Then I thought about McTeague, which portrays society as being the thing that keeps "the beast" within a person. Norris represents society as a sort of refining agent to people, protecting them from their natural impulses and such. After McTeague and Trina are brought into poverty, the "veneer of civilization" wears from the two and they participate in what appears to be almost primal instincts, on the verge of inhuman.
Once I noted the differences between these, it caught my interest that the two authors apparently thought about society in completely different ways, owing to what I'm not sure at this point, but I'd like to find out. So my paper will, rather than compare the characteristics of Lily Bart and Trina, attempt to make clear the differences between the portrayal of society, and possibly try to explain these differences.