The Rise of Silas Lapham [William Dean Howells] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Rise of Silas Lapham is about the materialistic rise. The The Rise of Silas Lapham Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character by William Dean Howells The novel begins with the business man protagonist, Silas Lapham’s involvement with an interview . The novel recounts the moral dilemma of Colonel Silas Lapham, a newly wealthy , self-made businessman who has climbed over his former partner on the.

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If I were looking for a book to read for pleasure rather than one I had to read for graduat The Signet Classics edition of Silas Lapham is preceded by what may be the worst introduction to an important novel that I’ve ever read. One person found this helpful.

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Add both to Cart Add both to List. When society was preserved, the baser aspects of human life were overcome with reason. Tom works mainly out of choice but his family’s money is slowly withering away.

As a Bostonian who has lived in the Back Bay, I was intrigued by his descriptions of it and Beacon Hill in the latter half of the 19th century. Each character is good and bad, makes mistakes, sometimes learns from a mistake and sometimes doesn’t. In he was one of the first seven people chosen for membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters, of which he became president.

Silas Lapham just didn’t catch my inter I didn’t read much beyond the first half of this book. Like other national literatures, American literature was shaped by the history of the country that produced it. His return from Texas to begin the mining and selling of paint is later paralleled by Tom Corey’s return from the same state to work in the business with Silas.

His dialogue and character analysis ring true. The story and the characters carry the reader along with anticipation until the ending. His poems were collected during andand a volume under the title Stops of Various Quills was published during Jul 07, David Lentz rated riss really liked it. I like this and the lives described felt very real too me. When Tom Corey begins calling on the Laphams regularly, everyone assumes his interest in Irene has grown, and Irene takes a fancy to him.


Still today, many tie themselves in knots to be accepted into the right social group. The Corey family, despite their snobbishness, lxpham likewise very decent people as they seem to feel it would be bad manners to be hwells.

The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells

Coming from the west coast, I never had to read this book in high school, but I found it much in the same vein as other nineteenth century American literary classics dealing with socioeconomic disparities and big-picture themes of morality, civility, capitalism, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and Christian values. Silas is drunk by the end of the chapter. Also, she hasn’t any interest in female flippery, but still behaves like a lady. Lapham’s money is immediately stressed as his sole claim to fame.

We get some irse out of it, but it is still middling stuff.

He reads clearly and with feeling but doesn’t over-dramatize. Set up a giveaway. The Rise of Silas Lapham opens at the end of the protagonist’s material rise and at the beginning of a moral one.

Though this th perhaps his best known work – and maybe his best work also – this is still just 4 stars from me.

The dialogue seems stilted, cold and formal in places slias that may tend to be so in Boston. Open Preview See a Problem? If only the sisters can sort out their romantic triangle. In his “Editor’s Study” column at the Atlantic Monthly and, later, at Harper’s, he formulated and disseminated his theories of “realism” in literature.

It was an interesting device to move the story along. The first forever of pages talks about nothing but paint and the Lapham family paint factory. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind.


Why did I like the risr so well? Casper suggested that The Rise of Silas Lapham was partly a satire on contemporary biography conventions.

The Rise of Silas Lapham

It must touch the consciousness of a great many people; and as we descendants of the Puritans are said to be always on the lookout for a moral — it will teach the much needed lesson that money cannot do everything. The scene of the Corey dinner party where he can’t follow the conversation and drinks too much wine out of nervousness is particularly endearing in a horrifying, humiliating sort of way. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Silas Lapham has indeed made a fortune in the paint business, but the family does not try to break into Brahmin society.

I have a similar complaint of Henry James who seems to write elegantly and prolifically about little of importance. Silas reminded me of Michael Henchard, the mayor of Casterbridge: The fact that he admires his mother’s working instead of praying points out Silas’ philosophy of “Work and it shall be opened to you. Howells explores the conflicts and stresses on the Lapham family as the son of one of Boston’s First Families goes to work for Silas and begins to court one of his daughters.

The Rise of Silas Lapham | novel by Howells |

Jul 21, Al rated it liked it. To ask other howella questions about The Rise of Silas Howwellsplease sign up. Lapham shows his storeroom of paint, which is stocked in many sizes and colors. Howells was very well connected as a writer in Boston and traveled widely abroad during his life among the upper class.

They go back to it several times as well. That it’s invited so many literary and cultural critics to sound in on its multiple aspects is no surprise.