Marriage In Edith Wharton's The Glimpses Of The Moon

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“Married… Doesn’t it mean something to you, something—inexorable? It does to me” (497). Nick’s words to Susy in the final chapters of The Glimpses of the Moon echo the sentiments of the novel’s author. Edith Wharton’s works emphasize principles that should be maintained in marriage and illustrate how breaking the sanctity of marriage can potentially impact other people negatively. However, The Age of Innocence depicts a spouse directly facing the consequences of disrespecting his marriage. In contrast, the protagonists of The Glimpses of the Moon learn to appreciate the values Wharton upholds in time to preserve their fate. Wharton’s foremost concern is that fidelity be safeguarded before all other qualities, as The Age of Innocence demonstrates.…show more content…
When she returns to life in high society, Susy feels “such a disgusted recoil from the standards and ideals of everybody about her as had flung her into her mad marriage with Nick” (Glimpses 311). Only by following her conscience can Susy find fulfillment in life, as Wharton emphasizes by connecting Susy’s instinctual emotions with the married life she found so rewarding. Susy learns from the destruction wrecked by the unfaithful spouses in her society, which results in her attaining a more meaningful life than any of her peers could understand. Susy ruminates on the difference between the authentic life her love leads her to and the superficiality of the enjoyments of those around her: “the difference doesn’t seem to live [in love], after all, but deeper, in things we’ve shared that seem to be meant to outlast love” (Glimpses 403). Susy is referring to the morality she and Nick found as they lived honestly together: it was “something that Nick and love had taught her, but that reached out even beyond love and beyond Nick (Glimpses 281). Wharton connects Susy’s newfound ethics with love to show that they are sound, but emphasizes that Susy’s fidelity is a guiding principle for an entirely new way of living. Wharton’s point is that remaining faithful to one’s marriage creates a standard for one’s way of living that can enhance one’s entire
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