Looking back: Wharton, Fitzgerald, and Ourselves

By Caitlin O'Hara

Think of favorite endings of books that really resonate: Levin and his revelation towards goodness at the end of Anna Karenina.  Molly Bloom’s return to girlish passion for her husband in Ulysses — “yes, I said, yes I will, yes.” Newland Archer’s resignation and acceptance in The Age of Innocence, surprising himself in old age.  Gatsby’s pointless, preventable demise. All of these endings raise elemental human questions; they are not sweeping, plot-driven conclusions.  In our too-mortal lives, goodness, love, regret, and uncertainty can often never be fully realized or und...

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