Isolation In Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

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Pages: 4

Ethan Frome is a very shy man who likes to be isolated, “Too much self-centered attitude, you see, brings, you see, isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering.” He gets put into a conflict between his sick wife (Zeena) and her housekeeper (Mattie). The book was written in 1911, on this day The Parliament Act of 1911 was created which took the veto power of House of Lords. In Edith Wharton’s novel, Ethan Frome she validates her theme of the fulfillment of desire can make a person do things out of their normal routine through the use of isolation to show he is physically isolated from the world and the possibility of success, illusion to show how the three main characters need a means of escape from the reality they live, and physical constraint to show how money can stop them from achieving their dreams and wants. Edith Wharton was, born January 24, 1862, she was taught at a home in Europe where she stayed for six years after the American Civil War and she would read books regularly. This time represented an isolated point in her life. She came out in to society in 1879 and married a wealthy banker named …show more content…
Zeena’s sickness and his love for Mattie have caused Ethan to lose hope and not be able to leave Starkfield, “Guess he’s been in Starkfield too many winters. Most of the smart ones get away” (Wharton 6). This quote shows the theme of isolation by saying Ethan Frome has been in Starkfield for too long, and is basically isolated forever. In a 1911 article, “A Review of ‘Ethan Frome’, Dennis Poupard suggests “the style is assured and entirely individual, the method direct and firm in its grasp upon substantial fact”. This shows that other authors can see how Edith Wharton interprets isolation into her novels. While Ethan is being isolated from the rest of the world he tends to create illusion of