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Whartons The Age of Innocence depicts Ellen Olenska as a perfect example of courage and strength because of her desire to go against society and the degradation of women Through the narrative eyes of Newland Archer the reader sees a woman like no other woman 102 Ellen Olenska is much like Hawthornes Hester Prynne in the way she exhibits courage and strength As an outcast of a hypocritical society Ellen is worthy of the yellow roses that seem too rich too strong in their fiery beauty for May 69 In fact she embodies these same qualities Ellen married an immensely rich Polish nobleman had her portrait painted nine times and was surrounded by acres of roses historic pearls and priceless furniture but it wasnt until she moved back to New York that she truly became rich Ironically her wealth developed as her place in society dwindled Ellen credits Newland Archer for her new life her new wealth It was you who made me understand that under the dullness there are things so fine and sensitive and delicate that even those I most cared for in my other life look cheap in comparison 209 This matured Ellen has learned to depend not on her material wealth but rather on richness of heart and sincerity She goes on to tell Newland that he gave her her first glimpse of real life 210 Even though she is unable to live that life she is able to appreciate it She accepts her outcast position and makes life as rich as she can This appreciation of life can also be seen in Ellens courage Despite the fact that she was not allowed to be a member of high society Ellen still carried her head high 141 When Ellen returned to New York she wasnt received as the rosy-cheeked little girl she had once been Instead she was now poor Ellen Olenska the adulterer the outcast The conditions from which she
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