Ethan Frome's Predisposition To Defeat

1454 Words 6 Pages
An Analysis of Ethan Frome 's Predisposition to Defeat
In Edith Wharton 's novel Ethan Frome, a crippling "smash up" coasting "accident" traps Ethan Frome and his wife Zenobia as well as his housemaid Mattie Silver in their bleak farmhouse for 24 years. Starkfield, a small city that has devastating winters, is where the story takes place. A city where anybody who lives there, does not have many opportunities. This can be seen in the book when Harmon Gow, an onlooker, says, "Guess he 's been in Starkfield too many winters. Most of the smart ones get away" (Wharton 4). This refers to Ethan Frome, the protagonist of the book, who ends up having to return to Starkfield from University to take care of his family members one by one. Eventually Ethan
…show more content…
Most of the time at first glance Ethan will disagree with the wishes or circumstances, but then soon Ethan ends up changing his mind. Firstly, a scenario that shows how compliant Ethan is to others, is when he just accepts the fact that he cannot get the paycheck early. However, in the end he only really asks once, and automatically agrees with Hale. “He therefore made his demand with the awkwardness of a proud man who will not admit to himself that he is stooping; and he was not much surprised at Hale 's refusal” (Wharton 30). Although this does not really cause Ethan to be ensnared in Starkfield it manifests his compliant nature. Secondly, Ethan complies with Zenobia when she sends Mattie away to replace her with a new girl, “"You can 't go, Matt! I won 't let you! She 's always had her way, but I mean to have mine now—” (Wharton 67). At first Ethan plans on disagreeing with Zenobia, but in the end complies. This ends up sending Mattie away but actually result in them deciding to have the coasting accident and results in Ethan and Mattie get trapped. Lastly, Edith Wharton shows that Ethan’s willingness comply with others Ethan gets stuck in Starkfield when he concedes to Mattie’s wishes to run the sled into the big elm tree at the bottom of school house hill. “Why, what are you talking of? You 're crazy!” (Wharton 90) once again Ethan begins with disagreeing, but right away Ethan changes his mind. In the end they run the sled into the elm tree which results in the devastating accident. The accident cripples Ethan and Mattie for life and traps them in Starkfield forever. get the money

Related Documents

Related Topics