The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence

Dr. Agathon Carver Character Analysis

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.
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Dr. Agathon Carver Character Timeline in The Age of Innocence

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.
Chapter 17
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...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)
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
Medora Manson explains that Dr. Carver lives the life of the spirit and is preparing for a lecture he’s about to... (full context)
Chapter 18
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
...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)
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...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)
Chapter 19
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...still in Washington with Ellen. They supposedly left in order to get Medora away from Dr. Carver , who wanted her to join his Valley of Love. They weren’t expected to attend... (full context)
Chapter 21
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...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)
Chapter 24
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
...in danger of making a bad marriage. Archer is surprised that Ellen isn’t worried about Dr. Carver , but she says he only wants Medora as a convert to his social schemes.... (full context)