The Age of Innocence review ô 3

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The Age of InnocenceWinner 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 ungenerous in the young man’s heart and he was glad that his future wife should be restrained by false prudery from being kind in private to her unhappy cousin; but to receive Countess Olenska in the family circle was a different thing from producing her in public at the Opera of all places and in the very box with the young girl whose engagement to him Newland Archer was to be announced in a few weeks No he felt as old Sillerton Jackson felt; he did not think the Mingotts would have tried it on Could he have been traditional ’He hated to think of May Welland's being expos

Edith Wharton Ñ 3 read & download

Ter 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. This book which examines lives stifled by the social conventions of 1870s Manhattan is a classic masterpiece precisely because it is anything but conventional Ironically it had me longing for the lovers to dip their toes in love story convention by finding a hotel room at least once especially with lines like this one“Each time you happen to me all over again” Oh Newland Archer Oh Ellen OlenskaBut no the brilliant Edith Wharton doesn't allow it She stays the course showing the follies of Old New York society the sometimes impossible and suffocating nature of marriage and the changeability of social s that seem so important in the moment but which are forgotten with the passing of a few years She also shows how both noble and tragic it is to do the right thing rather than chasing happiness where it fliesThe poignancy of resignation and missed opportunities reminds me of similar themes addressed in The Remains of the Day And though Wharton's Pulitzer Prize winning novel was written almost a hundred years ago it still feels fresh and relevant This was my second reading of this book The last time I read it was probably two decades ago so it was almost like I was reading it for the first time The only thing I can remember of my first reading was the feeling I had as I turned the last page The overwhelming sense of I loved this and must read it again I had the same experience this time I guess some things just don't change

review The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence review ô 3 Õ 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 Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional MaEaded 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 most perfect ending in literature I'll never get over it