Essay Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton Setting Analysis

857 Words Sep 14th, 2011 4 Pages
Setting Analysis of Ethan Frome By: Mary Thompson

Ethan Frome Analysis In Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome, setting is an important element. The setting greatly influences the characters, transportation, and activities. The setting takes place in a small town called “Starkfield”. Starkfield is a town that is just like its name, it is boring, barren, severe, and harsh. Starkfield is known for its many harsh winters that leave the inhabitants bitter and in harsh condition. Starkfield is a village that lays “under a sheet of snow perpetually renewed from the pale skies” (pg.10).By the time the snow is gone and things are well it snows again. Not only is the snow harsh but it acts as a barrier to many of the residents keeping
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Many of the activities they are able to do in the cold winters are dangerous, such as sledding down treacherous hills. Which causes many different problems and one enormous, devastating, and tragic “smash-up” (pg 2) that results in Ethan Frome’s mutilating disfigurement and Mattie‘s tragic injuries leaving her in a vegetative state. Since most of Starkfield is very barren there isn’t much to do. The lack of activities in Starkfield is a very large impact on the socializing of the citizens of the town. Because of the severe weather Ethan can only get to Corbury Flats once a week to pick up his mail. This leaves him isolated from friends, news and happenings of the outside world that he longs for to keep him sane. In Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome, setting is an important element. Not only does the setting effect the characters, transportation, and activities but it also effects every aspect of the novel. In doing so the effects of the harsh winters cause a cruel and twisted fate trapping Ethan Frome in Starkfield with his undesirable marriage to Zeena forever and altering his fate of life. All and all this is about how the setting in Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome, has a great impact on many characteristics of Starkfield

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