An analysis of the character of ethan frome

The companion piece is not nearly as famous, but I can see why they belong together.

An analysis of the character of ethan frome

Ethan Frome

Introduction Critics have called Ethan Frome the most carefully constructed of Edith Wharton's novels, and have praised the economy of its language and its intensity. The novel is a naturalistic—that is, unsentimental—portrait of emotional frigidity set in the New England winter. Young Mattie Silver arrives in the mountain village of Starkfield to help with housekeeping for her cousin Zeena, the sickly, cantankerous wife of Ethan Frome.

Ethan, who has long been resigned to the care of his ailing wife and farm, is drawn to Mattie's youthful beauty and good humor. When Zeena realizes their mutual attraction, she arranges to engage a less attractive companion and to have Mattie sent away.

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Unable to bear the idea of parting, the lovers attempt to kill themselves by sledding into a tree. The attempt is a failure, and it leaves Mattie and Ethan crippled for life and condemned to Zeena's care.

Early reviewers praised Wharton's style but were dismayed by the novel's bleakness and the inability of her characters to find a way out of their situation.

An analysis of the character of ethan frome

Later critics were even harsher in their evaluations, citing numerous inconsistencies and debating whether Ethan Frome himself is truly tragic or simply morally inert. All the same, this study in frustration, loneliness, and moral responsibility became a popular favorite, somewhat to the surprise of its author, and is frequently taught at the high school and college level.

She showed an interest in writing and literature from an early age. Despite the attempts of her family to discourage her, Edith regularly wrote poems and short stories, some of which were published in magazines such as Scribner's and Harper's. Walter Berry, a family friend, encouraged her ambitions and would remain her lifelong confidante.

Although she recognized that the culture of New York 's established gentry was anemic and repressive, Edith was just as repulsed by the philistinism of the newly rich who replaced it. She preferred traveling with her parents to Europe, where she met Henry James, who became her mentor and critic.

In Edith married a Boston banker named Edward Wharton. Although her parents approved the choice, Edward was ten years older than Edith was, and physically and emotionally fragile.

Character Analysis Examples in Ethan Frome:

Edith's aversion to society life and her disappointment over her marriage drove her to devote more time to her writing. Wharton's first book, which discussed house decor, was published in and launched her career as a writer. From until the end of her life, Wharton would publish a book a year. The House of Mirth, the story of a girl who cannot reconcile her position in society with moral respect, appeared in and became a best seller.

Ethan Frome, the most often read of Wharton's novels, was published in The years from to were tumultuous ones for Wharton. Edward's diagnosis as a manic-depressive and his increasing instability led to the couple's divorce in In Wharton began a deeply satisfying three-year love affair with Morton Fullerton, a friend of Henry James.

Although she would maintain an estate in Lenox, Massachusetts, after Wharton made Europe her permanent home. During and after the First World War she worked tirelessly to raise funds for a variety of causes in France and Belgium.

She wrote several novels based on these experiences, but they are not considered among her best.

An analysis of the character of ethan frome

Wharton is known especially as a novelist of manners, but she also composed poetry, criticism, short stories, and travel pieces. Her themes include the corrupting power of wealth, social pressure among the poor, and the essential rightness of moral action.

Her work was sometimes lost in the shadow of that of Henry James, and her later writing never matched the quality of her earlier efforts. Some critics objected to her negative portrayals of men. But the complex psychology of her characters and her keen satiric sense are unparalleled in American literature.

In Wharton became the first woman to receive an honorary degree from Yale. She died of a heart attack on August 11, in St.

Plot Summary Ethan Frome is the story of a man who, following the death of his father, gives up his education and other opportunities to return to the family farm in Starkfield, Massachusetts, to support his ailing mother.

When his mother dies, Ethan, overcome by loneliness, impulsively marries Zeena Pierce, an older cousin who helped nurse his dying mother. Within a year of their marriage, Zeena becomes ill and Ethan must again assume the role of caregiver and give up his dreams of moving to a large town and becoming an engineer.

Ethan's outlook changes, however, when Zeena's cousin, Mattie Silver, comes to live with them as Zeena's aid. She shares Ethan's sense of wonder and sensitivity to the appeal of natural beauty. Mattie is everything that Zeena is not.

She restores Ethan's ability to imagine happiness and, before long, a mutual but unexpressed passion develops. The story is told by an unnamed narrator who is sent to Starkfield on business.The Butter Battle Book is a rhyming story written by Dr. was published by Random House on January 12, It is an anti-war story; specifically, a parable about arms races in general, mutually assured destruction and nuclear weapons in particular. The Butter Battle Book was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year..

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This book was written during the Cold War era, and reflects the. Essay A Comparison of the Women of Wharton and Deledda Two writers, both women, both from different backgrounds. Edith Wharton was high society. Grazia Deledda was a commoner from another country. Though both wrote almost exclusively to their won regions, their portrayal of women was quite similar.

In Wharton"s Ethan Frome she has two women, both distinct from one another. 2nde COURSEWORK – possible titles. Essay Topics. 1. With reference to at least two characters in the novel Ethan Frome, show in detail how Wharton uses setting to reflect character. Free fictional story papers, essays, and research papers.

The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music.

It is one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year. (No Drama prize was given, however, so that one was inaugurated in , in a sense.).

Moral Fiction in Ethan Frome essaysJohn Gardner's "On Moral Fiction" John Gardner's "On Moral Fiction" is a fine example of fictional analysis. After reading the excerpt assigned in class, I was in awe at the truth and reality presented.

I had never thought of morali.

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