The Age of Innocence Essay

994 Words4 Pages
The truth that lies behind fantasies

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton is a book that gave the word “love” many other meanings, such as impossible, meaningless and incomplete. There were many unbearable obstacles that Countess Ellen Olenska, one of the main characters, had to face because of love. She was treated badly by many people and always longed for love but never obtained it. With everyone cursing her, betraying her and hurting her, there was one person who was always there for her. Newland Archer wasn’t only sympathetic towards her; he also began to fall in love with her. The love she always wanted. He was the man who truly cared for her and always helped her make decisions. Out of all the selfish people in New York who
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It’s all stupid and narrow and unjust but one can’t make over society (p.99).” This shows how much he cares for her and her reputation in the society. He knows what people talk about her and does not want her reputation to go lower than it is. He sympathizes with her and makes her change her mind about getting a divorce. He goes on saying, “It’s my business, you know, to help you to see these things as the people who are fondest of you see them…if I didn’t show you honestly how they judge such questions, it wouldn’t be fair of me, would it? (p. 100).” He indirectly tells her that he does not want to be like other people who talk about her and think of her as a bad influence on their society. When he says “it’s my business…” he shows his concern for her and, in his own unique way, tells her that her problems are his. Newland Archer, without caring about the society, takes the lead and helps Ellen Olenska to see what is unclear to her eyes.

Secondly, Newland Archer was always there for Ellen when she needed someone the most and Ellen always told him her secrets. For example, when she got tired of being oppressed by the society, she went away to Skuytercliff without telling anyone. A day or two later, she sent a note to Newland Archer telling him where she was and also said that she wishes he was there with her and the van der Lyudens. As soon as he got the note, he left for Skuytercliff and was anxious to know why she left so suddenly. When she saw
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