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Unformatted text preview: Wharton shows the reader that Newland cannot justify going against all the ethical foundations of his society. Wanting to believe he is different from men who conduct surreptitious affairs, Newland spends considerable time rationalizing his conduct. It was fine for Mrs. Thorley Rushworth to have an affair because women were not expected to be truthful in matters of love. In fact, women had to be devious because they were powerless. But no one laughed at a lawfully wedded wife who was misled. Men were to keep to a higher standard and were despised if they sowed wild oats after marriage. While he might mouth the words to Sillerton Jackson that women should be "free," he looks on Ellen with contempt when he thinks that he can persuade her to come to him. Wharton further shows his discomfort as he passes his home, and thinks that his wife is within, along with...
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- Fall '08