In Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome, setting is an important element. The setting greatly influences the characters, transportation, and activities.
In The Catcher in The Rye, by J.D, the main character, Holden, can be seen as a troubled teenager growing up in a less than perfect society. Throughout the novel Holden struggles with the fact that many young and innocent kids will grow up and see the world from a different perspective. He naturally becomes worried for all future generations who will one day grow, as he did, and loose their innocence. The fixation of youth and innocence can be seen in the title of the book, as well as throughout the novel.
Everyone is born into this world with a sense of innocence, completely oblivious to the cruelties of the world. However, as humans grow up and reach early- adulthood, they begin to realize the realities of this world, all that is real and all that is, in fact, a figment of the imagination. As people learn that it is truly impossible to stay hidden from the harsh realities of adulthood for their entire life, they also learn that it is impossible to shield others from these truths as well. They learn that although they may not be able to protect themselves from life’s misfortunes, they must perceiver, move forward, and not hold anyone back in their tracks. Just as all humans eventually learn to accept and move past life’s various misfortunes,
Themes in literary works are central, recurring ideas or messages that allow us to understand more deeply about the characters. It is a perception about life or human nature that is often shared with the reader. In The Catcher in the Rye, there are several themes that can be found in the words and actions of the narrator, Holden Caulfield. The dominating theme in this novel is the preservation of innocence, especially of children. We can see this throughout the novel, as Holden strives to preserve innocence in himself and others.
In A Separate Peace, John Knowles carries the theme of the inevitable loss of innocence throughout the entire novel. Several characters in the novel sustain both positive and negative changes, resulting from the change of the peaceful summer sessions at Devon to the reality of World War II. While some characters embrace their development through their loss of innocence, others are at war with themselves trying to preserve that innocence.
In the novel, to kill a mockingbird, Harper Lee presents three very distinct types of innocence that are portrayed by different characters throughout the novel. A good part in this story’s brilliance is that Harper Lee has managed to use the innocence of a young girl to her advantage. She does this by telling the whole story from a child’s point-of-view. By having an innocent little girl make racial remarks and regard people of color in a way consistent with the community, Lee provides the reader with an objective view of the situation. As a child, Scout can make observations that an adult would often avoid. In addition, readers are also likely to be forgiving of a child’s perception, whereas they would find an adult who makes these
The novel, The Age of Innocence, is the story of Newland Archer, a lawyer and heir to one of New York 's most prominent families. Newland is planning to marry the young, beautiful and sheltered May Welland, however when May 's exotic cousin, the Countess Ellen Olenska, appears on the scene he begins to question these plans. Throughout The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton uses the social interactions and attitudes of Newland Archer and his friends as a means of weighing society itself.
Continuing from above, May is once again compared to Diana. Before the archery competition, May’s entrance is described, “In her white dress, with a pale green ribbon about the waist and a wreath of ivy on her hat, she had the same Diana-like aloofness as when she had entered the Beaufort ball-room on the night of her engagement” (173). May is once again compared to Diana in the same sentence where she is depicted wearing white, further implying the innocence the entire society believes she has. However, this quotation introduces a new concept: May’s aloofness. By depicting her as a goddess who is also distant, Wharton is able to add more of this untouchable nature of perfection. At this point in the novel, May suspects an affair between Newland and Ellen, however, she is sticks with
The title “To Kill A Mockingbird” is taken from a quote in the book, where Atticus says "Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." (lee Later, Miss Maudie Atkinson states that "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy." (p.177). This shows that mocking birds are innocent, and that is why Atticus strongly forbids his children to kill them. To Kill a Mockingbird novels theme is how prejudice affects the town of maycomb,alabama. Also, the mockingbird symbolizes innocence. All the birds do is sing for you and give you pleasure in what is natural and enjoyment to them (singing for you). Theydont harm,. They are fragile,loveable, weak, and helpless birds. In the
In many novels the title of the story is more important than most people initially think. It often reveals important information about the story. In The Catcher In the Rye, Holden says that his dream job would to be the catcher in rye. This is significant to the story because of how Holden feels that adults are trying to ruin the innocence of children, and how he can be the one that saves them. Holden then realizes he cannot always be the one to save the children. This is show throughout the book but especially in the scene where Holden takes Phoebe to the carousel.This shows that Holden wants to be the catcher in the rye so that he can help keep the children their innocence from adults.
Her father was abusive, and she had no one to talk to. Every day, she would do all the work around the house, and take care of the children, with no help. Tom was most likely the only person to ever show her kindness and politeness, the only one to ever stop to help her and talk to her. The black people wouldn’t have anything to do with the Ewells because they were white, and the white people wouldn’t have anything to do with them because they lived like pigs, among the blacks. The prejudices other people held towards them was what caused them to act the way they did in the first place. We see that although what Mayella was doing was horrible, she had reasons to do it. She is a victim of social pressures, of prejudice, and the effects these things have on her family.
Another reason Ellen is excluded is because she is ignorant of the manners, custom, and rules of the high society of New York. After the Van der Luydens' dinner party for the Duke, Ellen leaves the duke in order to speak with Archer. This goes against the rules of womanly conduct followed by the women of the New York 400: "It was not custom in New York drawing rooms for a lady to get up and walk away from one man in order to seek the company of another. Etiquette required that she should wait, immovable as an idol . . ."(41). This act is just one of many that Ellen lacks knowledge of, however, she wants to learn the customs of New York. She wants to divorce her Husband, the Count Olenski, but because the New York 400 did not think highly of divorce (and Archer's persistent warning against it), she did not go through with the divorce.( ) She truly wants to be accepted by the high society of New York, but she digs her own grave, figuratively, by flirting with Archer and spending time with Beaufort.
"In metropolises it was 'not the thing' to arrive early at the opera; and what was or was not 'the thing' played a part as important in Newland Archer's New York as the inscrutable totem errors that had ruled the destinies of his forefathers thousands of years ago"-Edith Wharton The Age of Innocence
The strict adherence to the societal traditions demonstrates the rigidity of people’s lives in this very structured society. The numerous traditions and formalities in New York’s society alludes to how little breathing room the people have when it comes to keeping traditions. One of these traditions is the tradition that “every year on the fifteenth of October, Fifth Avenue opened its shutters, unrolled its carpets, and hung up its triple layer of window curtains. By the first of November this household ritual was over and society had begun to look about and take stock of itself”(Wharton 205). So, Fifth Avenue in New York is known for “[opening] its shutters”, thus declaring itself open to the public to see, in all its splendor for the next sixteen days, from the “fifteenth of October” until “the first of November”. This tradition gives everyone the opportunity to view this amazing street in New York, which is historically known for its splendid shops and attractions. This time period is also symbolic because it is during Autumn, when all the greenery and summer feel. New York’s high society is and always was into fashion, so with the changing of the season came the changing of the fashion. The fashion hub in New York, historically has been on Fifth Avenue. So, this is why the opening of Fifth Avenue to all is so significant to the society living in New York. Of course, with new fashion comes new designs and new brands. The labels preferred by New York’s society were those
New York City’s fierce social class gaps and conventional gender roles of the early 19th century sets the tone for Edith Wharton’s twelfth novel, The Age of Innocence. Newland Archer is introduced as a wealthy, young lawyer and is followed throughout his tense engagement and marriage. Published in 1920, the Pulitzer Prize winning romance novel explores the depths of disunity in New York City. Wharton’s work contradicts the social norms of the era, and it opens up many opportunities for women in society. Wharton exposes the flaws of society in many ways. In The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton illuminates her characters’ weaknesses by examining the historical perspective on upper class New York City and conveying the novel’s meaning through