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The Age of Innocence Essay

Assignment id 1013838
Discipline Other
Assignment type Essay
Words 1377
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The publication The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton presents a glance into the culture of old New York, as seen through the eyes of the main character, Newland Archer. Newland Archer's character is a fascinating one, and it appears to change during the narrative, symbolizing the notion that the principles determined by society are not always perfect. In the beginning it's said that he does what's expected, is stylish, and follows the rules set by New York society where he climbed. But toward the end of the book, we notice changes in his character, reflected in his ideas or ideas about doing things that people from the elite New York society wouldn't think about. Newland Archers follows the principles which were set to him from the elite New York Society. There are lots of references to the way that things are and are not done, along with the value he puts on them. It's said that "what was or wasn't 'the thing' played a part as important in Newland Archer's New York as the inscrutable totem terrors that had ruled the destinies of his forefathers thousands of years ago" (2). This belief in following the principles can be represented in what Archer thinks of himself, his future wife, and the way he reacts to Countess Olenska's presence. Archer is somebody who's vain, has high self-esteem, a large ego, and considers he is superior. He says that he "felt himself distinctly superior of these selected specimens of old New York gentility; he had probably read more, thought more, and even found a great deal more of this planet, than another man of this number" (4). Archer considered that his wife should "create a social tact and readiness of wit allowing her to maintain her own with the most popular married girls of the 'younger group,' in which it had been the recog...

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