Essay on The Social Tragedy Of Ethan Frome

Essay on The Social Tragedy Of Ethan Frome

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In a drama containing forbidden love, heartbreak, and loneliness, Ethan Frome clearly exhibits social tragedy. Social tragedy is a series of unfortunate events involving several characters in a novel that have problems in their social, love, or family life. This is a major aspect of the novel that leads up to a dramatic finale that ends in tragedy for the characters. From this aspect, Ethan Frome incorporates the concept of light vs. dark to explain the emotions and events in the story. The social tragedy of Ethan Frome connects with the concept of light vs. dark through the author’s usage of the imagery, the emotions of the characters, and the impact of the imagery on the events in the drama.
Within Ethan Frome, the author, Edith Wharton, applies specific vocabulary and sets of phrases to express the social tragedy in the story. Edith Wharton describes the imagery of the light and darkness within the setting by using specific diction. Wharton creates this diction to express emotion and depth to each of the characters. In the beginning of the story as Ethan goes to a heavily-lighted church, he describes the place as “seething in a mist of heat,” while he is outside and shrouded in “pure and frosty darkness” (Wharton 14). This is important because the author allows Ethan to describe his setting in great detail. Ethan’s view of the inside of the church describes an atmosphere of warmth and love while he stands isolated in the cold darkness. Ethan reveals his longing of compassion through this event and his isolation from everyone foreshadows social tragedy. With the author’s diction, the story presents social tragedy that encompasses new emotions for the characters within the drama.
Combining with the author’s diction, the emotions...


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...n the drama, the characters exhibit social tragedy in their lives that is reflected by the light and darkness within the novel.
The drama of Ethan Frome demonstrates social tragedy with the concept of the light and darkness through the author’s diction, the emotions of the characters, and the impact of the events on the characters. The concept of the light and darkness provides depth and detail through the author’s specific words and phrases. This concept alludes to the emotions of the characters in different environments and this concept foreshadows a deep impact on the characters of the drama. The light and darkness encompass the imagery of the novel and this concept explains characters’ mentality and desires. The concept of the light and darkness provides an emotional level to the characters while evoking a connection to the inevitable social tragedy of the drama.

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