The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

1505 WordsFeb 26, 20186 Pages
­Point of view­ The novel is told from 3rd person point of view (limited). The story is being revealed by an unknown person. The narrator is able to share how life in high New York society functions. More specifically, the narrator is able to reveal Newland Archer’s thoughts and emotions as he works through his internal struggle. ­Irony­ The book being called The Age of Innocence is ironic because the one who would be perceived as being most innocent, is not as naïve as believed. May Welland Archer grew up innocent and naïve and has never known passion until her husband introduces her to it. After Newland begins his affair, he believes her to be completely innocent and unaware, while she is actually completely aware of his affair with Ellen and chooses to act ignorant. Newland believes that she was innocent “and she had died thinking the world was a good place, full of loving and harmonious households like her own” (226). His thoughts that she died innocent is ironic because Newland was the innocent, oblivious person in this situation because he was unaware of May’s knowledge of his affair. ­Rising Action­ Newland Archer has recently gotten happily engaged to May Welland when May’s cousin, Countess Ellen Olenska, returns to America after separating from her husband. Because the Countess's family, led by the powerful Mrs. Manson Mingott, has chosen to bring her back into good society, Newland and May welcome her openly. Newland gets to know Ellen and
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