The Age of Innocence -EDITH WHARTON

He watched her face, thinking fondly of her simple innocence. It would be his manly duty and pleasure to educate her. (p2)

He did not want the future Mrs Newland Archer to remain a simple , innocent girl. He intended that , with his help, she would become a social success among the married women of his circle, confident in any situation, always able to make clever and amusing conversation. If he had looked deep within himself (as he sometimes nearly did ), he would have found there the wish that his wife should have the same social experience and eagerness to please as the married lady whose company he had enjoyed for two quite pleasant years .(p3)

That evening, after Mr Jackson’s departure, Newland sat at his desk in the library, looking at the large photograph of May Welland which she had given him. With a new sense of fear he looked at the serious eyes and smiling, innocent mouth of the young creature who would soon be his responsibility. She was the terrifying product of the society he belonged to and believed in – a young girl who knew nothing and expected everything. Suddenly she seemed like a stranger , and he began to realize that marriage was not the safe harbor he had been taught to expect, but a voyage into unexplored seas.(p16)



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