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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He shows Hubbard his first-rate paint, the Persis Brand. American Literature and Mass Culture, Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. The setup is a family that has become successful in the sale of a unique kind of paint and they have moved themselves from Vermont to Boston. This book is worth reading simply because of howella structure — it is perfectly symmetrical.

The Rise of Silas Lapham

Thank you for your feedback. Lapham is redeemed morally after his business failure, while his daughter finds a new, more levelheaded, perspective on life. Also, I just really liked Silas.

Howells casts a penetrating eye over the class snobbery of that day which isn’t really any different nowthe false priorities and vanity that promote ostentatious waste of money to buy status, and the myriad small ways that we either treat each other with kindness and respect, or fail to do so. Lapham plagues Silas with remembrance of his sin, and he seizes the opportunity to repay his partner by lending him money that he cannot return. He visits with the daughters of the Colonel frequently, some confusion occurs not only as the two families of different social classes intermix but also in a classic who-loves-who mix up.


No, you had got greedy, Silas. One person found this helpful.

The Rise of Silas Lapham, by William Dean Howells

The story and the characters carry the reader along with anticipation until the ending. See all 44 reviews. View all 9 comments. And yet, Silas and his family come through their financial ruin with their characters not only intact, but also strengthened and edified. He loses his money but makes alpham right moral decision when his partner proposes the unethical selling of the mills to English settlers.

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. American laphamm, the body of written works produced in the English language in the United States.

Howells later reveals that Mrs. I’ll be looking up more. One such plot is discussed at more length by the characters, only to have the plot of Silas Lapham turn in the same direction.

The comedy part comes in with the irony that Silas Lapham views his honest earning of a fortune through tye enterprise as a sign of his social worthiness, while the old money upper class society views that same thing as a sign of his social unworthiness.


The Norton-provided footnote makes some blah comment about “Giles Corey was evidently the patriarch of the Corey family. I have a similar complaint of Henry James who seems to write elegantly and prolifically about little of importance.

The Rise of Silas Lapham | novel by Howells |

University of Pennsylvania Press, Thank You for Your Contribution! Corey finds true love in the arms of Lapham’s less attractive, but sensible, older daughter. These facets are considered under the heading Americanism and Universality. Lapham urges her husband to support the man, whom he had pushed out of the paint company in what was deemed an inappropriate manner.

Nov 02, Laurel Hicks rated it it was amazing Shelves: Silas Lapham became wealthy as a paint magnate, but longed for the social prominence so important in the Boston of the s. The relationship between these two characters makes the book well-worth reading.

Boston, Massachusetts United States.

Besides, this novel demonstrates that it doesn’t need a plot-line full of garbage in order to be well constructed.