CliffsNotes Wharton's The Age of Innocence

By Susan Van Kirk | Go to book overview

Book 1
Chapters VII–VIII

Summary

The van der Luydens are one of three New York families with aristocratic bloodlines. They listen to Mrs. Archer’s account of the slight conferred upon the Countess by New York society, and decide that a show of family loyalty would rectify the situation. Because Louisa’s relative, the Duke of St. Austrey, is arriving from Russia, the van der Luydens will include the Countess in their dinner and reception for him.

At the party, the van der Luydens spare no pains in providing the best china, silver, and glassware. Newland notices that the Countess is pale but very confident with almost a regal bearing. She does not seem decadent, as her past would suggest. However, when Newland and the Countess speak after dinner he is shocked by her sadness and candor. She wants to be all things American and when she touches his knee with her fan he feels unexpected electricity. Breaking an unspoken social rule, the Countess says she will see Newland at five o’clock the next day. Surprised, he agrees. Later he watches couples—including the Lefferts, who initially turned down the Archers’ invitation—standing in line to be introduced to the Countess now that the van der Luydens have included her in their social circle.


Commentary

Wharton uses word painting to describe the intolerant, rigid older generation. The van der Luydens symbolize the frosty chill of old New York. Newland believes Louisa has been “gruesomely preserved in the airless atmosphere” like “bodies caught in glaciers keep for years a rosy life-in-death.” Louisa defers to her husband almost sacredly and Newland has a disturbing vision of his own marriage in future years. The van der Luydens hold family loyalty as sacrosanct. Mrs. Mingott remarks, however, that New York society needs new blood. The van der Luydens are the proof.

-21-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
CliffsNotes Wharton's The Age of Innocence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Table of Contents iii
  • How to Use This Book iv
  • Life and Background of the Author 1
  • Introduction to the Novel 6
  • Critical Commentaries 13
  • Book 1- Chapter I 14
  • Chapters II-III 17
  • Chapters IV-VI 19
  • Chapters VII-VIII 21
  • Chapters IX-XI 23
  • Chapters XII-XIII 27
  • Chapters XIV-XV 29
  • Chapters XVI-XVII 31
  • Chapter XVIII 33
  • Book 2- Chapters XIX-XX 35
  • Chapters XXI-XXIV 37
  • Chapters XXV-XXVI 41
  • Chapters XXVII-XXX 44
  • Chapters XXXI-XXXIII 48
  • Chapter XXXIV 53
  • Character Analyses 57
  • Critical Essay 62
  • CliffsNotes Review 67
  • Index 73
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 76

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.