The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence

Lawrence Lefferts Character Analysis

Lefferts is considered the utmost authority on “form” in New York society. He’s a fashionable, good-looking young man who likes to think that he sets an example for other young men to follow. However, his insistence on members of society following certain rules of fashion and public behavior is largely an act that he uses to cover up the frequent affairs he conducts outside his marriage. In this way, Lefferts represents the worst hypocrisy of New York society.
Get the entire The Age of Innocence LitChart as a printable PDF.
The age of innocence.pdf.medium

Lawrence Lefferts Character Timeline in The Age of Innocence

The timeline below shows where the character Lawrence Lefferts appears in The Age of Innocence. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Next to Archer, Lawrence Lefferts exclaims. Lefferts is an expert on “form,” partly through having studied it carefully, but also... (full context)
Chapter 2
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...in Archer’s box are talking about Ellen Olenska, who left her brute of a husband. Lefferts confirms that he was an awful womanizer and spent freely, but she ran off with... (full context)
Chapter 6
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...his marriage will become as unfeeling and hypocritical as those he sees around him. Lawrence Lefferts, for example, has frequent affairs while his wife remains ignorant and even blushes when someone... (full context)
Chapter 7
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
Mr. van der Luyden asks whether the situation is really Lawrence Lefferts’s fault, and Archer says he’s sure it is, because Lefferts has been having an affair... (full context)
Chapter 8
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Archer watches Lawrence Lefferts and his wife meeting Ellen Olenska, along with other couples who had refused to meet... (full context)
Chapter 10
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...a high-class prostitute, Miss Fanny Ring, being seen in Beaufort’s carriage. Archer can imagine Lawrence Lefferts exclaiming over society’s ruin. (full context)
Chapter 19
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...Beaufort looking at the women while sitting next to his wife, as well as Lawrence Lefferts seeming to represent the god of “form.” Archer wonders what Lefferts will find lacking, and... (full context)
Chapter 21
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...group behind her, but none of them can make athletic pursuits look so easy. Lawrence Lefferts remarks on her beauty, but Beaufort says this is the only kind of target she’ll... (full context)
Chapter 23
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
...trip seem plausible. The ease with which he lied made him feel guiltily like Lawrence Lefferts. (full context)
Chapter 26
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...him. Archer insists that Mr. Jackson is making an improper insinuation, but Mr. Jackson says Lefferts is really the one doing it. Archer retorts that Ellen snubbed Lefferts for flirting with... (full context)
Chapter 28
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Archer runs into Lawrence Lefferts at the telegraph office. He just heard about Mrs. Mingott’s stroke and followed Archer to... (full context)
Chapter 31
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Lawrence Lefferts and another man come down the road, but Archer stops worrying about Ellen being seen... (full context)
Chapter 33
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
The gentlemen in the library talk about the Beauforts. Lawrence Lefferts gives a scathing speech about a man’s duty and the sacredness of the home. He... (full context)
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...van der Luydens take her into their carriage. As he returns to the house, Lawrence Lefferts asks him to tell people that he’s dining with him at the club the next... (full context)
Chapter 34
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...what’s left of the world that shaped him as a young man. He remembers Lawrence Lefferts suggesting that one day their children would marry Beaufort’s bastards. Dallas is marrying one of... (full context)