The Age Of Innocence By Edith Wharton

2131 WordsDec 18, 20169 Pages
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. The genre for The Age of Innocence can be represented by two different genres, romance and tragedy. The Age of Innocence is a love story in the sense of two star-crossed lovers who clearly belong together but are kept apart by selfish people. But this novel also represents a romance of a different kind: a romance with a period in history. This is essentially the kind of romance between Edith Wharton and New York in the 1870s. Edith Wharton knows that New York in the 1870s is no good and will break her,but she can 't stop talking about how good it looks. The definition of tragedy is seeing a noble character fall from grace. The Age of Innocence is represented by tragedy because within Newland’s own society. He falls from grace when he falls in love with Countess Ellen Olenska. Within the world of the novel, a world that believes in love and freedom, he falls from grace when he doesn’t follow through with his love. Newland is tragic no matter how you look at him (Wharton 65). The story begins
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