This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Love: An Illusion In American Novel

3219 words - 13 pages

Life is the embodiment of one's dreams incorporated with one's successes, most importantly, love. For some people their dreams are solely based on, love. However, for some love can be an unattainable dream. At times, people's romantic dreams of love and happiness are impossible to obtain. When this occurs, romantic dreams represent a vision of life at which reality ends and illusion begins.The attempt to capture a romantic dream is the theme in many novels. Such is the case in two works of literature, Edith Wharton 's Age of Innocence and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Newland Archer, the main character in Age of Innocence, is a married man who wants to acquire happiness and love ...view middle of the document...

Marrying May will Newland's social status.However, Archer drastically changes with the arrival of Ellen Olenska, much to the dismay of the New York social elite. Ellen Olenska,, is in the midst of a scandal because she has left her husband and returned to America after supposedly carrying on an affair with her husband'ssecretary. Ellen is an outcast of society, who never really agrees with the rules of society, she is accepted because of her family, but yet not accepted. Despite all of this, Archer is drawn to Ellen, thus causing a change of heart in him.Archer is fascinated and strongly attracted Ellen. He also notices and appreciates her qualities, as well as he admires her as a women and all the things she stands for. In his eyes, she was everything he ever wanted in a woman both physically and emotionally. Ellen was a total opposite of his wife May. She was beautiful, smart and intellectual. She enjoys art, theater, traveling and fashion. He admires the fact that Ellen can hold a conversation and has a wide social knowledge. He is also fascinated by the fact that she knows so much about the world.Archer states that "Women ought to be free-as free as we are, he declared, making a discovery of which he was too irritated to measure the terrific consequences" (Wharton 41).This is the type of woman he dreams of, one like Ellen. What Archer really loves about Ellen isVera 3the fact that she was totally free and independent. Newland becomes enraptured with Ellen because she defies propriety - yet, this is the one thing that is supposed to make her unacceptable. She thinks for herself, she didn't care what other people thought of her, and she always made her own decisions. She didn't understand or simply didn't follow any rules of society which applied to her. "It is not a custom in New York drawing room for a lady to get and walk away from one gentleman in order to seek the company of another. But the Countess Olenska was apparently unaware of having broken any rules . . . "(Wharton 40).He loves her because she defies the rules of society by seemingly not understanding them. She also makes light of the powerful figures: Manson Mingott, the van der Luydens and the Duke, whom she refers to as "dull"(Wharton 60). Archer was also intrigued by the fact that Ellen believes New York society to be plain and straightforward: "I thought it so up and down like Fifth Avenue. And with all the cross streets numbered"(Wharton 70). Unlike everyone in New York's society, Ellen believed, "The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask one to pretend"( Wharton 67). All these qualities Ellen posed cause Archer to fall in love with her.Archer was intrigued with the Countess' ideas of life which cause him to reevaluate his ideas of society. Ellen's unconventional behavior opens Archer 's eyes to the narrow-mindness of society and its estrangement from reality. Until Ellen arrived, Newland did not realize how bored he was of the monotonous...

Find Another Essay On Love: An Illusion In American Novel

The Love of a Woman in Paulo Coelho’s Novel "The Alchemist"

1178 words - 5 pages define herself by her love and support of Santiago, but this does not mean that Fatima’s character is written as such to emphasize a sexist point of view concerning the role of women. This narrative, with the use of Fatima’s character and her role in Santiago’s life, speaks volumes about the role and power of both women and love. Women are in a constant battle, not for an upper hand, but for mere equality. Coelho’s Fatima eagerly encourages

Lost Faith in Love: a response to Dianne Warren's novel, "A Reckless Moon"

1069 words - 4 pages . Remaining unfulfilled, the characters' despair creates the sad mood of the collection of stories about lost faith in love. This essay explores this theme through each character of the short stories reviewed and their experiences of regret, romance and naivete.In "Moving Picture," there is a heartrending sense of regret. The main character, Gerri, and her boyfriend, Greg, share an understanding of their relationship: "[they] don't really believe

An American Soldier in World War I

985 words - 4 pages An American Soldier in World War I is written by Liberty professor David L. Snead. It tells the story of a soldier and his fiancé relationship through World War I through letters they wrote one another. Professor Snead was introduced to the letters by a student of his Page Waugh. They were letters from her uncle to her aunt and with permission from her family he combines the letters and historical context to write a book about Browne, Marty and

Black Women in an American Industry

781 words - 4 pages , lost to "Out of Africa" at the 58th Academy Awards. But this wasn't the first nor the last time African American would be snubbed for an award. Out of 86 years of the Academy Awards, only 29 people of colors have won an Oscar. Only 7 of them have been black women. Next time you wonder why whenever a black actor or actress wins an Oscar, everyone gives them a standing ovation, you know why. It's considered a rare occasion when a black actress or

Was the Mexican American War an Exercise in American Imperialism

569 words - 2 pages land to the coast. In fact, during this time the Anglo-Saxons believe that the God they worshiped had given them a right to all the land on this continent, and that they were to spread their religion within those who did not believe. Abiel Abbot Livermore gave an accurate description of the Americans in his book The War With Mexico Reviewed: "more, more, give us more." This is in regards to the Americans' want for new land.Numerous people had

Asian and American Culture in an American Society

821 words - 4 pages with Kim Kardashian; whereas when Miss Nina Davuluri won the Miss America 2013 title, it was not considered as Miss Davuluri’s success. It was seen as an Indian-American success and hence that of the Asian-American. Another important difference is in how a confrontational topic is handled. Americans prefer to handle a controversial issue ‘head-on’ whereas Asians prefer to subdue the issue subtly in order to save ‘face’. The American way of

Courtly Love as an Ennobler in Romantic Literature

1684 words - 7 pages Lancelot, the knight of the cart, is in love with Queen Guinevere, who constantly compromises his reputation by embarrassing him . Chretien de Troyes writes Lancelot in The Knight of the Cart to be deeply in love, so much so that he constantly sacrifices his reputation for the queen. Classically, “the romantic hero developed from an extravagant to an ideal character” (Williams 275) in typical Romance literature. Although Romance literature has

An Air of Secrecy in the Novel "Jane Eyre". Express how secrecy drives the plot of the novel Jane Eyre

1000 words - 4 pages to Rochester. She is devastated and decides to leave him. As a result of Rochester's secret and its revelation the plot significantly changes. In the novel, it was not the secret that was imperative to the plot but the consequences of the secret that affected the plot. Jane's absence positively affects Rochester's character, better preparing him to enter into an honest, healthy relationship with Jane. These changes are apparent when he humbles

This a romance paper a story of a big love. "Drawing upon the essays listed, write an essay in which you define the "American Dream," then describe some of the obstacles to achieving it."

934 words - 4 pages Drawing upon the essays listed, write an essay in which you define the "American Dream," then describe some of the obstacles to achieving it. How, in your opinion, might some of these obstacles be either surmounted or removed?The ultimate goal. The driving force that keeps societies pushing and individuals striving. Obtainable, as most visions are, but demanding in discipline and focus. The American Dream. Our consuming desires, profit shares

Human Relations in Camus' Novel, The Outsider, from an Existentialist View

2218 words - 9 pages Human relations are very important for any human, and differ from one age to another because of the emerging of different movements across time. The human relations with God, love, society, death etc… are relations that human make to live his life. I study in this paper the human relations in The Outsider novel by Albert Camus from an existentialist view. I want to study Meursault relations who is the main character in Albert Camus’s novel The

An Analysis of conflict in the Novel the Son of Neptune

784 words - 4 pages ending is an example of the final barrier in the system of an archetypal quest as well as following the order of the 5 stages of grief (The 5 Stages of Loss and Grief). While overcoming his fear of death, the hero is shown by the author as using the standard archetypal quest and 5 stages of loss and grief to show how the hero goes through these many trials and tribulations to finish the quest. Different types of conflict relevant in this novel

Similar Essays

Illusion Of Love In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

1510 words - 6 pages love Helena as she loves him, but the question arises as to whether these lovers are actually in love. Is Shakespeare providing us with a wholesome tale of true love or is he conveying something more raw, more provocative than that? When taking a closer look at this play, one sees a recurring pattern and another common theme - that of lust and sexuality. The love theme in this play is but an illusion, the reality is that this play is centered

The Illusion Of Love In Faulkner’s A Rose For Emily

533 words - 2 pages William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” takes the setting of an old shabby house, in which Emily poisons her lover to death. Though some people suggest the house should be a symbol for isolation, I believe the house, like the rose, is the emblem of love. Both of the two symbols are meant to be of promising connotation, but egoism takes happiness away from love. House is commonly referred to as another word for warm home and love. Since the

Love And Sex In Geoge Orwell's Novel 1984

1062 words - 4 pages George Orwell's novel 1984 explores intimate human relationships in a bleak futuristic society as experienced by protagonist Winston Smith. Since there are few bonds stronger than those developed from loving relationships among family, friends, and lovers, the only entity acceptable to love in Oceania is the face of the Party, Big Brother. This restriction is necessary to achieving complete power and control over its citizens, as the Party must

An Essay(With Outline)On The Novel By Caroline Knapp Titled Drinking: A Love Story

1727 words - 7 pages Thesis: Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp is a story of one woman's strugglewith alcoholism. She discusses the possible link between heredity and alcoholism, howshe is effected by alcohol and how her life becomes uncontrollable as a result.I. Introduction to drinkingA. Her familyB. How it makes her feel1. Social reasons2. Avoidance of self-awareness3. Physical SymptomsII. What is an alcoholic?A. "Skid row bum"B. "High functioning