Everything you need to understand or teach The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.
Book 1: Chapters 1 - 9
The book opens as members of old New York society gather at the opera. Although they have not come to the opera together, Newland Archer rests his gaze on his fiancée, May Welland. He considers her innocence and how he will educate and enlighten her, so that she can become his ideal woman. A stir is created when May's cousin, Countess Ellen Olenska, arrives in the Wellands' box. She married a Polish Count and lived in Europe until she left her husband, reportedly with his secretary. By inviting her to their opera box, the Wellands knowingly risk becoming the subject of gossip.
Newland thinks about the Welland family matriarch, Catherine Mingott, who is a powerful figure in New York society. Catherine is an enormous woman, whose weight prevents her from leaving her house. Still, she is a respected and animated member of her community.
During intermission, Newland visits... View more of the The Age of Innocence Summary
The Age of Innocence Lesson Plans contain 123 pages of teaching material, including: