Women In Edith Wharton's The Age Of Innocence

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Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Price-winning novel The Age of Innocence, published in 1920, is set in 1870s New York. The era, also known as the Gilded Age, was a time of great economic growth, especially in the North and West, while the South still faced repercussions of the Civil War. In this essay, I will mainly focus on the position of women in the society and how the society established its control over them. (Whitin this broad context)?? The American Civil war ended in 1865 with the abolishment of slavery. While the agricultural South lost, the winning side underwent industrialization and urbanization. The progress mainly depended on transcontinental railroad, natural resources such as iron, stream and electricity, and later on technology, for example internal combustion engine, telephone, radio etc. As Hohl and Mauk claim, “Economies of production and distribution led to the growth of large-scale manufacturing and the export of manufactured goods now became more important than raw materials. Economic activity was based on a commercial life free from restrictions. Business operated for profit in a ‘market economy’ where independent buyers and sellers determined the need for and price of goods.” (Hohl and Mauk 2002, 199) Making profit soon became the main goal in the American life and all of this led to an uncontrollable capitalism. Moreover, despite general economic growth, there were periods of crises and the progress was also accompanied with harsh living and working

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