CliffsNotes Wharton's The Age of Innocence

By Susan Van Kirk | Go to book overview

Book 2
Chapters XXVII–XXX

Summary

The following Wednesday, Newland’s plans to go to Washington are postponed by a crisis in Beaufort’s business affairs. Scandal has caused a run on the bank and Julius Beaufort is anathema. Much talk is heard about “poor Regina” and how “her duty is at his side.” In the midst of all this, Newland receives a message from May to come to old Catherine Mingott’s because Catherine has had a slight stroke.

Upon arriving he discovers that Regina Beaufort visited Mrs. Mingott the night before, appealing to her to stand by the Beauforts with family loyalty. Humorously, Newland’s father-in-law is in bed and will probably stay there, allowing the ladies to handle this problem. Newland listens to the family discussion and agrees with them that “in the old days,” husband and wife shared the same disgrace. Mrs. Mingott has requested Ellen’s presence and Newland must arrange a telegram. May and her mother hastily agree that it is too bad Newland’s and Ellen’s trains will probably pass each other. As Newland leaves, he hears May pointedly exclaim that Granny probably wants to convince Ellen to rejoin her husband, the Count.

The next day Catherine is slightly better and decides she will announce her stroke as indigestion. The Countess’s reply announces that she will be arriving the next day by train in Jersey City. Newland suggests he meet her train and Mrs. Welland agrees. May finds it odd that Newland can do this when he has led her to believe he must be in Washington for a patent case. He says it has been postponed and she finds that odd also because Newland’s boss is going to Washington on a huge patent case. May’s insistence on catching Newland in his lie is very uncharacteristic of May. They both know he is lying. But, forgetting this, he thinks of the luxurious two hours he will have with Ellen on the carriage ride back.

As Newland he waits for Ellen’s train, he thinks about the predictions of experts about a future where there will be no need for a ferry because a tunnel will take trains under the Hudson. There will be ships

-44-

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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
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