Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton Essay

1744 Words May 16th, 2016 7 Pages
We have all been told that we are in charge of our destiny, that it is up to us to determine

what our future will look like, and that we are in control of the choices we make. What if

that were not the case? What if we have been fooled into believing that everything is in

our hands and then we try our hardest to end up becoming something that has already

been planned for us by a power larger than existence? The Naturalism genre conveys the

power that our society and social restraints have on our destiny. In Ethan Frome by Edith

Wharton, the main protagonist (Ethan) displays a perfect example of how society shapes

a person by him being completely under the influence of society’s restriction with his

wife Zeena and later Mattie. That similar plot is also conveyed through the protagonist of

Maggie in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets when she tried to escape those societal

restrictions, leading her to conclude that no matter how hard a person tries to escape

society’s influence, it will always follow them. Contrastingly, Frank Norris’ McTeague

displays the protagonist of Dr. McTeague following his destiny without even realizing. In

order to prove that society dictates the ultimate destiny of its inhabitants, authors Edith

Wharton, Stephen Crane, and Frank Norris utilize their main characters of Maggie, the

young soldier, Ethan, and Dr. McTeague to show how their efforts of trying to escape

their destiny led to their downfall. Thus, leading them to believe that they…

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