The Rise of Silas Lapham Eng. 101
Mr. Sewell, in The Rise of Silas Lapham, is created by the author as a man of wisdom; he is a Unitarian minister whom Lapham viewed as a man with great knowledge, and understanding of how things worked, and how they should have been such as marriage, and politics. Mr. Sewell’s advice about” the economy of pain” is related to realism, by the triangle between Irene, Tom, and Penelope. His advice to Lapham, and his wife was “to let one suffer instead of three, if none is to blame?” (Howells, 226). He suggested that Tom and Penelope should not have to give up their love for each other for the sake of Irene. Irene will just have to endure the heartbreak of losing one’s first love, and face the reality about taking time to fall in love more maturely, and wisely. The year that the book was meant to represent was very different compared to now when things are more modernize. Back then, things such as a woman professing her love to a man was frown upon because it was believed that the man should be the one to profess his love for the woman he is interested in. In recent years, which has bring forth new moral standards, a woman can profess her love for a man, if she wish too and vice versa, which relate to a more realistic view of how things would have turned out, between Irene and Tom if she had told him how she felt about him, instead of her waiting for him to tell her, whether or not he was going to ask for her hand in marriage. One can only predict if she had let her feelings known to Tom, it would had been easier for her to accept things and move on, instead of lingering on something that would never happen. Irene had always been in love with Tom since the day they met. In Irene Mr. and Mrs. Lapham’s minds, they all came to the conclusion that Tom was...
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