A Clandestine Countess in a Sociable Setting

Analysing Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence from a Modernist Lens

  • Azra Minaz Mukadam -
Keywords: America Vs Europe, Novel of manners, The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton, Disillusionment of war, Evolution of America, Modernism, Modernist Literature


Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence (1920) is an American novel of manners set in pre-war New York society. It explores the dichotomies present in old New York by comparing the new ways with the old in the form of characters representing contrasts between American and European ideals. This study aims at understanding the elements of modernism prevalent in the novel. Taking into account Madam Olenska’s clandestine nature with regard to the hieroglyphic world she enters, the contrasts and comparisons between America and Europe, the evolution of America and sense of innocence of the time, the analysis proves how Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence is an escapist work that vouches for divorce from the old ways.


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Author Biography

Azra Minaz Mukadam, -

Azra Minaz Mukadam is a writer, poet and critical theorist who finds writing inspiration in everything around her. She has completed her M. A. in English Literature. From Greek Mythology and Postcolonial Literary Theory, to Contemporary Kafkaesque Literature, her research interests have cultivated her reading habits and vice versa. She believes that discourse is the first step towards change and makes sure she is vocal about issues that matter.


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2. Morley, Catherine. "Modern American Literature." (2012).
3. Wharton, Edith. The Age of Innocence. 1920.
How to Cite
Mukadam, A. “A Clandestine Countess in a Sociable Setting”. Contemporary Literary Review India, Vol. 11, no. 1, Feb. 2024, pp. 1-9, https://www.literaryjournal.in/index.php/clri/article/view/1250.
Research Papers