The Age of Innocence reader ´ Paperback ✓ Edith Wharton

reader ´ The Age of Innocence º Edith Wharton

Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York a time when society people “dr ‘The longing was with him day and night an incessant undefinable craving like the sudden whim of a sick man for food or drink once tasted and long since forgotten He could not see beyond the craving or picture what it might lead to for he was not conscious of any wish to speak to Madame Olenska or to hear her voice He simply felt that if he could carry away the vision of the spot of earth she walked on and the way the sky and sea enclosed it the rest of the world might seem less empty’ There was never getting away from their circumstances for Newland and Ellen the protagonists of The Age of Innocence As I weep for them and their unreuited love I realized it was not meant to be Edith Wharton depicts masterfully New York’s traditions and judgmental airs which were from the start against them This elite group within which they existed had very rigid rules of behavior social rituals fashion and clear censures for those that violated them There is a clear hypocrisy in their life that existed behind their conservative moral exterior In reality they all lived in a kind of hieroglyphic world where the real thing was never said or done or even thought but only represented by a set of arbitrary signs As I started reading Edith Wharton’s crisp prose and witty dialogues I got to know Newland Archer May Welland and Ellen Countess Olenska What was inescapable from the outset is that they were a product of New York society of their timeAs Newland meets Countess Olenska he is not prepared for her worldly persona Thus it is that May and Newland make their engagement public right away to ease the acceptance of Ellen into their social pack May is considered the perfect model of what a young wife should be young beautiful soft obedient pliant conventional and with no opinions on anything of importance We would consider her boring but those were different times Newland starts out pretty much the same; he's a young lawyer used to his luxurious and idle style of living; all in accord with the strict rules of society Yes both are good persons with many amiable ualities but they simply are not exceptional They were clearly not in love just following rituals that defined that a young man should marry a nice girl with a good family ’There was no better match in New York than May Welland look at the uestion from what point you choose Of course such a marriage was only what Newland was entitled to’Newland and Ellen’s love story is nevertheless magnificent because it is the changes and character growth of both lovers that make it endearing and wonderful When we first meet Newland Archer he could not have been in tune with New York society’s status uo But Newland Archer was too imaginative not to feel that in his case and May's the tie might gall for reasons far less gross and palpable What could he and she really know of each other since it was his duty as a decent fellow to conceal his past from her and hers as a marriageable girl to have no past to conceal? If Newland Archer seems indecisive and hesitant it's in part because he is conflicted with his values and desires He even starts defending new ideas ”Women ought to be free – as free as we are” Nevertheless it is easy to note how typical Newland Archer was when we first meet him how judgmental how hypocritical There was nothing mean or

text The Age of Innocence

The Age of InnocenceEaded scandal than disease”This is Newland Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional May Welland But when the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York af The blurb on GR gives a good summary so I will start with that as the first paragraphWinner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York a time when society people “dreaded scandal than disease” This is Newland Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional May Welland But when the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a disastrous marriage Archer falls deeply in love with her Torn between duty and passion Archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define his life—or mercilessly destroy itElite New York society says of the Countess separated from her husband who remains in Europe “And now it’s too late; her life is finished” For a time she considers going back to her husband She shocks people by wearing the wrong things hanging out with the wrong people or by engaging men in frank conversation In elite New York society at that time a woman could not walk away from conversation with a man to engage in conversation with another man; she had to wait for him to come to her The Countess shocks people by referring occasionally to ‘my husband’ when everyone expects her never to mention him But she is somewhat protected by her family connections she is Newland’s wife’s cousin Even though people will say in conversation “I don’t want to hear about anything unpleasant in her history” all of them already know all the dirt Those in New York society at the time thought themselves superior to their counterparts in Europe They think know European customs because they all honeymoon and vacation there for months at a time Their goal is to keep out the “new people” They spend fortunes on dresses from Paris but wait a year to wear them because it is not sheik to wear the ‘latest fashions’ A woman is dishonored by her husband’s shady financial dealings While they claim to be well read and to love art and music they will not hang out with those types of people or invite them to their parties In conversation people blush and pale constantly Newland thinks of his wife May as a ‘Stepford wife’ Seeing her brow glistening in the light “he said to himself with a secret dismay that he would always know the thoughts behind it that never in all the years to come would she surprise him by an unexpected mood by a new idea a weakness a cruelty or an emotion” May is “That terrifying product of the social system he belonged to and believed in the young girl who knew nothing and expected everything”Newland thinks of himself as enlightened Among men he says “Women should be free – as free as we are” knowing full well that “Nice women however wronged would never claim the kind of freedom he meant and generous minded men like himself were therefore – in the heat of the argument – the chivalrously ready to concede it to them” But of May he thinks “There was no use trying to emancipate a wife who had not the dimmest notion that she was not free”After Newland and the Countess fall in love they enter into a kind of limbo “Her choice would be stay near him as long as he did not ask her to come nearer; and it depended on himself to keep her just there safe but secluded” I’m rem

Edith Wharton º The Age of Innocence ePub

The Age of Innocence reader ´ Paperback ✓ Edith Wharton ✓ Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York a time when society people “dreaded scandal than disease”This is Newland ArcherTer a disastrous marriage Archer falls deeply in love with her Torn between duty and passion Archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define his life or mercilessly destroy “Each time you happen to me all over again” Imagine that person you love most in this world right within your grasp but somehow out of reach An invisible thin wall keeping you apart Apart but not away from each other Together yet not with each other This is the worst form of torture a torture of invisible chains and soundless screams Constantly seeing each other constantly being reminded of what cannot be Constantly falling in love yet constantly falling apart The urge the love the longing constantly growing engulfing you until you cannot bear to live Every part of your body numb and unaware of the realities around you Because for you only the pain you feel is real The only truth you know is that everything is a lie Edith Wharton paints a very delicate picture that resonates elegiac waves and enraptures its readers to the very bone One can't help but succumb to this level of desire of emotion and empathize because of the atmosphere that Wharton has created Her prose is crisp straight and true One might say that her prose is a reflection of her New York socialite self Wharton was born with uite a few gazillion silver spoons stuck somewhere on her buttocks Aside from that with such a dazzling foray of words she evoked such emotion in me that I was afraid I might like her Facebook page at some point So with that in mind I vowed to refrain from using Facebook until I've finished reading this book Well it worked fine for me On another note I was really impressed with her depiction of the 1870s New York Based on a little research I did her canvas of the place was just spot on splendid It was the spirit of it the spirit of the exuisite romantic pain The idea that the mere touching of a woman's hand would suffice The idea that seeing her across the room would keep him alive for another year That sort of a relationship that uniue communication between two people savagely drawn to the other like moth to a flame is of a different level than all the other types of communication This communication between them is that of the deepest kind A communication that needs not one of the five senses This communication of feeling of intense knowing of mutual understanding this unity of the mind this shared consciousness is the effect of a love that knows no bounds strengthened to an insane proportion by the fact that it was never meant to be “The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask one to pretend” What's the use? You gave me my glimpse of a real life and at the same moment you asked me to go on with a sham oneBut what really struck me the most was that irony that these two people enlightened to be different from the “pretend people” who revile them and mockingly laugh at their trained innocence and hapless practices were to be subjected to a pretend relationship as well “In reality they all lived in a kind of hieroglyphic world where the real thing was never said or done or even thought but only represented by a set of arbitrary signs” They that were above that “Innocence” were cruelly placed upon a circumstance in which they have to feign Innocence as well as the only way to sustain their love for each other “I can't love you unless I give you up” This has led me to believe that such innocence can only be a result of circumstances beyond their powers That