Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

II.IX.4 Mirth

A 1905 volume of "The Outlook" (published the same year as The House of Mirth) refutes stereotypes of "Oriental Indolence," stating that "nothing is farther from the truth." In this passage, Wharton frames performative leisure as typical of those of Asian descent. Specifically, Wharton seems to be influenced by assumptions about Chinese immigrants' abuse of opium. Perhaps not coincidentally, it is Mrs. Hatch's chloral prescription that Lily uses to obtain a soporific with mechanisms similar to opium.

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