[QUOTE=jgaiser;2365924]I don't know about the allusions
Yeah. i mean i thought that Wharton drew her story around that illusion because: first of all, the setting is in New England. That implies a lot on its own. And also Wharton made sure to mention the congregational church now and then(randomly) to draw emphasis to its importance in the story. During the story's time, church was still an important part of New England life, the center of everything in fact. All the "lively" stuff happens there(like the dance and parties). Everywhere else is practically dull and stark if i may say. You can have a different interpretation for it, but Wharton did put stress on the church and the conventional New England ways at the time.