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...n is “You’re crazy” (Wharton 143). However, Ethan is not confrontational and does not like defying others, which seems to be his fatal flaw. It seems that “the very heart of the novel is Frome’s weakness of character, his negation of life” (Bernard 6). Ethan’s situation could be seen as a challenge to his character, to see if he could overcome his faults in order to come out a happy man. Eventually, Ethan fails in the challenge that Starkfield presented to him, instead choosing to “merge himself with winter forever” (Bernard 6).
Ammons, Elizabeth. “Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome and the Question of Meaning.” Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1979, pp. 127-140.
Bernard, Kenneth. “Imagery and Symbolism in Ethan Frome.” College English, Vol. 23, No. 1, October 1961, pp. 178-284.
Wharton, Edith. Ethan Frome. New York: Signet Classic, 1911.
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