Day 1

The Age of Innocence Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    Even in this very first portion of the novel, Newland Archer's character undergoes noticeable development. Identify some of these changes, explaining how Newland is different at the end of the section from the young man the reader first encounters.

    At the beginning of the novel, Newland is unquestioningly and resolutely a product of New York high society. He is delighted with his upcoming marriage to May Welland because of the social rightness of it. She is the perfect New York lady and shows innate knowledge of respectable, tasteful behavior. The end of chapter four sums up his early outlook succinctly: "And in spite of the cosmopolitan views on which he prided himself,...

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