Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

I must shamefully admit that I have been reading Age of Innocence for quite awhile. I actually like the story and the writing, but "life has been happening," and I have found myself extremely exhausted by 7 or 8 o'clock, and I have given into that tiredness, and therefore, I have not been reading at night.

I have been doing "a bunch of a lot of stuff in April," and I am loving life right now.......

But, my dear readers, do not think for one moment that I have all together neglected reading; I would NEVER do that, but I have been squeezing reading in between working on my portfolio for my state evaluation, biking, traveling a little, doing these exercises that put my muscles in a constant state of fatigue, hanging out with friends, convincing seniors that we are not done yet, and successfully pulling freshmen through The Odyssey. But, last night, while I was tired to the bones, I finished Age of Innocence. (Woo Hoo!)

Age of Innocence is set in upper class New York in the 1870's. Edith portrays the people of that time as people who were constantly doing "the right thing."  The men and women seem to not have mental freedom and basically followed the rules of society.

Newland Archer marries May Welland who is unable to think on her own and is conditioned to think and do as expected. However, Archer falls in love with May's cousin, Madame Olenska, who is a more free spirit and does not follow society's norms and does whatever she wants to. However, May becomes pregnant and Newland Archer stays with her, they have three children, they live a life that is not to bad and is quite tolerable, but not quite "free" from society's pressures.

Through the children of Newland and May, Edith showed that the New York society was changing, because their children did not give into society's pressures and made decisions where they appeared  to be more "free thinking."

This book caused me to think about a quote by Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Go and live the life that you really want to live..........

It took me a loooooong time to finish this book, but I am happy that I did.

My next read is Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We live, love, parent, and lead by Brene Brown.

Join me......

1 comment:

Carole said...

Glad you got it finished Jacqueline - some of these older books are slower to read but worth it all the same. I enjoyed this one too. Cheers

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