Analysis Of ' Ethan Frome ' By Edith Wharton

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Finding himself in a small New England town of Starkfield during the winter, the narrator sets out to learn about the life of a mysterious local named Ethan Frome. Ethan Frome is a novel written by Edith Wharton, her writing style is characterized as simple and retrained, lives led by her main characters, is deceptive. Throughout the novel, Wharton builds up patterns of imagery, patterns of behavior and specially charged works. All of which serve a definite style and structure purpose. Her attention to minor details and her use of structure to relay Ethan’s complicated and tragic life story to readers enables her to portray her characters as victims of the rules of society while dealing with isolation and silence, love, and obstacles. Wharton shows silence and isolation by her personal experience when writing and did not readily discuss her writing while showing her thematic messages. Wharton lived in a loveless marriage for years before she took a risk and divorced her husband for almost thirty years. Throughout the novel, Wharton focuses on a silence, isolation, and love as major themes. In the introduction, the author describes her characters as “granite outcroppings….half emerged from the soil, and scarcely more articulates.” (Bloom 224) Unfortunately, the top themes in this novel are all depressing as they relate to isolation and silence, love, and obstacles. First, Wharton contracts the vitality of the climate with its blue skies and glittering white snow with “deadness of the community” (Wharton 3). The image of Ethan Frome is built around cold, ice and snow, and hues of white. The characters constantly complain about the cold weather and climactic scene hinges on the use of a winter sport-sledding-as a means of suicide. In... ... middle of paper ... ... lacks the inner strength necessary to escape the oppressive forces love, isolation and silence, and obstacles. First, the silence and isolation between Ethan and Zeena develop while losing family members to a marriage that is falling apart. Also, the isolation of Ethan, Zeena, and Mattie as each have their own circumstances of why they have isolated themselves. Moreover, the Illusion of Zeena to be unhealthy due to hypochondria enables her to escape her self-pity. The smash-up forces her to abandon her illusions and escape from the reality of the silent and isolated lives she lives. Lastly, love is building as Ethan and Mattie are stuck in a bitter love triangle with Zeena. Every romantic moment is fraught with tension and anxiety. These themes are all depressing as they relate to Ethan, Mattie, and Zeena as they encounter isolation and silence, love, and obstacles.
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