Date of publication: 2017-07-09 07:24
Ellen does everything expected of her including nursing Mrs. Mingott finally relents to family pressure and attains a generous endowment to live on independently in Europe loses the love of her life, Newland.
During the dinner party for Ellen, Newland realizes that he and Ellen have been quietly conspired against by their families right there during dinner he comes up with the idea that he may do some extensive traveling, traveling that will reunite him with Ellen.
Try as she might to fit into her new environment, Ellen 8767 s efforts are unsuccessful: She finds a house where she can be alone and be herself, but it 8767 s in the wrong neighborhood she tries to free herself from an unhappy marriage by divorcing her cruel husband, but in New York society divorce is taboo she moves to Washington to avoid Newland, but he tracks her down anyway.
Ellen needs to relearn the rules by which to live in New York. Accustomed to the continental greeting from a man, Ellen holds out her hand when she 8767 s introduced to Newland, and is embarrassed when he 8767 s surprise at her gesture and shakes her hand instead of kissing it after the van der Luyden 8767 s dinner she breaks the rule of never leaving one man during a social gathering to speak with another.
In The Age of Innocence , Edith Wharton paints an intimate view of New York culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Wharton does this by masterfully presenting a slice of New York, focusing on a few intricately developed.
LEFFERTS: If things go on like this, we 8767 ll be seeing our children fighting for invitations to swindlers 8767 houses and marrying Beaufort 8767 s bastards.
Most of the characters are concerned with the past: Mrs. Mingott, May 8767 s mother, Mrs. Archer, and Sillerton Jackson all want to keep their world just like it always has been in the past. Ellen 8767 s past, especially leaving her husband aided by a male secretary, threatens to tarnish her and all of those associated with her. As Newland Archer comes to know Ellen better, he tries to protect her from rumors about her past by advising her not to divorce her husband, and by trying to keep his feelings for her hidden from his family. When Newland asks May Welland to move up the announcement of their engagement, she resists changing past decisions:
Human nature has always been tempted by the irresistible emotion of desire, and as perfectly said by Benedict de Spinoza, "Desire is the very essence of man". Although various degrees of desire can be achieved in our society, there are still many.
In Victorian era New York, Newland Archer, a well-bred lawyer is engaged to marry proper May Welland, but he is attracted to Countess Ellen Olenska, May 8767 s free-spirited cousin. Because of Ellen 8767 s unsavory reputation and the fact that she 8767 s married, breaking his engagement with May to marry Ellen would cause a huge scandal. Unwilling to hurt their families, Ellen steps aside and Newland marries May. A year and a half later, Newland is unhappy with his marriage and he seeks out Ellen. They realize that their love is just as strong as ever. After resisting their attraction, they finally decide to have an affair, but the families intervene and send Ellen back to Europe. By now May is pregnant and Newland is bound to her forever.
Newland Archer considers himself a forward thinking man ready to accept new ideas, art, literature, and ways of living. He hopes to marry an intellectually stimulating woman. His liberal way of thinking clashes with the rigid society in which he lives. This causes him distress as he allows himself to be pulled into a simple, safe life.