Daniel Day-Lewis plays young attorney Newland Archer, outwardly engaged to the young May Welland (Winona Ryder) for love.
We gather that love was only the offshoot, perhaps the illusion forced by an arranged coupling.
The characters are placed in an environment of repression, submission, and most of all, a stifling behavioral decorum that limits what a person can say, do, or even feel.
Marriage is a contract, more about a vital link between two important families than two lovers. There is no personal life outside of what affects the family.
Rumors of divorce and free romantic associations surround the Countess, and so she finds herself ostracized by the New York elite.
Joseph Conrad Research Paper - Age Of Innocence Essay
Even before this scandal, Wharton writes she was “the cousin always referred to in the family as ‘poor Ellen Olenska,’” though she’s hardly pathetic or pitiable.
Most were set in high society, sometimes Victorian England or an earlier period that allowed extravagant costumes and set pieces—anyplace that transported the mostly female viewers of the era, and their husbands and children, away from the drudgery of their daily lives, from the Depression to World War II.
They featured stars like Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, and Olivia de Havilland, and they drew from sources in popular and prestige literature.
Edith Wharton’s novel was published in 1920, and the next year she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature.
Booth Tarkington’s similarly themed novel was, of course, adapted to film in 1941 by Orson Welles).