An Analysis Of ' Ethan Frome ' Essay

1251 Words Mar 1st, 2016 6 Pages
Ethan Frome, the titular character, has lived a very lamentable life, beginning with the injury and death of his father. This was then followed by the mental deterioration and death of his mother, which left Ethan with no one but Zeena, the woman who took care of his ailing mother. Afraid of being alone during the dreadful Starkfield winter, Ethan asked Zeena to marry him, even though he did not love her. Years later, Zeena’s cousin Mattie Silver came to live with the Fromes after her father’s death, and Ethan realized he loved Mattie, even though he was still married to Zeena. In Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton uses symbolism to create sympathy for Ethan and Mattie, and a distasteful feeling toward Zeena. Thus, though Ethan’s responsibility lies with his wife, Wharton creates a convincing argument for divorce in the case of a hopeless, unhappy marriage. Ethan’s personality was shaped by his personal life and setting. Harmon’s Gow’s glib statement, “‘...he’s been in Starkfield too many winters...Most of the smart ones get away’ sums up the two basic features of the scene and its influence, the numbing rather than bracing cold and the difficulty of communications” (Walton, 79). After living in Starkfield for a long period of time, Ethan wants nothing more than to leave. However, he is aware of the implausibility of doing so. His inability to escape is symbolized by the Frome family grave stones that had “mocked his restlessness, his desire for change and freedom. ‘We never got…

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