Silas Lapham

Silas Lapham

William Dean Howells

In the novel, The Rise of Silas Lapham, William Dean Howells makes a particular point about the morals of an individual in the business world. His point is that an individual, such as Silas, must check their morals at the door if they have any plans to make it in the business world. The novel has always been popular, partly because it presents Lapham?s financial and social failure as ?consciously and deliberately chosen? when he has to decide whether he shall cheat and stay on top in business or tell the truth and fail irrecoverably (Gibson 283). The Rise of Silas Lapham is a novel that deals with the potential moral corruption of a man by money. The outward signs of Silas Lapham?s corruption are his attempts to buy his way into social acceptance with a costly house and to buy his way out of moral responsibility through the deliberately unwise loan to a former partner and victim. The loan, made with money that his wife prevented him from spending on the house, is a complicatio!
n that is neither accidental nor trivial. His eventual ?rise? is a moral one resulting from

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