Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton Essay

1348 Words Dec 9th, 2015 6 Pages
“Ethan Frome” written by Edith Wharton was published in 1911, taking place in the small town of Starkfield, Massachusetts, focusing on the love life of Ethan Frome. Ethan Frome is a farmer on a poor farm left to him by his father who passed away while he was in college; Ethan came back to care for his mother and thankfully help came from his cousin, Zeena. When the mother died Ethan saw no choice but to marry her, if he didn’t he would be alone the rest of winter. A year passes and everything seems well until Zeena falls “ill” and becomes a sour loveless woman. Ethan feels miserable until Mattie Silver moves in with them after getting too sick to work in the city. Desires bubble to the surface but the affair between Mattie and Ethan ends after the failed attempt at suicide together. “Ethan Frome” has major themes that are throughout the novel, human desire and fear of isolation that surround Ethan.
The major conflict in “Ethan Frome” lies within the main character himself, all his life Ethan finds himself serving others needs and doing the “right thing” but he never has the chance to be true to his desires. Even some of the townspeople comment that they believed he could have gotten out of town for good “Most of the smart ones get away.” But if that were the case, how could any combination of obstacles have hindered the flight of a man like Ethan Frome?” (Wharton 4). The answer starts when his father died and he was forced to drop out of college to take of the family farm…

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