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The Gentleman in Wharton’s The Age of Innocence

  • Maya Higashi WakanaEmail author
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Abstract

Maya Higashi Wakana elaborates on Newland Archer’s gentlemanhood in Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. Newland initially appears aloof, detached, and analytical. However, Wakana shows that Newland’s detachment is likely a pose, a negotiated result of his microsocial need to express himself as an assertive male subject while being faithful to his need to fit into the community that produces him. Illustrating how Newland’s intimacies with his wife May and his wife’s cousin Ellen answer in complex ways to these urgent needs—May and Ellen can complement one another, be equally desirable, or be equally undesirable—demonstrating also Newland’s vulnerability to sentimental or dramatic scripts, the author elaborates on the meaning of Newland’s choice at the end of Wharton’s novel not to see Ellen in Paris.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ritsumeikan UniversityKyotoJapan

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