The Rise of Silas Lapham tells the story of the title character, Silas, as he accrues wealth through the paint-selling business. The story uses Silas's escalation in the world to ruminate on ideas of class mobility and old and new money. Silas is shown to be shut out from true high society, and his attempts to marry his daughter into old money go poorly. Eventually Silas, his morals increasingly compromised by his success, must sacrifice his fortune for his own good.

Summary of The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells

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