The Age Of Innocence

The Age of Innocence is a novel by Edith Wharton, published in 1920. It tells the story of New York City's upper-class society in the 1870s, and the moral dilemmas faced by its members. The novel follows Newland Archer, a young lawyer who is engaged to the beautiful but conventional May Welland. When May's cousin, the Countess Ellen Olenska, returns to New York after a failed marriage, Newland is drawn to her. Ellen is a free-spirited woman who challenges the conventions of the society in which she lives.

Newland is torn between his love for Ellen and his sense of duty to May. He is also aware of the consequences of a scandal if he were to pursue a relationship with Ellen. Despite his feelings, Newland decides to remain loyal to May and marry her. However, his feelings for Ellen remain strong, and he is unable to forget her.

The novel follows Newland and his friends as they navigate the social conventions of the time. They attend parties, dinners, and balls, and are constantly aware of the need to maintain their social standing. Newland's friends, including the wealthy Julius Beaufort, are often critical of Ellen's unconventional behavior.

The novel culminates in a dramatic scene at the opera, where Newland and Ellen are reunited. Newland is finally able to express his true feelings for Ellen, but is forced to accept that they can never be together. He returns to May, and the novel ends with Newland and May's wedding.

The Age of Innocence is a powerful exploration of the moral dilemmas faced by members of New York's upper-class society in the late 19th century. It is a story of love, loyalty, and the consequences of challenging social conventions. The novel is a timeless classic, and its themes remain relevant today.