This definition reflects how deeply rooted this desire for money and status is in Lily.
She cannot confine herself to the artificial behavior of the upper-class women, she cannot settle on a marriage that isn’t the best, and she cannot decide between the happiness of true love and the happiness of wealth.
Unfortunately, just as society is at this moment turning “its illuminated face” to her, it will also continue to revolve, taking its glorious light elsewhere and leaving Lily in the dark.
This decision makes her feel as though she is in control and winning the game of manipulation and artifice that is upper class socializing.
Also, it is appropriate that Selden, who opened the novel by observing Lily from across the train station, finish the novel observing her even more intimately, but with just as many questions in his mind.
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This comment appears late in Book Two, after Lily has been sinking lower and lower into poverty and despair.
She sits at Gerty’s table, talking about two other women who have found themselves penniless, and begins to see the parallels to her own situation.