The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence

Mrs. Adeline Archer Character Analysis

Newland Archer’s mother. Mrs. Archer represents the staunchly traditional view of the world. She never questions society’s rules and she laments the changes that she sees happening around her. Although she hardly ever goes out into society, she likes to know all the latest gossip and often invites Sillerton Jackson to dine so that he can keep her updated.

Mrs. Adeline Archer Quotes in The Age of Innocence

The The Age of Innocence quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Adeline Archer or refer to Mrs. Adeline 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 20 Quotes

In all the rainy desert of autumnal London there were only two people whom the Newland Archers knew; and these two they had sedulously avoided, in conformity with the old New York tradition that it was not “dignified” to force oneself on the notice of one’s acquaintances in foreign countries.

Mrs. Archer and Janey... had so unflinchingly lived up to this principle... that they had almost achieved the record of never having exchanged a word with a “foreigner” other than those employed in hotels and railway-stations.

Related Characters: Newland Archer, May Welland, Mrs. Adeline Archer, Janey Archer
Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 26 Quotes

[P]unctually at about this time Mrs. Archer always said that New York was very much changed.

Observing it from the lofty stand-point of a non-participant, she was able... to trace each new crack in its surface, and all the strange weeds pushing up between the ordered rows of social vegetables. It had been one of the amusements of Archer’s youth to... hear her enumerate the minute signs of disintegration that his careless gaze had overlooked. For New York, to Mrs. Archer’s mind, never changed without changing for the worse....

Related Characters: Newland Archer, Mrs. Adeline Archer
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 33 Quotes

“Have you told anyone else?”

“Only Mamma and your mother.” She paused, and then added hurriedly, the blood flushing up to her forehead: “That is—and Ellen. You know I told you we’d had a long talk one afternoon—and how dear she was to me.”

“Ah—” said Archer, his heart stopping.... “But that was a fortnight ago, wasn’t it? I thought you said you weren’t sure till today.”

Her color burned deeper, but she held his gaze. “No; I wasn’t sure then—but I told her I was. And you see I was right!” she exclaimed, her blue eyes wet with victory.

Related Characters: Newland Archer (speaker), May Welland (speaker), Ellen Olenska, Mrs. Adeline Archer, Mrs. Welland
Page Number: 222
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deseru

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Mrs. Adeline Archer Character Timeline in The Age of Innocence

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Adeline Archer appears in The Age of Innocence. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...his sister Sophy, who lives with him, collect between them all the gossip worth knowing. Mrs. Archer is shy and doesn’t entertain often, but she invites Mr. Jackson to dinner whenever she... (full context)
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
Mrs. Archer has been a widow a long time and lives with her son and daughter. Archer... (full context)
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...regrettable presence of Mrs. Struthers at the ball. They blame her invitation on Beaufort, whom Mrs. Archer has never trusted. Mr. Jackson claims that Mrs. Struthers came from a mine or a... (full context)
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Mrs. Archer doesn’t really care about Mrs. Struthers, so she turns the conversation to Ellen Olenska. She’s... (full context)
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...the afternoon, since at the opera she was wearing something that looked like a nightgown. Mrs. Archer remarks that it’s good that Ellen Olenska didn’t go to the ball, but Archer says... (full context)
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...says that Ellen should have changed her name to Elaine to sound more Polish, but Mrs. Archer says the name is too conspicuous. Archer, however, argues that Ellen shouldn’t have to hide... (full context)
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
After dinner, Mrs. Archer and Janey go to the drawing room, where they work on embroidery. Meanwhile, Archer and... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...are the “plain people,” who come from respectable families and have married into ruling families. Mrs. Archer says that the old traditions of rank are beginning to crumble. Above this group are... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...Dutch colonial governor of New York. They rarely come to their house in the city. Mrs. Archer wishes Archer would come with her to visit Mrs. van der Luyden. She’s only doing... (full context)
Chapter 7
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
Mrs. van der Luyden listens silently to Mrs. Archer . Even if one knows that Mrs. van der Luyden is always silent and always... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...Luyden saying that life is so rushed these days. At Mrs. van der Luyden’s prompting, Mrs. Archer relates the tale of the Mingotts’ snubbing, saying that everyone felt the van der Luydens... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...wife begins to suspect, he works up a show of indignation about other people’s improprieties. Mrs. Archer and Mrs. van der Luyden exclaim that society is being ruined if the Leffertses have... (full context)
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
...who is arriving the next week. Mrs. van der Luyden will deliver the invitation herself. Mrs. Archer thanks them, and the Archers are shown out. Before long, everyone knows that Mrs. van... (full context)
Chapter 10
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
...thinks it’s ridiculous for the van der Luydens to be so offended by Ellen’s actions. Mrs. Archer thinks Mrs. Struthers’s gatherings are scandalous because there’s smoking, champagne, and French music. Archer implies... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
Mrs. Archer wants Archer to come with her to explain to Mrs. van der Luyden that Ellen... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Suddenly the butler announces Mr. van der Luyden. Mrs. Archer quickly arranges herself before he enters, and Archer greets him, saying that they were just... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
...say that he visited to warn Ellen about letting the Duke take her to parties. Mrs. Archer pretends she hasn’t heard what happened. Mr. van der Luyden explains that they can’t expect... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Mrs. Archer says that Archer will be particularly thankful to Mr. van der Luyden because of his... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...of them at the Blenkers’ house. The Archers’ group highly respects literature and art, and Mrs. Archer often says that society was far better when it included celebrated writers, but now society... (full context)
Chapter 15
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
...next morning, his time with her at Skuytercliff seems entirely unreal. At breakfast, Janey and Mrs. Archer remark that he seems ill, but they blame it on his work, which they think... (full context)
Chapter 17
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
When Archer returns home, Janey tells him at dinner that Ellen came to visit Mrs. Archer when he was gone. He shows his surprise. Janey describes Ellen’s stylish outfit and says... (full context)
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
...tells her Archer has been to see May, and Ellen says she went to see Mrs. Archer to find out where he’d gone. He says he meant to write her from Florida.... (full context)
Chapter 20
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
...away from these acquaintances. It’s not considered dignified to force foreign acquaintances to entertain travelers. Mrs. Archer and Janey have stuck to this principle with such dedication that in all of their... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
However, one night at a hotel an English lady asked Mrs. Archer and Janey for a bottle of liniment for her sister, Mrs. Carfry, who had bronchitis.... (full context)
Chapter 26
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...in October, and by the middle of November it’s in full swing. Around this time, Mrs. Archer always comments on how changed New York is, and in her opinion it only ever... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...pursuing foreigners. When he speaks against society he discusses its “trend,” an idea that frightens Mrs. Archer . Miss Sophy Jackson thinks it’s odd that he preached about it on Thanksgiving, but... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
...wear her dresses as soon as she received them, which makes her look very improper. Mrs. Archer expresses pity for Mrs. Beaufort, because there are rumors that Beaufort is heading for financial... (full context)
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
Everything they talk about seems to confirm Mrs. Archer ’s sense of change. She remarks that May now goes to Mrs. Struthers’s gatherings, but... (full context)
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
Mrs. Archer feels that people like Ellen, who have lived in aristocratic societies, should help New York... (full context)
Chapter 28
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
American vs. Foreign Theme Icon
...evidence that marriages can’t be dissolved. The Beauforts will no longer be part of society. Mrs. Archer says they’d better move to North Carolina and breed horses. (full context)
Chapter 32
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...Luydens, who have come into the city to help stabilize society after the Beaufort scandal. Mrs. Archer thinks this is just the time when common people like Mrs. Struthers will try to... (full context)
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...der Luyden asks May whether Mrs. Mingott’s carriage was really seen at the Beauforts’ house. Mrs. Archer says if it was, Mrs. Mingott surely didn’t know it was there. Mr. van der... (full context)
Chapter 33
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Mrs. Archer and Mrs. Welland sit in May’s drawing room on the afternoon of the dinner, making... (full context)
Innocence vs. Experience Theme Icon
The Failure of Marriage Theme Icon
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
...would happen. Archer feels sick, but he holds her. She says that only Mrs. Welland, Mrs. Archer , and Ellen know. She told Ellen when they had their long talk recently. She’s... (full context)
Chapter 34
The Rules of Society Theme Icon
Change and Progress Theme Icon
...Dallas is marrying one of Beaufort’s bastards, but everyone approves. Janey even gave Fanny Beaufort Mrs. Archer ’s jewelry. (full context)