Mr. Rosedale aspires to the social circles of the wealthy. Building his fortune in real estate, Rosedale initially appears as the owner of Selden’s apartment building who catches Lily leaving what appears to be a lover’s meeting with Selden. The path of Rosedale’s rise to financial success and place in society sits in opposition to Lily’s decline and death; while she starts as a member of the inner circles and falls from their graces, he works his way up to a point where he no longer is interested in marrying her. Despite the differences in their social standing by the end of the book, Rosedale is still kind to Lily, and he offers her money when he runs into her after she has lost her hat-making job.