Alice Adams

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Alice Adams is a novel by Booth Tarkington that received the 1922 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel. It was adapted as a film in 1923 by Rowland V. Lee and, more famously, in 1935 by George Stevens. The narrative centers on the character of a young woman (the eponymous Alice Adams) who aspires to climb the social ladder and win the affections of a wealthy young man named Arthur Russell. The story is set in a lower-middle-class household in an unnamed town in the Midwest shortly after World War I.

The novel begins with Virgil Adams confined to bed with an unnamed illness. There is tension between Virgil and his wife over how he should go about recovering, and she pressures him not to return to work for J. A. Lamb once he is well. Alice, their daughter, attempts to keep peace in the family (with mixed results) before walking to her friend Mildred Palmer's house to see what Mildred will wear to a dance that evening.

After Alice's return, she spends the day preparing for the dance, going out to pick violets for a bouquet, as she cannot afford to buy flowers for herself. Her brother, Walter, initially refuses to accompany her to the dance, but as Alice cannot go without an escort, Mrs. Adams prevails upon Walter, and he rents a "Tin Lizzie" to drive Alice to the dance.

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