The Age Of Innocence
The Significance of The Unsaid in The Age of Innocence
“As he entered the box his eyes met Miss Welland’s, and he saw that she had instantly understood his motive, though the family dignity which both considered so high a virtue would not permit her to tell him so. The persons of their world lived in an atmosphere of faint implications and pale delicacies, and the fact that he and she understood each other without a word seemed to the young man to bring them nearer than any explanation would have done.” (Wharton 16) This statement vividly illustrates the power of the unsaid within New York society during the 1870’s, the time in which The Age of Innocence was set. At that time, there existed a powerful set of rules, regulations, and codes pertaining to one’s conduct that were most often unspoken and, therefore, were never “formally” outlined. However, this did not in any way lessen the degree to which th...