Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

I.II Mirth

Wharton's antisemitic depiction of Rosedale via Lily's point of view has been debated among Wharton scholars for decades. Below are a few sources discussing issues of race and Jewishness in Wharton's writing. I find it interesting how, throughout the novel, Rosedale embodies both the exhaustive capitalist spirit, for he seems ever-present and energized by financial investment and opportunity, and a deteriorating force upon refined bourgeois and upper-class Americanism as epitomized by characters such as Percy Gryce who is the Anglo-Saxon ideal of leisurely consumption and cultural preservation (his Americana collection). I do not explore this in my monograph (one can only analyze one novel for so long in a single book), but I believe it would be a useful line of inquiry to investigate how Rosedale--and the cultural changes his racialized character exemplifies--is portrayed as contributing to or correlating with Lily's increasing exhaustion. 

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