Edith Wharton Shows Love Can be Stupid in Ethan Frome Essay

Edith Wharton Shows Love Can be Stupid in Ethan Frome Essay

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They say love is the strongest force in the Universe, but by god, “Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton shows it can also be the stupidest. “Ethan Frome” a Fictional Romantic (and somewhat ironic) novel follows a man named Ethan Frome in his cold, melancholic life in Starkfield, Massachussetts during the late 19th century. Frome is unhappy, married, and desperate. That is until he meets Mattie Silver; his hope for a better life. Breaking down “Ethan Frome” the reader can realize that this is far more than a love story. The major theme is centered on love, but more it’s far more tragic. The novel focuses on creating a love triangle that is far from perfect and slightly awkward, but can somehow still work. Ultimately, “Ethan Frome” proves a point, which Ethan Frome embodies, and so does Mattie Silver.
One of the books main ideas is irrationality. It’s almost as if each character was destined for failure. The novel begins with an unknown narrator describing Starkfield, and the people in it. One of those odd characters is Ethan Frome (“Even then he was the most striking figure in Starkfield, though he was but the ruin of a man” Prologue, Page 36) , a 50 year old and slightly disfigured man whose past is quite murky. The narrator seeks the hidden past and hires Frome to transport him from place to place. Eventually, they’re forced to stay in Frome’s home (due to the winter storms) where the narrator sees two women; Zeena and Mattie. All look unhappy, and Mattie looks slightly dead. The novel now begins in Ethan’s past when Mattie ( Zeena’s cousin) is forced to live with the Fromes. Zeena, Fromes sickly wife grows weary of Mattie and complains in every opportunity possible. One day, Zeena has to leave to see her doctor. This gives Ethan and...

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...t insanity is being without Ethan. Usually being in love with someone makes a person eager to spend a lifetime with that significant individual. Ironically, Ethan and Mattie were too quick to act and destroyed any possibility of ever being happily together.
To conclude, if there’s one thing “Ethan Frome” has taught us is that love is powerful, blind, and stupid. It has the power to change fate, but the stupidity to make other’s irrational. Love blinded Ethan into marrying his cynical “beloved”, Zeena. And later it blinded Mattie, rendering her unable to think of a better way to express her love than by hitting an Elm tree. Love takes us all by surprise; but when it does, we should plan for it. Ethan and Mattie are perfect examples of the destructive power of love. However, most misfortunes can be avoided if rationality is used and steer away from quick decisions.

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