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The Age of Innocence | Study Guide

Edith Wharton

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The Age of Innocence | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

the-age-of-innocence-edith-whartonNarrator, Chapter 19here was a time … when everything concerning the manners and customs of his little tribe had seemed to him fraught with worldwide significance. Sources: New York Public Library,, Silencing Women in Edith Whartons The Age of Innocenceby Clare Virginia Eby Copyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc.InnocencePerceptiveness and cunning underlie a facade of innocence.ChangeChange is inevitable, despite rigid adherence to traditions.DutySociety expects individuals to fulfill their duties, not their desires.ThemesMrs. Manson MingottAged matriarch; challenges and upholds social conventionsEllen OlenskaFlees an abusive marriage only to be condemned by New York as a disgraced womanMay WellandSocietys feminine ideal whose quiet cleverness defies her innocent exteriorYoung American aristocrat; grows disenchanted with society and longs for an authentic lifeNewland ArcherMain CharactersBorn into the New York aristocracy she portrays in The Age of Innocence, Wharton described her childhood as an intellectual desert.” Her parents discouraged the young girls literary efforts, believing them inappropriate for girls—but Wharton went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for her writing in 1921.EDITH WHARTON18621937AuthorMays quiet manipulations send Ellen away, trapping Newland in domestic duties.Subtle TriumphIn love with Ellen, Newland grows obsessed with escaping societys confines.Vision of FreedomEllens presence makes Newland question his assumptions about life.Existential CrisisOVERVIEWA ScandalousWoman in Polite SocietyNewland Archer, a fashionable young gentleman, is engaged to beautiful and innocent May Welland. When Mays cousin Ellen Olenska returns from Europe seeking a divorce, she scandalizes society but offers Newland an irresistible vision of a world beyond aristocratic New York.The Age of Innocence DramaNovelEnglishOriginal Language1920Year PublishedEdith WhartonAuthor

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