The Age of Innocence Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 59 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Age of Innocence.
This section contains 1,423 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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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...

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This section contains 1,423 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Age of Innocence Study Guide
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Novels for Students
The Age of Innocence from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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