In some social spheres, people may not openly speak of transgressions, but they still rally to evict transgressors. The appearance of propriety is more important than actual propriety.
Newland is passionately in love with Ellen. They kiss and embrace fully clothed. The restraints of their social set imbue a moment when he merely removes the glove of his beloved and kisses her bare hand with palpable lust. A man with a suspect background marries into New York society and then causes gossip as he disgraces his wife by having many affairs.
Running lavish homes, a devotion to acquiring proper clothes and furnishings, and the throwing of ostentatious dinners and parties are foundations of a wealthy and privileged way of life.
Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol.