An Analysis Of Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

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Edith Wharton, author of “Ethan Frome,” wrote a twisted love story that ends tragically. Mattie Silver moves to Starkfield MA with her cousin, Zeena Frome and her husband Ethan Frome. She moves in with them in after her father dies. After a while, Mattie and Ethan fall in love. They try to commit suicide together and are unsuccessful and are permanently disabled. From the events that have taken place, Mattie Silver changes from taking care of others, to having to be taken care of. Mattie Silver is an isolated, trapped, and hardworking twenty year old. There are a few examples of her characteristics throughout the story. Mattie proves to be isolated time and time again. Ethan states, “‘You can’t put her out of the house like a thief – a poor girl without friends or money ’” (66-67; bk 1, ch. 7). Mattie has no where else to go, no where else to turn, no one else to help her. …show more content…
She is faced with the death of her parents and little money is left to her. Wharton states, “His wife died of the disclosure, and Mattie, at twenty, was left alone to make her way on fifty dollars…” (32; bk 1, ch. 3). Once both parents die, she is given very little money to live on. Luckily, she has one relative willing to take her in. Now that she lives with Ethan and Zeena Frome, she has more conflicts. “And the alternative was to let Mattie go forth alone, with far less hope of ultimate provision…” (75; bk 1, ch. 8). Mattie has been living with the Frome’s, she has fallen in love with Ethan. Now, Zeena wants to kick her out. Mattie and Ethan want to be together. “‘And as soon as the doctors said that Mattie could be moved, Zeena sent for her and took her back to the farm’” (99;pt.1) After the failed attempt of suicide, Mattie now had to be taken care of. While they were trying to save themselves from not being together, they made the situation worse on themselves. Throughout the story, Mattie has been through many difficult

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