Ethan Frome Analysis

1005 Words 5 Pages
In pieces of literature, romance is often used in order to create a plot in which one or more characters must follow a path of actions in order to find their true love. A character’s discovery of his or her true love may occur early on or later in their journey. An author may elongate or stress the “journey” in order to create a climax where the tension between two characters reach a peak. An example of such a technique used by an author is the novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Although it does not state it explicitly in the text, one could infer that through Mattie’s actions and words, she at first is hesitant to love Ethan. It is only until the very end until Mattie sees that he is her true love and becomes completely devoted to him. At …show more content…
Yet, she still is hesitant to commit to a full romantic relationship with Ethan. Evidence exists that show that the situation between the two are awkward and Mattie does not know how to respond despite being aware of the circumstances. After Ethan and Mattie finishes supper, Mattie sat by a lamp to sew while Ethan watches on from the living room. From his position, Ethan cannot get a full view of Mattie; he calls for her to come nearer. The author describes, “Zeena’s empty rocking-chair stood facing him. Mattie rose obediently, and seated herself in it” (Wharton 48). She shifts in her seat for many moments until she decides that she cannot see well. She awkwardly removes herself and reseats herself by the lamp. Mattie’s constant shifting in her seat symbolizes how she feels in their relationship: she feels uncomfortable and cannot see what to do. Furthermore, when Ethan comments that he “saw under the Varnum spruces, coming along home just now … a friend of yours getting kissed,” Mattie replies, “I suppose it was Ruth and Ned,” in a manner which showed that she was torn and did not know how to react or feel to the situation at hand. (Wharton 50). Therefore, evidently Mattie acquires a clearer picture of what is going on between the duo but does not know what to do. Although the …show more content…
Until then, she had been hesitant and unsure of what to do. The building of tension in their relationship occurs progressively throughout the book until the very end. In literature, romance is often used so that a character is destined to find their romantic partner. Such a finding may occur early on or later in a character’s journey, but clearly Edith Wharton has decided in Ethan Frome to tell the story with a stress on Mattie finding out about herself in order to create tension and to bring about a climactic plot, with herself ultimately falling in love with Ethan

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