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Throughout the 1870's, Old timey New York modeled a far different atmosphere than Europe, which was still recovering from war. The manner that writer Edith Wharton seen the society about her was one of expectations. There were expectations for men and for women. For the most part, those expectancies were unspoken rules on fashion, apparel, very good company, and any additional detail regarding the appearance to others. But because of societal determinism, Americans were not as "free" as they believed. The Age of Innocence presents a representation of the constant social snare that forced people to conceal their true feelings due to the ever-imposing want to always seem at their best. One of the primary subjects of the narrative is the lack of humor in Old New York. The city is renown for its "rigidities regarding form, family, and financial issues" and is now the "epitome of rectitude" (Kozloff, 273). But, Wharton reveals the city as really being really hypocritical and being victims of falling to the social trap of masking one's true identity. By way of example, the books primary male character, Newland Archer, finds out that all of his close family and friends are in fact acting "as a band of dumb conspirators, and himself and the pale woman on his best as the middle of the conspiracy" (Kozloff, 273). It is sad really that there's not any honesty about the self within this society and everyone wears a mask of "well-being" to pay up their secrets. Cannedy two The 3 central characters in the story include, first, Newland Archer, a rich attorney who is engaged to the beautiful May Welland; second, May a young debutante who models the stereotypical woman of Old New York society, "(a) young girl in New York so handsome and intelligent" (Wh...