AP English Language C
29 September 2017
Relic In a Small Dim Chapel
In Edith Warton's The Age of Innocence, Innocence represents the ironic symbol shows the antithetical definition of Innocence from society to its real meaning, reveling how corrupt and degenerate the society has become and, on the other side, serve as a foil to indicate how valuable the true love is.
At that time, the society was stratified by wealth and represented by the rich. They were regarded as the members of the upper-middle-class which makes old New York a "small and slippery pyramid, in which, as yet, hardly a fissure had been made or a foothold gained" (6). They tried to make themselves special from others which include not only the common but …show more content…
Usually, love was not a relative to placidly which shows some inklings. It is the physical passion instead of compatible heart for him delighting in the radiant good looks of his betrothed and in her health. When he stays with her, the happiness he felt is from the possessorship (10). Except for physical attraction, Archer and May differ greatly in their interests and hobbies. At the beginning of the novel, while Archer is enjoying Faust in the opera, May, however, "doesn't even guess what it's all about" (1). At that time, Archer still dreams that they would "read Faust together by the Italian lakes" (1) and wanted to make efforts to develop May's literary attainments "under his guidance." Apparently, it doesn't work well, as "although May had advanced far enough to join him in ridiculing the Idyls of the King, she can't feel the beauty of Ulysses and the Lotus Eaters" (6). What's more, after their marriage, Archer found that in reality "traveling interested her even less than he had expected," their estimated six-week European traveling was canceled after only three weeks. Poor Archer, he was still dreaming to "read Faust together by the Italian lakes" in May. Also, he starts to realize that his marriage is becoming "what most of the other marriages about him were: a dull association of material and social interests held together by ignorance on the one side and hypocrisy on the other" …show more content…
He also has high value over himself as he thought "felt distinctly the superior of these chosen specimens of old New York, and had probably read more, thought more, and even seen a good deal more of the world, than any other man of the number " (1). He thinks, but only in the form of daydream without ever realizing the cruel reality. Newland's thoughts seem deep but always contradict themselves showing his young and ignorant characters. For example, he thinks that "Women should be free--as free as we are (6), but he starts to make a judgmental distinction between "the women one loved and the women one pitied " (11). When he's talking about their future with Ellen, comparing to Newland's vague reply, Ellen asks directly if he wants her to live with him as his mistress--since she can't be his wife (29), but Archer replies with a childish