A critical analysis of the novel ethan frome by edith wharton

ethan frome setting

At the top of School House Hill, they find a sled and go sledding, successfully swerving, just missing the elm tree at the bottom of the hill. After Mattie refuses a ride home with Eady, she and Ethan walk home arm-in-arm.

ethan frome genre

Ethan invites The Narrator to spend the night at his farmhouse. By the time the snow is gone and things are well it snows again.

Mattie Silver, who lives with Ethan and Zeena as a sort of housekeeper and caregiver to her cousin, is like a breath of fresh air in the otherwise stifling environment of Zeena's incessant criticisms and complaints. The author also compounds the image of a barren wasteland by having the story take place in winter, which in the New England region acts as a crippling force, equivalent to a substantial army besieging a weak defenseless town Starkfield provides a cold, lonely, and dark, isolated atmosphere, allowing the narrator to portray Ethan and his wife Zeena as miserable and feeling trapped.

The plot revolves around a bleak, dark, and barren landscape set in the town of Starkfield, Massachusetts.

Ethan frome by edith wharton summary

They've appeared in Shakespeare productions. In fact, because the women are now so much alike, he has difficulty distinguishing them. When The Narrator stays overnight at the Frome farm, over twenty years after the smash-up, he is surprised to find that Mattie — crippled by the accident — complains incessantly. The ride is exhilarating and dangerous, much like love, and once it's over, Mattie wants to go again, but for a different purpose. Ethan insists that he will take Mattie to the train station himself. Not only is the snow harsh but it acts as a barrier to many of the residents keeping them stuck in the harsh climate. It is only at this point, when faced at last with the loss of the one bright spot in his life, that the desperate Ethan acknowledges his feelings for Mattie.

He suggests that Jotham Powell, a man who helps out around the Frome farm, drive her to the train station. He tells Mattie that she will have to leave and he kisses her for the first time. But I don't think it's because it's too depressing.

ethan frome analysis

Despite her malicious actions, she creates a justifiable reasoning of her intent

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SparkNotes: Ethan Frome