Who is May Welland?

4 April 2015
The following paper critically analyzes and follows the development of the character of May Welland in “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton.

This paper contends that our impressions of May Welland are filtered through Newland’s consciousness. The writer suggests that it is difficult to examine her character without taking into account Archer’s view of her. However, as Archer himself eventually realizes, his sense of May is incomplete. This essay follows the development of the novel and shows how there is more to May than initially meets the eye.

From the paper:

“From the beginning, May is portrayed as the picture of innocence: she wears white, has a rosy glow, and is constantly carrying the Biblical lilies-of-the-valley. The descriptions Archer uses for her emphasize youth, athleticism, purity. He compares her, “in her dress of white and silver, with a wreath of silver blossoms in her hair,” to “a Diana just alight from the chase” (58-59).

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In another instance, in “weather to call out May’s radiance, he sees her burning like a young maple in the frost (71).

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Who is May Welland?. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved December 6, 2019, from https://newyorkessays.com/essay-who-is-may-welland/
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