scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 1,224
In Whartons The Age of Innocence the protagonist Newland Archer findshimself trapped in the traditional and superficial Old New York societywhen he meets his fiances passionate and independent cousin EllenOlenska Torn between duty and passion he struggles to make a decisionand doubts his marriage and the values of wealthy societyUpon looking at The Age of Innocence through a sociological lens itbecomes clear that the main conflict in the novel is individual vssociety By observing the importance of tradition the power women wieldbehind the scenes in New York society and examining the differencesbetween Ellen and May we can develop a less opaque idea of the effectssociety has on the individual as seen through Newland Archer One of the significant themes present in the Age of Innocence is thestruggle between the individual and the society Individuals likeNewland Archer and Ellen Olenska find it difficult to express themselvesfreely The strict codes and the old tradition of the New York societyexpects the individuals to make sacrifices in order to secure theirfamilies and the society as a whole Although individuals constantlymake these sacrifices the families care less about the freedoms andopinions of the individual as long as their place in the society is safeand secure In addition families consider themselves responsible for theelimination of anyone who could potentially ruin the delicate order ofthe old New York society Wharton clearly describes this when she saysThere were certain things that had to be done and if done at alldone handsomely and thoroughly and one of these in the old New Yorkcode was the tribal rally around a kinswoman about to be eliminatedfrom the tribe Wharton 200 An example of this is the familyseffort to encourage Ellen to return to her husband in Europe In theiropinion reuniting with her husband Count Olenska would beinstrumental in preventing the Welland family to become a subject ofgossip among the judgmental people of the society Allan Ziskin confirmsthe reason behind familys decision and says Ellens vibrant
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA