Comparison Of Innocence And The House Of Mirth, By Edith Wharton

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Edith Wharton’s two stories The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth are similar in many ways. First both stories view different women’s roles in the 19th and 20th century. Also Wharton uses the element of symbolism, the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. Finally each story is based on high society and the rank that a person falls under. The story The Age of Innocence is about a young woman named May Welland who is engaged to Archer Newland (Wharton). They are an upper class couple that unintentionally has their lives ruined by May’s cousin Countess Ellen Olenska (Wharton). May Welland is a young lady that comes from a very wealthy family (Wharton). She is pure and beautiful and all the elements a lady of old New York should be (Thomason). However her cousin, Ellen Olenska, has been absent from New York and her time in Europe has changed her (Thomason). Ellen…show more content…
She wants to marry into wealth but still have a relationship that has love and respect, however she cannot have both (Wharton). Wharton expresses the roles of women in the story, much like in The Age of Innocence. The story is set in the 20th century when women were meant to play the role of nothing more than a wife and mother (Galens). Lily’s only goal in life is to make a good marriage, the only profession she has been trained in (Galens). However, when she fails to do this she has no skills to fall back on and she slips deeper and deeper into poverty (Galens). Symbolism is another element of Edith Wharton’s novel The House of Mirth. The name of the main character Lily is the symbol of the story (Galens). Like the flower her name symbolizes her to be beautiful and delicate (Galens). Even though people shut Lily out due to false rumors she remains to be above the rest of her community (Galens). She keeps her head high and continues to always do the right thing

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