The House of Mirth chapter 8
Lily Bart and Gerty Farish are looking over the display of wedding gifts at the Stepney wedding reception. Gerty is enjoying the evening, happy for the newlyweds. Lily does not catch the bouquet; she catches a serious case of envy.
Wharton crafts a beautiful description of the bride’s jewels, and then she writes the sentences which turned me against Lily Bart.
The glow of the stones warmed Lily’s veins like wine. More completely than any other expression of wealth they symbolized the life she longed to lead, the life of fastidious aloofness and refinement in which every detail should have the finish of a jewel, and the whole form a harmonious setting to her own jewel-like rareness.
I’m so disappointed in Miss Lily Bart. Jewelry “warms [her] veins like wine“?! ugh.