In the novella, Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton the environment and surroundings play a huge role in the story and also have major effects on the main character, Ethan Frome. The story takes place in Starkfield, Massachusetts, part of New England, where the climate in the winter can be quite gruesome. The weather even has an effect on the people. In Starkfield the weather and the people seem to be cold, sluggish and quiet this time of year, especially Ethan Frome. He is a man who has not even lived to see his fifty-third birthday yet, but our narrator says, “He looks as if he was dead and in hell now!” (pg.6) Ethan’s surroundings have truly affected what he looks like and how he acts. However, the weather is not the only thing that has affected Ethan’s way of life and his demeanor. We are told close to the beginning of the prologue that Ethan was in a bad “smash-up” many years in the past. This type of accident would kill most men, but not Ethan because he is tough and has thick skin. Wharton does a great job at hiding details about the “smash-up” throughout the prologue, keeping the reader guessing and curious to what it could have been. This “smash-up" not only affects Ethan directly, but also indirectly. People in Starkfield treat him differently. Our narrator tells us, “Everyone in Starkfield knew him and gave him a greeting tempered to his own grave mien; but his taciturnity was respected and it was only on rare occasions that one of the older men of the place detained him for a word.” (pg.5) Maybe Ethan preferred it this way, maybe he would rather be secluded and left alone. His way of acting, Harmon believes, is due to Starkfield. In a conversation between Harmon and our narrator, Harmon says, “Guess he’s been in Starkfield too many winters. Most of the smart ones get away.” (pg.6) Ethan could not escape because he had to stay and take care of his family. Even after Ethan’s “smash-up”, he was still the one caring for them. Harmon said, “Oh, as to that: I guess it’s always Ethan done the caring.” (pg.6) Although Ethan may seem grave to most of the people of Starkfield, this shows he also has a kind demeanor. Later in the prologue Ethan begins to show kindness and hospitality to our narrator by driving him each day, and then in the middle of a storm, letting him spend the night at his house. Although Ethan may come off as quiet and reserved, people of Starkfield seem to immediately stereotype him as a cold old man. Very few of them have been able to experience the real Ethan. Most of a grown person’s way of life and personality have a lot to do with the way they were raised and their childhood. Ethan, as a young boy and even a young man, lived in
Ethan Frome Theme Dissection
The author focuses on many big themes throughout the novel Ethan Frome. He goes into great detail for each characters special theme. Some characters are isolated others are determined. Each theme has a consequence for the characters, some consequences are life changing others are small changes to the life that are not very noticeable. The three major characters in the novel that are affected are Zeena, Ethan Frome, and Mattie. Zeena Frome is Ethan's wife who has…
Ethan Frome a main character in this tragic book, makes both right and wrong choices but the wrong choices end up being the ones that will change his life forever.
Sometimes when some one is torn, they end up making the wrong choices.
“how ever, the post master would hand him and envelope addressed to ms. Zenopia or ms zenna frome”(4). Zeena is a hypochondriac, Ethan should have just came out plane and simple and said stop over hyping your fine. Maybe in doing so she might come to reality…
Ethan Frome is the tragedy of a married couple, the husband's mistress, and how their disposition and traits prevent them from finding happiness. In Wharton's Ethan Frome, Ethan, Zeena, and Mattie become victims of their own personality traits, which are: emotional weakness, self-absorption, lack of communication and affection, and immaturity . The characters are discontent with their lives but are helpless and ignorant; they do not realize that their own dispositions bring about problems and hurt…
Plot Summary and Reflection
Ethan Frome was a story of a man who actively and willingly had feelings for his wife’s cousin, Mattie. Ethan’s wife, Zeena, was in declining health so to receive assistance for housework she had called upon Mattie for help. Throughout the story, Zeena knew little of the relationship between Mattie and Ethan. As the story is being told, it reveals that Ethan goes out of his way to spend time with Mattie. When he picks her up from town, he would deliberately take…
Prisoners of Ethan Frome
Throughout the story of Ethan Frome we feel the great impression of constraint on Ethan, Mattie, and Zeena. A reader can distinguish several kinds of constraints. It is clear that Zeena is not affected by exactly the same problems as Ethan or Mattie. Nevertheless, one feels a constant lack of freedom between the characters. A lot of things, such as, the lack of money, health, the landscape, communication problems and marriage play a big role in this prison-like situation…
Literature 221 I010
21 March 2015
Ethan Frome: Uniquely America
While reading Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton there were many themes and imagery that was used to develop the environment to help illustrate the different parallels between Ethan Frome, the main character, and the many circumstances and feelings of his decisions and experiences. Many people would say that Ethan Frome is just wanting to live an American dream and have a life full of happiness. Unfortunately…
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
In the novella “Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton, Mattie Silver and Zeena Frome show
their different personality traits that are easily compared by the readers of the novella. Even
though they seem very different, Zeena and Mattie have many things in common. Zeena and Mattie are also very opposite people based on looks and personality. Near the end
of the novella Mattie transforms…
Love? Many love but many hate. The setting in Ethan Frome affects the narrative of the story. Edith Wharton in Ethan Frome has the mood of being happy and angry, it affects the character Zeena, which makes love become the irony of the story.
The setting that is put throughout the story of Ethan Frome is the season of winter that makes the mood become sad and angry. Zeena is always angry throughout the story. Throughout the story Zeena is angry because she knows that the only person she has is…
“In Ethan Frome Wharton creates a totally disinterested narrator, one whom is only curious about how the lives of others relate to him. He may talk about Ethan Frome, but he tells us nothing about him.” Discuss how narration influences your understanding of Ethan Frome.
‘Narration refers to the way that a story is told, and so belongs to the level of discourse (although in first-person narration it may be that the narrator also plays a role in the development of the story itself). The different…
October 19, 2014
The Definition of an American, the Samaritan Ethan Frome
When defining an American one thinks of someone that is pursuing their dream by any means necessary. It takes hard work, dedication, desire, and in trying times some risk-taking. The biggest part of being an American is being there for others and helping them for the better good of humanity.
From the beginning of the story you see that Ethan does not have very much and what he has he has worked very hard for. The…