The Age of Innocence

Topics: The Age of Innocence, Love, Edith Wharton Pages: 3 (1020 words) Published: February 24, 2005
The truth that lies behind fantasies
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton is a book that gave the word "love" many other meanings, such as impossible, meaningless and incomplete. There were many unbearable obstacles that Countess Ellen Olenska, one of the main characters, had to face because of love. She was treated badly by many people and always longed for love but never obtained it. With everyone cursing her, betraying her and hurting her, there was one person who was always there for her. Newland Archer wasn't only sympathetic towards her; he also began to fall in love with her. The love she always wanted. He was the man who truly cared for her and always helped her make decisions. Out of all the selfish people in New York who degraded her, including her very close relatives, Newland Archer was one person who was there to listen to her problems and helped her solve them. Countess Olenska had to face many difficulties in her life. After having problems with her husband, Count Olenski, she left her home in Europe and lived with her grandmother, Mrs. Mingott. When she came to New York, Newland Archer was the only one who was there for her and listened to her problems. Furthermore, when she wanted to get a divorce Newland Archer, being a lawyer, talked to her about it and made her change her mind. He fell in love with her, knowing he was engaged to her cousin, and supported her. If he wanted, he could have forced her into getting a divorce and get married to her without caring about the society, but he chose not to do that. In chapter 12 he states, "Think of the newspapers-their vileness! It's all stupid and narrow and unjust but one can't make over society (p.99)." This shows how much he cares for her and her reputation in the society. He knows what people talk about her and does not want her reputation to go lower than it is. He sympathizes with her and makes her change her mind about getting a divorce. He goes on saying, "It's my business, you know, to help...
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