Compare & Contrast The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

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1870s: The United States is recovering from the Civil War and is not yet a world power. As a result, Americans focus on internal issues and resources, and tend to identify themselves in regional terms.

Today: The United States has a major world presence, both economically and militarily. Americans are interested in both domestic and foreign issues and events. While people often retain a sense of pride in their regional culture, citizens of the United States generally think of themselves as Americans.

1870s: The society described in The Age of Innocence strives to preserve itself against unpleasantness. Members of this society will not even consider allowing intellectuals, artists, or writers into their circle, as they are likely to bring with them new ideas and points of view.

Today: "Unpleasantness" is not only pervasive, but is often sought out by average Americans. Movies and songs containing violent and profane...

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This section contains 354 words
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Buy The Age of Innocence Study Guide
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The Age of Innocence from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.