The Role Of Social Norms In Edith Wharton's Age Of Innocence

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Throughout Edith Wharton’s Transcendental novel, Age of Innocence, she creates a complex society based on social norms. During this work, Wharton suggests that power is based on wealth and that an individuals’ potential is limited to some extent by the strict rules of upper class New York society. For instance, the elites of New York refuse to let Ellen Olenska into their society because she is a woman who left her husband. These New Yorkers are worried that they will be breaking the social code by having an outcast as an acquaintance. Ellen’s struggles in fitting into society depicts the fact that one cannot ignore all social norms and be accepted by anyone worried about their own status. The amount of power and influence society has over
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