You asked me just now for the truth– well, the truth about any girl is that once she’s talked about she’s done for; and the more she explains her case the worse it looks. (bk. 2, ch. 4)
From Wharton, Edith. The House of Mirth. Saybrook, Connecticut: Tantor, 2008. Audio.
The problem with choosing a provocative passage from The Age of Innocence is that the whole damn book is so thoroughly quotable and stirring.
“Women ought to be free — as free as we are,” he declared, making a discovery of which he was too irritated to measure the terrific consequences. (41)
Newland Archer, in: Wharton, Edith. The Age of Innocence. New York: Quality Paperback Book Club, 1993. Print.