Not the Chemical Kind of Reaction Essay

Not the Chemical Kind of Reaction Essay

Length: 645 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

One of many theories I have is that all of our actions in life can be boiled down to one simple choice: do we work to resolve problems, or do we react to them? People can be defined by their tendencies towards one of those choices, and the lead character in Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome is most certainly defined by his reactivity, rather than proactivity. Rather than work to solve situations, he simply reacts to his circumstances, oftentimes not making conscious decisions. It is very difficult to find instances in the book of Ethan’s proactivity, but his rash reactions are seen in abundance. Ethan’s reactivity is evident in his reasons for marrying his wife, his responses in an argument with Zeena, and his submission to Mattie’s suicide wishes.

Throughout the first part of the book, the reader wonders why on Earth Ethan married his wife, Zenobia, in the first place. He clearly does not like her, and descriptions of Zeena range from the charitably generic “grayish tinge[d]” (15) visage to the thoroughly horrid “microscopic cruelty” (23) of the lines on her face. What led Ethan to matrimony with this woman in the first place? The answer is a reaction to a situation, not a proactive decision. Zeena had come to help Ethan care for his ailing mother, and “when he saw her preparing to go away, he was seized with an unreasoning dread of being left alone on the farm” (29). His immediate reaction to this irrational fear was to ask for Zeena’s hand in marriage, though a little thought would have shown that this was not the wisest course of action to take. Ethan himself even acknowledges that their marriage would not have taken place if his mother had not died in the cold, desolate days of winter. His reasons for marrying Zeena were not ...


... middle of paper ...


...ot have been reached if Ethan had just done the proactive thing.
A person can typically be classified as falling into one of two categories: proactive and reactive. Proactive people tend to act to change the outcomes of their circumstances, and reactive people tend to simply react to their situation without reasoned thought. The titular character of Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome falls into the latter category. We this trait in his marriage to Zeena, a reaction to his loneliness, and in his subsequent unfruitful argument with her where his reactivity only escalates the situation. Finally, at the climax of the book, we see Ethan submit to Mattie’s demands for mutual suicide with very little resistance - certainly a reactive, rather than proactive, action. Instant reactions are good in life-or-death situations, but for Ethan Frome, they lead him to a living death instead.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Chemistry : What Kind Of Reactions? Essay

- For centuries, many scientists and researchers have pondered on the idea of combining two or more substances together to create something new. These explorations have led to the idea of what kind of reactions would occur when diverse elements are combined. This is a concept known as chemistry, a part of science that corresponds with how matter is created from different properties and the process it goes through to create a new substance. Chemistry is a scientific concept that is used in everyday life and is a crucial part in the development of new technology and substances that allow today’s quality of life....   [tags: Chemistry, Chemical reaction, Chemical substance]

Better Essays
1217 words (3.5 pages)

Corporate Social Responsibilities : Dow Chemical Company Essay examples

- Corporate Social Responsibilities Dow Chemical Company Submitted to: Submitted by: Nancy Kovacs Ritika Sharma Paramjeet Saini Gulimina Qiayzhia   Introduction The Dow Chemical Company is referred to as Dow & it is an American MNC whose headquarter is in Midland Michigan, United States. In 2007 it is the second large chemical manufacturer around the globe and its revenue is 10 million dollars....   [tags: Bhopal disaster, Dow Chemical Company]

Better Essays
1072 words (3.1 pages)

Determining if the Rate of a Chemical Reaction is Affected by Temperature

- Aims and Objectives Introduction: In this coursework, I will be conducting an experiment, to show a particular factor affects the rates of a chemical reaction. The main factors include concentration/pressure of the reactants, presence of catalysts, particle size and temperature. I have chosen the effect of temperature on a chemical rate of reaction. Aims: The aim of this investigation is to find out the effect of Temperature of the acid, in the reaction between dilute hydrochloric acid and magnesium ribbon....   [tags: Lab Report]

Free Essays
5031 words (14.4 pages)

The Amount of Time Needed to Burn Different Types of Wood Essay

- Review of Literature Fire has been around for many years. As the years passed, we have thought of and invented many things that create and maintain fires for hours and hours. We take having fire instantly for granted. But what if we didn’t have a gas stove or gas grill anymore. We would have to use wood. People have been using wood for years, but do you know which kind of wood to use so that your fire burns for the longest amount of time possible or for the shortest amount of time. Fire is chemical reaction between oxygen and a type of fuel....   [tags: Chemical Reaction, Oil Content]

Better Essays
1188 words (3.4 pages)

Thermo-Chemical Storage Systems Essay

- ... For better reaction, it is necessary to transfer the heat (solar energy) to the compound which is more efficient if the heat transfer is with smaller volume of materials. The sorptive thermal energy storage system capacity is approximately 1.3 times the sensible heat storage system with water (Hadorn, 2008). Secondly, the reverse reaction involving release of heat will not occur until the products react to form reactants again releasing the binding energy. This method of thermochemical storage is known as ‘indirect’ thermal storage that is distinguishable from other ‘direct’ storage such as sensible and latent methods (Farid, 2004)....   [tags: cyclic charging, energy]

Free Essays
628 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on Chemical Reactions And The Chemical Reaction

- Introduction: In this lab, I determined the amount of heat exchanged in four different chemical reactions only using two different compounds and water. The two compounds used were Magnesium Hydroxide and Citric Acid. Both compounds were in there solid states in powder form. Magnesium Hydroxide was mixed with water and the change in heat was measured using a thermometer. The next reaction combined citric acid and magnesium hydroxide in water. The change in heat was measured as well. For the third reaction citric acid was placed in water to measure the change in heat....   [tags: Energy, Chemical reaction, Temperature, Chemistry]

Better Essays
984 words (2.8 pages)

Reaction Rates Of Chemical Reactions Essay

- Introduction Kinetics is the discovery and study of the reaction rates of chemical reactions. These reaction rates involve the pace or rate at which a reaction progresses. Many specific conditions can affect the reaction rate value; furthermore, the factors include the concentration of the reactants, the polarity of the solvent, and temperature1. The rate of reaction can be determined and studied using a rate law, an equation that correlates the rate with concentrations and a rate constant. This experiment’s reaction involving t-butyl chloride has a first order reaction rate, which means that the reaction’s rate law equation is the first order equation shown below....   [tags: Chemical reaction, Chemical kinetics]

Better Essays
1999 words (5.7 pages)

Biological Impacts of the Chemical Deet Essay

- Biological Impacts of the Chemical Deet This research paper examines the chemical Deet. This chemical was developed by the United States Army to combat swarms of parasitic insects that can be prolific in and around military institutions, and on the battlefield. When the chemical became open to the public, millions of people began using the product for recreation in the outdoors. Therefore, it is important to identify any potential health risks that are induced by the toxicant. Concurrently, the biological impacts that involved the disposal of Deet should be investigated in order to estimate the effects the chemical can cause on the whole of the environment....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1940 words (5.5 pages)

The Effect Of Chemical Reactions On The Kinetics Of A Chemical Reaction Essay examples

- Introduction and Purpose: The speed in which chemical reactions occur and the factors that affect the speed is with in the investigation of chemical kinetics, this laboratory experiment was done in a way that allowed a study into the kinetics of a chemical reaction. Accordingly, the collision theory is in factor for these chemical reactions, qualitatively explaining why the relations between reactions rates of different reactions show differences. A primitive principle for this theory contains that only under the condition of molecules colliding, will then a reaction occur....   [tags: Chemical reaction, Reaction rate, Chemistry]

Better Essays
1423 words (4.1 pages)

Chemical Reactions Of Chemical Kinetics Essay

- Chemical kinetics is a branch of chemistry which refers to chemical reactions with respect to reaction rates, effect of various variables, re-arrangement of atoms, formation of intermediates and much more (Chung Chieh, 2016).The importance of chemical kinetics is that it provides evidence for the mechanisms of chemical processes and provides a very detailed description of what happens to each molecule —which bonds are broken and formed, and how the three-dimensional shapes of the chemicals changes during the course of a chemical reaction (Keith J....   [tags: Chemical kinetics, Chemical reaction, Chemistry]

Better Essays
1084 words (3.1 pages)