The House of Mirth


Edith Wharton

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Mr. Ned Van Alstyne Character Analysis

A member of the long-established, wealthy Van Alstyne family, Lily Bart’s father’s cousin tries to protect Lily’s reputation by telling Lawrence Selden to keep quiet about seeing her with Gus Trenor. At the same time, his crude comments about Lily’s physical qualities shock Selden, who considers him a typical example of the intellectually unrefined circle Lily wants to be a part of.
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Mr. Ned Van Alstyne Character Timeline in The House of Mirth

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Ned Van Alstyne appears in The House of Mirth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1: Chapter 12
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...vivant shows him “the real Lily Bart,” without her social artifices. However, when Selden hears Ned Van Alstyne comment inelegantly on Lily’s beauty, he feels indignant, as he believes that the tone and... (full context)
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...Selden does not follow her. Instead, he walks inside and listens as Gus Trenor and Ned Van Alstyne crudely discuss Lily’s figure. (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 14
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
Van Alstyne accompanies Selden on a walk, and the two of them discuss Wellington and Louisa Bry’s... (full context)