The Age of Innocence is a book full of themes, motifs and symbolism.
The people of old New York Society rely greatly on the acceptance.
and influence of each other, and act solely based on "propriety;" what is.
deemed right and proper by those looked up to. There are two kinds of.
people in this novel, symbolically, the "gods" who are described as.
non-aging, who are high in society, and the "common," people, who.
aren't bound by the restricting standards of society. The "gods" all live.
their lives pretending, trying to look and act perfect for each other.
Newland is torn between his "goddess" fiancée and Ellen, who cleverly.
"fluffs" off the unspoken rules in New York, slipping through the.
standards by not trying to impress anyone. She is the only one who is.
straight-forward and honest, and she ends up causing or at least.
initiating many of the changes that take place. So many of the characters.
go through transformations, such as Newland. Throughout the book, I.
had a changing opinion of his status, whether he was a "god," or a.
simple mortal like Ellen. In the end, I concluded that in a way he was.
both. On the inside, I believe he had the heart of a man not affected by.
the pressures of society, though this side of him was struggling to get.
out. The outside was very proper and concerned with propriety, which.
in effect was what won in the end. Ellen brought out his more free side,.
which was another recurring topic in the book. Freedom was something.