Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

I.XV.1 Mirth

In Book 1, Chapter 3, Lily's contrasts the fate of Gerty Farish with her luxurious circumstances at the Trenor's: 

"It was a hateful fate--but how escape from it? What choice had she? To be herself, or a Gerty Farish. As she entered her bedroom, with its softly-shaded lights, her lace dressing-gown lying across the silken bedspread, her little embroidered slippers before the fire, a vase of carnations filling the air with perfume, and the last novels and magazines lying uncut on a table beside the reading-lamp, she had a vision of Miss Farish's cramped flat, with its cheap conveniences and hideous wall-papers. No; she was not made for mean and shabby surroundings, for the squalid compromises of poverty. Her whole being dilated in an atmosphere of luxury; it was the background she required, the only climate she could breathe in. But the luxury of others was not what she wanted."

Lily's discomfort and poor sleep here in Chapter 15 represents the social and financial decline that she so fears during that opening, intimate scene with Lily in her Bellomont bedroom. 

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