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Unformatted text preview: The last chapters also bring to the forefront the powerful social order that approves of May's actions. The van der Luydens had fled to Skuytercliff when the Beaufort scandal erupted. Now they "reluctantly but heroically" return to put the social order right. Newland still does not realize the bargaining and plotting that have been going on behind the scenes in the family. When May announces the farewell dinner, she alludes to a conversation with Ellen when she indicated that she and Newland were one in their sentiments. Later it becomes obvious that May used her pregnancy as leverage with Ellen long before May was sure that she was pregnant. This whole subterfuge supports Wharton's major theme that the emotions of the individual must be sacrificed for the preservation of those values that make life worth living and keep the social order intact — values that existed in the pre-World War I society of old New York.intact — values that existed in the pre-World War I society of old New York....
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.
- Fall '08