Through out the novel, The House of Mirth, Lily Bart's character changes mentally, emotionally and socially. She starts out as a witty, charming, and beautiful young lady, whom is liked by all, but she ends up lonesome and afraid. She is not able to live up to her mother's teachings in becoming a wealthy, married women, and will give way to the fate of an outcast. The character of Lily is dragged down and out of society by cruel and devilish people, whom care of nothing but themselves, and the materialistic objects that they own. Lily grew and changed throughout the novel, while learning there is more to life than money and objects. She learns to see what is on the inside instead of the outside, however she comes to this conclusion the hard way.
Socially, Lily Bart starts out at being on the top. She is beautiful and funny, everyone who knows her likes her and everyone who doesn't know her wants to get to know her. Her friends cannot understand how a woman with her charm and beauty is not yet married. Lily bases her life on the parties she goes to and the people that she is seen with. The men that she surrounds her self with, are men of much stature and fortune. All though she is very intrigued with Lawrence Selden at the beginning of the book, she rules him out as a husband because of his money stature. Even though Simon Rosedale has a lot of money, Lily despises him with a passion, and rules him out because he is not a very liked man. At the beginning of the book, Lily cares only of what people think about her. She always needs to impress somebody, or to feel that she is in control or has some sort of power over the "little people" in society. As the book goes on, Lily learns that she cannot treat people like they are insignificant and that their feelings don't matter. Lily tried to use her beauty to help her, which it did for a while, but at the end of the book her beauty and charm only hurt her.