Plenty of Valuables, But Where Are Their Values?

In “The Age of Innocence”, Edith Wharton clearly develops and displays the effects that differences between classes have on individuals in society as well as society as a whole. This topic of society and class has become an increasing interest of mine as the book progresses. Wharton introduces this topic from the very beginning of the book with Newland Archer at the opera. Wharton writes, “Few things seemed to Newland Archer more awful than an offense against “Taste”, that far-off divinity of whom “Form” was the mere visible representative and vicegerent” (Wharton 14), exemplifying the skewed values of the upper class. Currently I see this gap between high society and lower class as my topic of interest as I predict this concept will become increasingly important as I get further into the book.

I feel that Wharton does a very good job of explaining the backstory and tying together loose details of characters and relationships. The relationships between characters plays a huge role in the development of the story as well as the conflicts faced throughout, and so far Wharton exquisitely details and elaborates on these relationships so that the reader can properly understand and grasp the story. Though there are many different characters with different social statuses and connections introduced, Wharton clearly distinguishes between characters and defines their relationships and statuses for the reader to clearly differentiate and follow along.Image result for high society new york

Society, Status, & Singing

In Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, we are given a look into the lifestyle of high society in New York City. The book begins at the opera where we are introduced to the protagonist, Newland Archer, as he arrives fashionably late as does anyone in the upperclass to make sure they are seen by everyone. While at the opera he along with the rest of the theatre spot an unusual face, Ellen Olenska, cousin of May Welland, Archer’s fiancée. As the book progresses I can already sense brewing tension which I think will soon lead to scandalous circumstances among these high society New Yorkers, and in the upperclass, no scandal stays a secret.