Chapter 1 | Chapter 2
* The story takes place in the early 1870s in New York City.
* The protagonist, Newland Archer, arrives at the opera.
* Newland fixes his gaze on the opera box owned by Mrs. Manson Mingott.
* Newland is engaged to Mrs. Mingott's granddaughter, May Welland.
* The audience stirs at the arrival of a controversial member of the Mingott family, Countess Ellen Olenska.
* Ellen is estranged from her abusive French husband, Count Olenska.
* There are rumors that Ellen left her husband to live with his secretary.
* Newland joins the Mingott opera box and is shocked by Ellen's informality.
Chapter 3 | Chapter 4
* Julius and Regina Beaufort host their annual ball.
* The Beauforts are known as common people who secure their position in society only by their wealth.
* May tells Newland that he should tell Ellen about their engagement because she has already told some of her friends.
* Newland is not able to...
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