Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Age Of Innocence (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)

When The Age of Innocence appeared in 1920, it was read by a public still disturbed by World War I. While the highly structured New York life the novel describes could offer its readers return to safety, ultimately such safety also comes with a price. Edith Wharton tells her story through the voice of her main male character, indicating that women are not the only ones who have to pay that price. They, too, can be victims of overpowering and destructive social norms. And when Wharton's male character throws open the window sash because he literally needs to breathe fresh air rather than the air in his own stifling home, we realize it can be suffocating following not just the rules of the early 1900s but those of our own times as well. (Descriptive information provided by the publsiher)

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