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Unformatted text preview: Dallas also represents the new generation. His class and age group is more sure, confident, and free. Newland mentions his "assured step and delightful smile," useful to seal contracts with rich, new millionaires. Dallas sees Newland and May's sacrifice as prehistoric. While Newland has tried to teach his son to be more reserved, Dallas revels in a world where husbands and wives can tell each other what they think. His marriage to Fanny Beaufort, sanctioned by Janey's gift of their mother's jewelry, is a symbol of the new society's ability to find a place for those ostracized in the old order. No one remembers the Beaufort scandal anymore, and what was not acceptable in Newland's close and structured world is now permissible. Wharton brings home, with May's deathbed confession, the idea that the lives of the old wealthy in 1870s New York were totally shaped and conditioned by a context no longer as strong in the new...
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- Fall '08