The Age of Innocence through Wilson’s Glasses

Martin Scorsese’s accurately depicts the restricted freedoms of women in old New York, and cities in general. Although Countess Olenska and May are two very different women, they are similar in that neither of them has the ability to roam around the city alone, or express their opinions in public. In this society, men also had more social restrictions than they have today, as the society was generally more formal and constricting, but they were clearly given a much greater level of freedom than their female counterparts. This society is very patriarchal. Men and women fear what may take place if, God forbid, women were aloud to walk around public spaces as they wish. They are are scared of the consequences this will have on their traditional society, and their fears are mostly correct. In fact, giving women the same independence that men have does change the entire nature of the city, as can be seen today. Once the Sphinx is released to run wild about through the streets, there is no stopping it. Boundaries will be broken, limits will be stretched, and traditions will be forgotten. That is why Newland lives his entire life with the women that he doesn’t love, while his real love wanders the world alone. It is simply less trouble for Newland to succumb to tradition, than to try to free his wife if she didn’t know what it is to be free.

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3 Comments so far

  1.   adavison on November 27th, 2010

    THIS WOULD NEED TO BE TIED MUCH MORE CLOSELY TO WILSON.

    YOU MIGHT START BY EXPLAINING HOW WELL THE FILM PORTRAYS 19TH CENTURY PATRIARCHALISM. YOU MIGHT USE MAY AS AN EXAMPLE OF WOMAN CAREFULLY PREVENTED FROM DISTURBING MALE-DOMINATED, PUBLIC URBAN SPACE. SHE IS A MODEL OF SAFE FEMALE RESPECTABILITY.

    THEN YOU WOULD DISCUSS WHAT”Men and women fear [what] may take place if, God forbid, women were aloud to walk around public spaces as they wish. They are are scared of the consequences this will have on their traditional society, and their fears are mostly correct. USE MME OLENSKA. YOU WOULD DESCRIBE THE WAYS IN WHICH SHE PUSHES THE BOUNDARIES OF RESPECTABILITY, ESPECIALLY IN PUBLIC, AND EXPLAIN WHY SHE IS SPHINX-LIKE, AND WHAT PROBLEMS SHE REPRESENTS. WHY IS SHE A THREATENING, DISTURBING PRESENCE, EVEN THOUGH SHE DOESN’T PUSH THE BOUNDARIES ALL THAT MUCH.

  2.   ヴィトン エピ on October 24th, 2013

    ヴィトン モノグラム 財布

  3.   Hcg Diet on June 25th, 2014

    Hcg Diet

    David Rand – Writing New York

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