Edith Wharton has expressed, instinctively as well as deliberately, her reaction to the ethos of her class. Needless to say, she does not blindly accept the values of her aristocratic class. Nor does she totally reject the ethical and social norms which were sought to be evolved by the only aristocracy that America has known. In her work, art is discussed not only the essence of her themes and concerns but also the kind of characters she chooses to launch in the fiction universe. The total ambience, the vary structure of the personality of the protagonists, and the philosophical and ethical orientation of the works are covered in her fictive universe. This interest in absolute values led in two directions; toward culture idealism , such as that espoused by George Santayana, and toward a Platonic idealism, which transcended culture altogether. Both promised relief from the oppressive proscription against pleasure without sacrificing absolute standards.