The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth

Simon Rosedale Character Analysis

A rich man who experiences extraordinary success on the stock market, Simon Rosedale is initially rejected by the high society he wants to integrate into. However, his financial savvy and his fierce determination to succeed at social climbing ultimately bear fruit, as he becomes increasingly accepted in upper-class circles. In love with Lily Bart, he often surprises her with his refreshing straightforwardness, which is at odds with the conventions of New York’s high society. At the same time, he shows little regard for moral principles when he tries to convince Lily to use Bertha Dorset’s letters to regain social clout, highlighting society’s cruelty and hypocrisy as justification for unethical behavior such as blackmail. Although Lily is initially repulsed by him, she comes to admire his sincerity and loyalty, as he proves committed to helping her even when she is living a working-class life.

Simon Rosedale Quotes in The House of Mirth

The The House of Mirth quotes below are all either spoken by Simon Rosedale or refer to Simon Rosedale. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover edition of The House of Mirth published in 2002.
Book 2: Chapter 11 Quotes

She lay awake viewing her situation in the crude light which Rosedale’s visit had shed on it. In fending off the offer he was so plainly ready to renew, had she not sacrificed to one of those abstract notions of honor that might be called the conventionalities of the moral life? What debt did she owe to a social order which had condemned and banished her without trial? She had never been heard in her own defense; she was innocent of the charge on which she had been found guilty; and the irregularity of her conviction might seem to justify the use of methods as irregular in recovering her lost rights.

Related Characters: Lily Bart, Bertha Dorset, Simon Rosedale
Related Symbols: Bertha’s Letters
Page Number: 244
Explanation and Analysis:
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Simon Rosedale Character Timeline in The House of Mirth

The timeline below shows where the character Simon Rosedale appears in The House of Mirth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1: Chapter 1
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
Once in the street, Lily runs into Simon Rosedale, an acquaintance she would have preferred to avoid. Mr. Rosedale takes pleasure in Lily’s embarrassment... (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 2
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
...behavior, such as going to see Selden in his apartment. She realizes that lying to Rosedale was a terrible mistake, since it only emphasized the riskiness of what she did, whereas... (full context)
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
Lily remembers the first time she met Mr. Rosedale, whom she immediately felt repulsed by. She recalls deliberately ignoring him in public, and wonders... (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 5
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
At the end of dinner, when Lily heard the name of Simon Rosedale mentioned, she wondered if she might one day have to consider marrying him if she... (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 7
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...gives her his opinion about certain members of society. For example, he predicts that Simon Rosedale, despite being despised by most members of society, will soon be so rich thanks to... (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 8
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...that, in addition, seems unlikely, since Gus is relying on a reliable “tip” that Simon Rosedale gave him. (full context)
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
Grumpy about Lily’s absence, Gus asks her to be nice to Mr. Rosedale as compensation, since most women present have been avoiding him. Lily then prepares herself to... (full context)
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
Gus Trenor, now accompanied by Simon Rosedale, reappears, treating Lily in a familiar way that makes her feel disgusted. Despite her promise... (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 10
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...few days after this party, Lily receives a visit at her aunt’s house from Mr. Rosedale. Although she tries to make him feel welcome, she feels revulsion for him and cannot... (full context)
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
After upsetting Lily with these unsubtle comments, Rosedale finally leaves, glad to have made Lily nervous, because he believes that increases his potential... (full context)
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
On the day Lily accompanies Mr. Rosedale to the opera, she feels elegant and beautiful, and does not feel threatened at all... (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 11
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
...for any aspect of social life, remembers this period as one in which everyone except Rosedale and Wellington and Louisa Bry felt poor, because of severe problems on Wall Street. At... (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 12
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...and she remains annoyed by some of people’s criticism, as they disparage Lily’s acquaintance with Rosedale and Wellington and Louisa Bry. (full context)
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...Gerty concludes that Lily is caring and compassionate, invoking in addition Lily’s politeness toward Mr. Rosedale and her two visits to Gerty’s charity as evidence of Lily’s natural generosity. (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 13
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
...then implies that Lily must have already borrowed and “settled [her] scores” with Selden and Rosedale. This vicious outburst leaves both of them silent, frozen in place. Gus then realizes that... (full context)
Book 1: Chapter 15
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
...o’clock, Lily is relieved to hear the bell ring at five. However, instead of Selden, Rosedale walks in, which irritates Lily. After discussing Wellington and Louisa Bry’s entertainment, Rosedale suddenly says... (full context)
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
Lily remains silent as she listens to Rosedale promise to give her all the money she might ever want. When Lily is forced... (full context)
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
Speaking very straightforwardly, Rosedale adds that he could put all her troubles in the past, and the allusion to... (full context)
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
After Rosedale leaves, Lily is convinced that Selden will write to her to explain his absence, but... (full context)
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...which she was going to write to Selden, Lily begins to write a message to Rosedale but finds herself unable to form words. Then, at ten o’clock, when the doorbell rings... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 2
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
...perfect break from her troubles and has allowed her to relax, blurring such problems as Rosedale’s proposal and her debt to Gus Trenor. (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 5
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
...problems with Bertha again and would probably only leave his wife for Lily, or Simon Rosedale, who still demonstrates his affection toward Lily when he spends time with Sam and Mattie... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 7
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
In the meantime, Lily becomes convinced that she needs to find a way to marry Rosedale. When she goes to visit Carry Fisher at her house at Tuxedo in November, Mrs.... (full context)
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The next day, Lily takes a walk with Rosedale and thinks of the memorable walk she took with Selden in Bellomont last September. As... (full context)
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
Rosedale resolves to explain his perspective clearly. Although he insists he does not believe the stories... (full context)
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
As Lily makes a move to leave, thanking him for his honesty, Rosedale reiterates forcefully that he does not believe in the rumors about her. He then startles... (full context)
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Since Lily seems unwilling to do this, Rosedale suggests that the best way for Lily to regain her power would be for Bertha... (full context)
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Marrying him, Rosedale argues, would be Lily’s only sustainable protection against Bertha, since, in light of the rumors... (full context)
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
Irritated and surprised, Rosedale concludes that Lily’s attitude must be explained by an effort to protect Selden, to whom... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 8
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...which keeps on functioning without her, without caring about her fate. Despite Lily’s reaction to Rosedale’s plan, which she had rejected without actually thinking about it, she soon finds herself unconsciously... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 10
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
As Lily exits the store, she suddenly runs into Rosedale, who is shocked to see how unwell Lily looks. He takes her to a hotel... (full context)
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
As Rosedale observes Lily, he is once again startled by her beauty. He asks about her life,... (full context)
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
When Rosedale inquires further about Lily’s situation, she finds herself admitting to him that she owes her... (full context)
Money and Happiness Theme Icon
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...might lead her to renounce to her ideals and, perhaps, even encourage her to follow Rosedale’s original plan to re-enter high society. Finally, she realizes that her only hope lies in... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 11
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
When Lily returns home, she sees Rosedale on the doorstep and feels hopeful again. Rosedale is shocked to hear that Lily is... (full context)