The Age of Innocence


One of the most prominent themes that can be seen throughout the text is the idea of wealth and social class. The characters take pride in their social standings and those that come from "old money" feel threatened by those that are coming from "new money". The characters' lives revolve around staying up to date on the latest fashion, gatherings, appearances, etc. Being accepted by this high society is the most important thing to the people in this novel and they're willing to do anything to be accepted. Being accepted by high-class acquaintances is another common theme that is displayed throughout this novel. Another theme that is clear in the novel is love, whether it be the love between Newland Archer and May Wellend, or the undeniable love and lust between Newland Archer and Ellen Olenska. Newland Archer's infatuation with May Welland's innocence can't be missed in the beginning scenes of the novel. The theme of innocence changes throughout the novel, as May states she is pregnant only to ensure that Ellen stays away from Newland.

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