The word generation is defined as a time period grouped by ten years. When looking at New Year’s Day an Old New York vs. a New New York is what determines Lizze Hazeldean’s affair with Henry Prest. She was of high class and anything she would do damaging her image and her husband would bring her down.
In this time period, Lizzie Hazeldean’s affair was something that could be kept safe because of the difference in generations. When people see Lizzie running out of the hotel with Henry Prest which is not her husband it is mentioned that in this generation of an old NY no one could say anything, for them to say something without trouble they would have to wait for a generation later. In the novella, it is stated, “They used to meet at the Fifth Avenue Hotel”; how the precision of the phrase characterized my old New York! A generation later, people would have said, in reporting an affair such as Lizzie Hazeldean’s with Henry Prest: ‘They met in hotels’—and today who but a few superannuated spinsters, still feeding on the venom secreted in their youth, would take any interest in the tracing of such topographies?” (237). Lizzie was a woman of the upper class with her marriage. In this generation of an old NY no one was able to say something of her because she came from a high status. In addition, she was a married woman and a married woman was respected along with the husband. Only someone with the same status and power like them would be able to report the affair.
In an Old New York people were not permissive and believed in customs and had strict rules for themselves and families. With an Old New York Lizzie had to be extremely careful with her affair. Although, she was able to continue it because no one would tell her husband, she had to realize they were both of a high status and her reputation could be ruined. Therefore, speaking on the matter of the affair was in quiet. An old NY consisted on value and respect towards one another and people would just stay in silent. No one knew the trouble that speaking out could cause.