Carl Van Doren 1921: Victims of the innocence of their generation
They are the victims of the innocence of their generation, and of a formalism which persisted after them.”
V.S. Pritchett 1953: Wharton hated old New York but more new New York, hypocrisy
Mrs Wharton may have hated old New York, but she hated the new New York even more. She disliked the prison of silent hypocrisy
Louis Auchincloss 1962: Only vigor by male characters domination
The only vigor shown by the male characters of The Age of Innocence is in their domination of the female.
Eric Mottram 1971: She presents as the background Background running conflict between old patrician America and new rich
She presents as the background to her stories a running conflict between two distinct upper middle classes, the old ‘patrician’ American families such as her own and the new rich
Cynthia Griffin Wolf: Course of novel Newland quest for happiness coincides with pursuit of maturity
The core of the novel is Newland’s quest for real happiness, a quest that coincides with the pursuit of maturity.
Stephen Orgel 2006: Archer product of society, charming, tactful, enlightened but intelligent and independent to recognize limitations
Archer is a thorough product of [his] society, charming, tactful, enlightened; and though he accepts its standards and abides by its rules he is intelligent and independent enough to recognize its limitations.