The House of Mirth

by

Edith Wharton

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George Dorset Character Analysis

Bertha Dorset’s husband George is weak and easy to manipulate. Although he shows sincere affection and interest in Lily Bart, he ultimately proves extremely cowardly, failing to defend Lily from his wife’s lies. His self-obsession and lack of courage later become even more obvious when he begs Lily to marry him, proving that he lacks even the boldness to divorce Bertha on his own. He is also characterized by physical weakness, as he constantly suffers from indigestion, which he claims is the result of jealousy about his wife’s adulterous affairs.
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George Dorset Character Timeline in The House of Mirth

The timeline below shows where the character George Dorset appears in The House of Mirth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1: Chapter 4
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...dangerous people on one’s side. Judy adds that Bertha takes pleasure in making her husband George Dorset jealous and miserable. (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 5
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At the dinner table the night before, George Dorset, who was seated next to Lily, remarked to her that his wife, Bertha, who... (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 10
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George Dorset then walks in, interrupting Lily and Gus’s conversation. George, who felt that Lily had... (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 11
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Grace further mentions that Lily has also accepted attentions from George Dorset, but Mrs. Peniston, unwilling to believe these accusations, defends her niece and refuses to... (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 12
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...renewed their friendliness. Although she knows that rumors are now speculating about her relationship with George Dorset, Lily is more worried about Gus Trenor, whose moods are unpredictable, in part because... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 1
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When the group sees a boat in the harbor, they believe it to be George and Bertha Dorset’s cruiser, the Sabrina, where Ned Silverton and Lily are as well. They... (full context)
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...that everyone knows Bertha has brought Lily on this trip so that Lily can distract George while Bertha and Ned Silverton have an affair. (full context)
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...he would rather not see Lily if he could avoid it. In the train, though, George and Bertha Dorset, Ned Silverton, Lord Hubert Dacey, and Lily all enter his compartment, having... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 2
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...the Sabrina. After learning that Bertha Dorset has not yet left her room and that George Dorset and Ned Silverton left the yacht separately, Lily admires the view, taking pleasure in... (full context)
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...worried about Lily herself, because a journalist (Mr. Dabham) is spreading rumors that Lily and George Dorset came back from Nice alone after midnight. Although Lily initially laughs this comment off,... (full context)
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...to encourage the Duchess to have dinner with Wellington and Louisa Bry, she runs into George Dorset, who makes her feel even more apprehensive than after her conversation with Carry. As... (full context)
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After George’s long outpour of emotions, Lily asks him what he is going to do, and he... (full context)
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...that, as Bertha converses with Lord Hubert and the Duchess, she makes casual reference to George and does not seem to consider that anything is amiss. (full context)
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...with Bertha, but Bertha begins by saying that she and Ned waited for Lily and George at the station all night. When Lily replies that George told her Ned and Bertha... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 3
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After Selden receives a telegram from Lily about George Dorset, Selden decides that his most important task will be to keep the situation from... (full context)
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This strategy succeeds for a while, although when George shows up to dinner and remains largely silent, Lily wonders what Bertha’s ulterior motive could... (full context)
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...not only that Ned Silverton is gone—a fact that everyone chooses to ignore—but also that George is avoiding her. After leaving the yacht, she runs into Selden, who tells her that... (full context)
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George and Bertha Dorset then arrive at dinner together, which suggests that their problems have mysteriously... (full context)
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...the Duchess’s dinners. As everyone leaves, Lily stands up gracefully to accept her cloak from George Dorset. As people take their leave from each other, Mr. Bry calls Lily to return... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 4
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...redacted recently, is convinced that Mrs. Peniston wrote it after learning of Lily’s separation from George and Bertha Dorset. Lily insistently asks a reluctant Gerty to tell what is being said... (full context)
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...situation, realizing that she is completely alone, except for Gerty Farish. After her separation from George and Bertha Dorset, Lily spent a few weeks in London, where, supported by the Duchess... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 5
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...superior to them, although she knows that this is the effect of her troubles with George and Bertha Dorset. At the Gormers’, what is asked of her is simply to add... (full context)
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Conscious of Lily’s dilemma, Carry Fisher suggests that Lily marry either George Dorset, who is having problems with Bertha again and would probably only leave his wife... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 6
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...Long Island. One day, as Lily is walking on the beach, she suddenly comes across George Dorset, whose house is nearby. Instead of ignoring Lily, as she thought he would, George... (full context)
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As George explains that Bertha also manipulates him and that he desperately needs a friend, Lily feels... (full context)
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...after having found a hotel where she could stay, she receives a surprise visit from George Dorset, who once again begs her to save him. However, as she did earlier, Lily... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 7
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...powerful, but that they also know that Lily could take her revenge anytime by marrying George Dorset. (full context)