To The Age Of Innocence Essay, Research Paper

Social Order Versus Personal Fulfillment

In the regal, and superficial high-toned New York universe presented in The Age of Innocence there is one specific, undisputed regulation of societal order. This regulation of complete societal grace has been, alternatively of branded in rock, been impounded profoundly in the heads of every coevals raised under the canopy of money and manner. The desire for etiquette is so overpowering that it manages to stamp down the simple human longings for personal fulfilment, otherwise enjoyed by those non imprisoned by apparels or hard currency. This struggle between society and human emotion is highly prevailing.

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From the beginning of the narrative, the description of old New York and its dwellers seems stiff. The people are bent on their imposts and beliefs. From the promptitude of the Beaufort Ball, the inflexibleness of decorousness ( including frock, repasts, and room presentation ) , and all relationships, personal or concern. The badness of the conformance makes the presence of groups such as Ellen, Mrs. Mingott, and even Newland, fresh fish for insurgent dirt and chitchat.

But these groups are simply people who are unyielding to the harness of the rich. They have attempted to accomplish their ain satisfaction, nevertheless unsavoury to the remainder of the order. Ellen and Newland s personal feelings for each other are passionate, combustion, and intensely crude. The impact an unmasked relationship would hold is highly far-reaching. It woul

vitamin D be lay waste toing to Newland s married woman, May. The moving ridges would besides be felt internationally by Ellen s hubby in Poland. Newland and Ellen would be ostracized by the full upper-rank, destroying non merely their ain lives, but others every bit good.

The complex set of regulations and ordinances that accompany life in such a society is correspondent to a house of cards. If one card is disturbed, the full thing may crash down. The consequence of recreation is foreshadowed by the perfidy of Julius Beaufort. He debauches the whole system and additions the contempt of all the other elitists. Further dirt is achieved by Mrs. Regina Beaufort when she abandons her hubby in clip of crisis and efforts to acquire the backup of her inaugural household. The regulations are broken and the wake felt far and broad. Similar calamity would follow if Newland and Ellen decide to carry through their personal desire. They do recognize the effects and hence stay untalkative about their matter, and finally gave up all hope and remain within the confines of societal order.

Edith Wharton s message about societal order versus personal fulfilment can be summarized in the statement & # 8220 ; The good of the many, outweighs the good of the few. & # 8221 ; Many would be hurt, and the delicate balance of the high-ranks would be disturbed if a few cardinal characters were allowed to move on their ain urges. The chief characters understand this balance and recognize the ineffectual nature of rebellion and vacate themselves to abandoning their aspiration and so fall in with the form of normal life.


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