Inside your home of Joy, Percy Gryce is a rich young suitable bachelor upon whom Lily, one of Whartons central character types, sets sight on. Gryce is used by Wharton as being a vehicle to convey the shallowness and brutality with the New York high society, generally through Darwinian references. Thinking about the endurance of the fittest was rising to elevated influence in science and through contemporary society at the time of the novels distribution. Wharton plays on this medical finding and uses this as a prolonged metaphor in which to animalise her heroes, and thus make sure they are appear to you more fierce, ferocious. As well as this, the animalisation of the characters is used for making satire from the society mainly because it conflicts with each of the character types self-belief that they will be far more sophisticated than anybody else, or any different ‘species’ as an example. Wharton uses a variety of various other literary techniques and extended metaphors over the novel to spell out Percy Gryce which mock the contemporary society he is element of.
Percy Gryce is first depicted as being a shy person by the omniscient narrator, who describes him to be ‘dissembling himself in back of an open for use newspaper’. Wharton’s lexical choice of the verb ‘dissembling’ is synonymous to ‘acting’ or ‘pretending’ which is to imply that Gryce is in fact posing as reading the newspaper to prevent contact with Lily Bart, a fellow passenger and protagonist within the book. The narrator (Wharton) then simply continues to remark upon just how peculiarly ‘engrossed’ Gryce is in his newspapers which once again invites the reader to problem the legitimacy of Gryce’s true motives when ‘reading’ the newspaper. Wharton has been doing this to lead the reader to an initial realization that Gryce is a self conscious man who not benefit from the company more. Wharton features then offered Lily to begin to follow Gryce, a man who is minding his individual business. Wharton has mocked the New York high world here while despite Gryce’s best efforts to avoid speaking to someone on the train lily totally ignores this and appears only to his wealth as an indication that he is attractive to her despite his glaring individuality defects. This theme of shallowness is used often by Wharton to model the New York high society as this is been shown to be the character types common trait, vanity.
Physically, Gryce is a gentleman with ‘a face looking as though it had been dipped in crimson. ‘ Red is used simply by Wharton to connote the aristocratic/wealthy part to Gryce. (The colors of Elizabethan clothes, such as colour red, provided advice about the status from the man or woman wearing them. This was not only dictated by the wealth of anybody, it also shown their cultural standing. ) The red colour as well demonstrates discomfiture/blushing from Gryce as he is usually an awkward person and notices the ‘hand gripping the back of his chair’ coming from Lily Bart. Gryce is definitely further shown to have ‘the reddish tint in his beard’ ‘deepen’ again providing further implications of his prosperity and humiliation. Wharton has done this for ironic purposes which in turn mocks New York large society.
Gryce is then presented by Wharton because ‘prey’ which makes him the victim of the cruel chilly hearted and shallow culture that is described throughout the book. This theme of Hunter and Hunted is continued when Wharton shows that ‘Lily had known the species before’. Wharton has been doing this to mock the society Lily and Gryce are a element of through the use of paradox. The irony is usually that the sophistication the characters believe they are is put into kampfstark contrast for the animals through which they behave like. This animalistic character of the heroes social composition is used throughout the novel by Wharton when it comes to satire they can be ‘brutal’ and ‘self-engrossed’. Gryce epitomises the shallowness of the contemporary society not through his individual actions but also in fact through the way in which in spite of his without any personality, the women such as Lily Bart gravitate towards him (due to his wealth).
Edith Wharton provides further paradox through the interpretation of Gryce’s personality as opposed to reputation. While referred to earlier, physically Gryce is a gentleman who one would expect to make sure of himself due to his wealth and ‘as Gryce was a good looking man in a didactic way’. However instead Lily Bart is ‘amused that any individual as wealthy as Mr Percy Gryce should be shy’. The fact that Lily has assumed that by Gryce being wealthy he is gonna be self-confident demonstrates that being prosperous in this world was what defined a person in contrast to experiences in every area of your life. This insular train of thought Lily has to the observer appears comical because of naivety which is how Wharton has used to further create satire out of the culture they are an element of. To further this time, Gryce not merely is shy but he also are unable to hold conversation with Lily Bart apart from the topic of his Americana collection ‘are you getting on together with your Americana? ‘ a question Lily has asked purely to sustain a conversation in contrast to a genuine curiosity. This consequently continues the presentation from the selfish plans of Lily who is employing all ‘methods’ just to ultimately have monetary gain even though also showing how insolvent Gryce is within other aspects of life aside from his riches.
Finally, Percy Gryce is very much considered to be at the bottom of the food string in the new. Wharton features construed him in this manner by simply likening Gryce to a ‘baffled beetle’, a creature which may have been thought to have been a reduced organism that was food to many. This is a result of Gryce’s wealth and therefore desire to be ingested mixed in with all the fact having been a timid man and thus an easy concentrate on for predators. Wharton nevertheless does not allow the reader to acquire pity to get Gryce, he’s in some ways because bad while the various other characters. The metaphor that ‘Mr Gryce’s egoism was obviously a thirsty soil’ is used by simply Wharton to spell out how a conversation can be maintained with Gryce. The metaphor in circumstance implies that Mr Gryce is (like the other characters) self-engrossed in himself however he requires regular indulgence in subjects that interest him and frequent approval ‘germinating under the surface area of smiling attention’ to be able to release the hidden egoism that is within Percy Gryce. Wharton has added this depth about Percy Gryce to again make fun of the shallowness of recent York excessive society pertaining to satirical purpose.