A friend of Medora Manson, Dr. Carver runs the Valley of Love community, which is a fictionalized version of the numerous experimental communities in New England in the late nineteenth century. These groups shunned the traditional values of society and even advocated free love. Thus, Dr. Carver represents an alternative to the confinements of society at which Archer and Ellen chafe. However, Dr. Carver’s community is never represented as a particularly alluring or realistic option.
The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Agathon Carver appears in The Age of Innocence. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...woman introduces herself as the Marchioness Medora Manson. She’s visiting Ellen from Cuba. She introduces Dr. Agathon Carver , founder of the Valley of Love Community, and expresses despair over New York’s spirit.... (full context)
...while she fussed with her hair. She sees that it’s time for Medora to join Dr. Carver , and she and Archer show Medora out. The unconventionality of Ellen’s familiarity with Nastasia... (full context)
...sure whether Medora has come for that reason. Supposedly Medora had a “spiritual summons” from Dr. Carver , whom she might marry. Ellen doesn’t know why she’s really there, but she does... (full context)
...at the sound of her name. Medora says she’s staying with the Blenkers in Portsmouth. Dr. Agathon Carver is holding meetings there, which are a very different scene than the one before them.... (full context)