Claudia Putnam's Reviews > The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
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Mar 23, 2016

bookshelves: literary-fiction

I'm sure I have nothing to add to the reviews that have gone before me on this one. What a wuss you are, Newland Archer, and I'm sure the author shares my sentiments. Sadly, I don't think New York society changed all that much, though perhaps the markers for snobbery did, a little. So the wave of optimism at the end was a bit premature, I thought. Then again, the Crash was still on the horizon. You kind of take some pleasure in imagining the complete downfall of many of these families; if only such misfortune wouldn't affect the rest of the world and all the regular people as well. It is kind of sad to realize how whatever invisible means of support is propping these families up is actually good for ordinary people at some level (this is not at all the subject of the book, just my musings, in light of the Great Depression that will follow about a decade later...), that capitalism, though it produces this yuckery, is somehow working overall, or is better than not having the markets working. Is there something in between?
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Reading Progress

March 23, 2016 – Started Reading
March 23, 2016 – Shelved
March 25, 2016 – Shelved as: literary-fiction
March 25, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Nice musings. Writing reviews for classic literature puzzles me too at times. When I read this... I thought Edith Wharton a genuine social satirist. She damns with faint praise. Speaking of the contemporary novel (pretend we lived when this was released) some of the details of the women and their "confinement" to social expectations.... well I wonder how much Anna Karenina influenced Wharton. I have it on the low priority to do list to write my review of Anna K. Maybe by comparing the two novels that may be fun to write. Maybe more helpful to someone looking for term paper ideas...:) thanks for the review.


message 2: by Claudia (new) - added it

Claudia Putnam :). That's interesting to think about. I am conflicted on Tolstoy and didn't really like Anna K--don't remember it so well. I am thinking I might get to W&P this year, though. I'd be interested in reading your response to Anna K!


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