Ethan Frome Essay

Submitted By Ccsoups
Words: 1534
Pages: 7

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 many illnesses. Mattie is related to Zenna and serves as the made throughout the novel. The themes are a major part of the novel, each theme are constantly affecting each person, each choice they made and how the story turns out all revolves around the themes affecting each and everyone of the characters in the novel. The most noticeable theme in the novel Ethan Frome is isolation. Isolation affects each and everyone of the main characters through the entire novel. Ethan is a man who does not talk much at all. He is affected by isolation because he keeps to himself, he basically isolates himself. He is constantly working out getting wood for the mill or doing other jobs not giving him time to talk to anyone. The stress that is put on him because of this mother being sick also causes him to keep to himself, making him depressed because things are not like they used to be in his home. A quote from the novel that speaks of isolation is: " A part of the mute melancholy landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm and sentient in him fast bound below the surface... In a depth of moral isolation too remote for casual access." -Prologue Being in the town of Starkfield keeps Ethan Frome isolated from the rest of the world. Starkfield is a small town and does not offer to many interesting things. He has lived in the same house his entire wife, first with his mother and now with his wife Zeena. The home is isolated in the mountain away from everyone else in the community. A quote describing Ethan's isolation in the town due to him for not moving assay is: " Guess he's been in Starkfield too many winters. Most of the smart ones get away".
This quote from the prologue suggest that Ethan was not smart by staying in town, he essentially isolated himself. Ethan Frome is not the only isolated character in the novel, Mattie is also an isolated person. Mattie was not always isolated from things. When her parents died causing her to get a job and move in with Zeena and Ethan Frome is when the true isolation started. Mattie gets stuck inside caring for Zeena most of the time at the Frome house, the same way Zeena cared for Ethan's mother. This is causing her to be trapped in the house all day with only Zeena to talk to occasionally. Mattie does not know anybody else to talk to since she is new to the area, she is cut off from society.
"The coming to his house of a bit of hopeful young life was like the lighting of a fire on a cold hearth" - Chapter 1
This quote is an example of how Ethan's love for Mattie keeps him trapped in Starkfield, making him not want to leave. Mattie and Ethan try to escape the isolation by trying to kill themselves, this ends up leaving the crippled for like and keeps the isolated in the house forever. Ethan wanted to get many things done thorough the novel. He wanted to make money for his family so he could afford the care Zeena needed. Determination was the second noticeable theme of the novel. Each character shoes signs of determination in the novel all the way until the end of it. At the start Ethan is was determined to get out of Starkfield and get a higher education than what he had. He went off to college leaving his family with the farm, getting a higher education would let him live outside of the town doing what he loved. After his father died he had to come back home to care for his mom, it was he love for her that kept him determined to keep