all the time saying their financial plan is to marry a rich man. While most of this is joking, it is obviously routed in a very true practice, and there is some subconscious truth in it. Many women are perfectly happy having their husbands "bring home the bacon" while they stay at home and raise the children. Their is nothing necessarily wrong with this, but it does show that maybe we are not so far from Lily Bart than we think.