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Unformatted text preview: Wharton finally reveals a pattern that has been developing behind the scenes since Newland bought the yellow roses for Ellen and mentioned it to May. May's sense of self-confidence at Newport, her comments about Ellen being happier back in Europe with her husband, and the new Olenski proposals unknown to Newland set the stage for the family closing ranks. Ellen is expensive to support and, though she is informed about what is socially expected, she chooses not to follow custom. She simply is different, a Bohemian who keeps artistic companions. She will obviously be one of those "sacrifices" that must be made to keep the social patterns intact. Because Newland is attracted to her, he is to be kept outside the family decisions. These chapters make Wharton's theories of change in society very clear. Alterations happen very slowly, often appearing as small cracks that later spread. Newland says, "New York managed its slowly, often appearing as small cracks that later spread....
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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