For a challenge, consider in a final paragraph what the functions of this duality between innocence and outright sin and the degradation of values might mean in the context of the society that so vehemently seems to desire to uphold a set of moral standards. Consider, for example, the theme of the individual versus society in the novel and how at once the strict social customs of the society are upheld as being the highest order that maintains society and structure yet then again, it is this same confining society that causes so much chaos in this text. Throughout the novel, various characters emerge who challenge the strict order of society and while they face a great deal of opposition, they often are far more complex and frankly, more interesting to the reader than the characters who are a part of the old order. The most apparent example is the Countess Ellen Olenska who is undertaking the shocking task of divorcing her husband and moving, as an individual, to a country where she is unaware of the predominant custom and hierarchy and, more importantly, of what is and is not acceptable.
Exposition and other mechanics Joice Title: In addition, in the beginning chapters Archer delivers the flowers to May, the lilies of the valley, which represent innocence and they blossom in the month of May. We believe the author picked this title over any other titles because it resembles May the most, who is focused on and emphasized throughout the plot of the book.
The setting and certain lines expressed by the characters provide a background that the novel will be about love and societal class.
They influence and affect the reader by creating a sense of unity by matrimonial relations and understanding of the period in which the characters lived and were expected to act accordingly.
The author began his book this way to provide us with the general concepts that will be discussed throughout the novel love, society, and class in detail that conflict with each other and to provide an opening that will tie the novel all together to the end. Setting New York, United States: This is where the book takes place during the s and begins mentioning the high classes of New York in which all characters of our novel are part of.
The first chapter of the book introduces us to the characters as they all sit in a theater to watch the play of Faust being performed and this setting is brought later on in the last few chapter to tie to novel again, emphasizing the general concepts addressed in the first pages of social class and love once more.
This is where Archer and May live together. He loved May in the beginning until Ellen arrived in New York. Ellen was the opposite of what society deemed conservative and, hence, her uniqueness allowed Archer to fall in love with her.
As much as he wants to be with Ellen, he ended up marrying May. However, even with their marriage bond, Archer still sought to see Ellen and have a loving relationship with her.
She acts according to her will and she desires to end her marriage with Count Olenski, which is frowned upon by her family for their name and status.
Toward the end, her fears build up consistently about where all three of them are going and how connected they all are and if something might compromise her marriage.
As a result, she jumps into assumptions to keep her husband nailed to her side and push Ellen away. As a result, she has this internal fear building up and distrust as the couple are not open with each other and honest about their feelings. She struggles to hide her emotions to keep her family together and to avoid even her thoughts of doubt in front of her husband because family and conformity are highly valued than anything else in her family and society.
In addition, the narrator only knows the thoughts and feelings of Archer Newland only not every character, which would make it omniscient instead. These two concepts are expressed through May and Ellen, correspondingly.
This is both an internal and external conflict as he dares to defy society while dealing with his confronting and contradicting thoughts and emotions.
Newland Archer is directly involved but it indirectly involves May Welland Archer and Ellen Olenska, firstly and their families, secondly.
Commentary on plot, etc. Archer in the beginning of the novel enjoys his life in the high society of wealth. Although he does question certain actions done by the social elites and recognizes their ignorance and judgements against others, he follows them, accepting the New York society.
Later on, Archer accidentally falls in love with her and counteracts a complicated and tragic relationship that he cannot escape. Ellen values independence, passion, and freedom.
The Age of Innocence Suggested Readings - Essay Edith Wharton. Homework Help The Age of Innocence Homework Help Questions. During the end of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. The Age of Innocence Questions and Answers The Question and Answer sections of our study guides are a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss literature. Home The Age of Innocence Q & A. Suggested Essay Topics. Do Newland Archer's character flaws ultimately prevent him from having a relationship with Ellen Olenska? Or was the relationship, weighed down by New York moral codes doomed before it even began?
For example, Ellen wants a divorce from her husband even though this is looked down on by New York society at the time. May values tradition and conformity.
Her purpose is to serve as an example of what society deems normal and acceptable. Her character and personality contrast Ellen. She is submissive and dull.
In addition, many of her actions were influenced by society and its standards. Plot Summary Newland Archer has recently been engaged to May Welland, a young, beautiful, and respected socialite.
Archer is overjoyed to be marrying May. Although New York society shuns Ellen, Archer becomes drawn to Ellen and her non-traditional manners and views as he continues to get to know her.
The social elites are excited and accepting but their concern goes towards Ellen when she decides to not show up to their ball.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: Character Analysis of Newland Archer in “The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton.
Any character analysis of Newland Archer in “The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton will reveal, just as an examination of any of the major themes or .
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During the end of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. Jun 16, · The Age of Innocence is an enchanting Victorian era novel that eloquently illustrates the price of being among New York's high society the late nineteenth century. The novel's main characters are Newland Archer, a high society attorney, his fiance .
The Age of Innocence Essay Topics & Writing Assignments Edith Wharton This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials. The Age of Innocence: Essay Q&A, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.