The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence

Dallas Archer Character Analysis

Newland Archer’s eldest son, with whom he takes a trip to Europe at the end of the book. Dallas, born twenty-six years after Archer’s affair with Ellen, represents the new generation of New York society, much less bound by convention than Archer’s peers. Dallas is an architect—a profession that older generations of high society would never have pursued—and he is about to marry Beaufort’s daughter, which would have been considered scandalous in years past. Dallas’s life shows the new possibilities for post-Gilded Age New Yorkers, and his happiness suggests that these changes are positive.

Dallas Archer Quotes in The Age of Innocence

The The Age of Innocence quotes below are all either spoken by Dallas Archer or refer to Dallas Archer. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Age of Innocence published in 1997.
Chapter 34 Quotes

And as he had seen her that day, so she had remained;... generous, faithful, unwearied; but so lacking in imagination, so incapable of growth, that the world of her youth had fallen into pieces and rebuilt itself without her ever being conscious of the change.... And she had died thinking the world a good place, full of loving and harmonious households like her own, and resigned to leave it because she was convinced that, whatever happened, Newland would continue to inculcate in Dallas the same principles and prejudices which had shaped his parents’ lives, and that Dallas in turn (when Newland followed her) would transmit the sacred trust to little Bill.

Related Characters: Newland Archer, May Welland, Dallas Archer
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:

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“She said she knew we were safe with you, and always would be, because once, when she asked you to, you’d given up the thing you most wanted.”

Archer received this strange communication in silence.... At length he said in a low voice: “She never asked me.”

Related Characters: Newland Archer (speaker), Dallas Archer (speaker), May Welland
Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:

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Dallas Archer Character Timeline in The Age of Innocence

The timeline below shows where the character Dallas Archer appears in The Age of Innocence. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 34
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...twenty-six years since May told him she was pregnant. This is where their eldest boy, Dallas, was christened, and where he said his first words. This is where their daughter Mary... (full context)
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Archer receives a phone call from Dallas, who’s in Chicago on business. He invites Archer to sail to Europe with him the... (full context)
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
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...May didn’t like to travel unless there was a specific reason to do so. When Dallas graduated from college, the family traveled through England, Switzerland, and Italy. Dallas wanted to see... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
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...man. He remembers Lawrence Lefferts suggesting that one day their children would marry Beaufort’s bastards. Dallas is marrying one of Beaufort’s bastards, but everyone approves. Janey even gave Fanny Beaufort Mrs.... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...looks at Paris out his hotel window and feels young and eager. He wonders whether Dallas gets as thrilled as this in Fanny Beaufort’s presence, but Dallas never worried that his... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
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Archer insisted that he and Dallas stay in what Dallas considers an old-fashioned hotel. After Ellen left, Archer often imagined going... (full context)
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
Dallas asks what Ellen was like, as he’s heard that she and Archer were close. Archer... (full context)
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...He’s relieved and moved to know that May guessed how he felt and pitied him. Dallas probably sees the situation as a waste of effort, and Archer wonders whether that’s all... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
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Archer meets Dallas at the hotel and they walk towards Ellen’s house. Dallas talks enthusiastically about Versailles, where... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
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The neighborhood is quiet, and the daylight is fading. Dallas stops before Ellen’s building and puts his arm through Archer’s. He speaks to the porter... (full context)
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
Archer sits on the bench and thinks of Dallas going up to Ellen’s floor and entering her drawing room. He imagines the other guests... (full context)