He has no money with which to buy train fare for himself and Mattie. Ethan, however, cannot bring himself to abandon Zeena. She chooses adjectives and adverbs carefully and uses them infrequently. The prologue not only establishes the nature of theme and action, but Critical essay on ethan frome begins the characterization of Zeena and Ethan Frome.
In reverberating scenes, the author first presents Zeena at the back door of the farmhouse with a lantern silhouetting her drawn and tight features; later she is contrasted with a similar scene of Mattie with lantern light highlighting her youthful and soft features.
Beside the emblematic landscape, the cat implies the witchlike influence of Zeena on Mattie and Ethan, and the family graveyard suggests that Ethan will never escape Zeena or the farm.
Communication between the couple is minimal and superficial. To Ethan, Mattie is radiant and energetic. Even when Zeena goes away, her presence looms between the lovers in the form of spectral visions and the cat. It is by silence that Zeena manipulates best, spreading unknown fears among Mattie and Ethan.
Illusion affords each of the three main characters a means of escape from the reality of the silent and isolated lives they lead. Maybe the rich fantasy life in which Ethan lives is the only thing that allows him to survive at all While Zeena is visiting an out of town doctor, Ethan and Mattie, alone in the house, intensely feel her eerie presence.
The story appeared as a play in Wharton relies on personal experiences to relate her thematic messages. It is also one of the main themes in the novel: Zeena, witchlike, dominates Ethan. Ethan's second failure was not being able to stand up against his wife. Ethan lives in a world of sick people and he is much affected by it.
Mattie and Zeena are isolated characters also. Much of the discussion about Ethan Frome involves the frame story with which the novel begins. His happiness in the company of Mattie is the product of a self-deception necessitated by his unhappy marriage to Zeena, the obstacle to a life long relationship with Mattie.
In Chapter 2, he searches for "a dazzling phrase" to impress Mattie, but nothing comes to mind and he can only "growl," "Come along. It was Ethan's job to steer into the tree with the sled so that it looked like an accidental death instead of suicide.
We are told, early in the novel, that it is when abandoning himself to these dreams that Ethan is most happy. Throughout the whole book, we always feel the great impression of constraint on Ethan, Mattie and Zeena.
Finally, as he sees it, his duty to his wife and to the Hales prevents him from asking the Hales for money to elope with Mattie.
The novel employs few symbols. Her energy and warmth excite him and allow him to escape from his lonely, monotonous life.
Isolation, another major theme in the novel, is not self-imposed before the tragedy that befalls Mattie and Ethan, but is enforced upon them by outside circumstances. Ethan is trapped on the farm. Zeena could be cured much better if there were enough money to pay for a doctor.
Instead of being united in glorious death, Ethan and Mattie are crippled and sentenced to living with Zeena forever. Several years after their marriage, cousin Mattie Silver is asked to relieve Zeena, a gaunt and sallow hypochondriac, of her household duties.
It is this very sense of isolation that causes Ethan to marry Zeena—he fears being left alone, with silence—after his mother dies. Ethan could not find the words to make her alter her decision.
It seemed that everything Ethan tried to do, worked against his favor. Instead of running square into the tree, he did not hit the tree right and it did not kill either of them.
It would now be interesting to find out how he manages to bear all these pressures without falling terribly ill or committing suicide again. Throughout the novel Wharton focuses on silence as a major theme.
This, however, at times proves to be hard because of Ethan's wifes interference. Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. The message that Wharton conveys through Ethan is that when people fear they are violating the rules of society, they risk becoming enslaved by those rules.Edith Wharton's writing style is characterized by simplicity and control.
Her choice of vocabulary and sentence structure, which is as stark as the lives led by Full Glossary for Ethan Frome; Essay Questions; Practice Projects; Cite this Literature Note; Critical Essays Wharton's Style Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List. Edith.
Essays and criticism on Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome - Critical Essays. Apr 08, · Words: Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: Ethan Frome The story of Ethan Frome is about a man in a small rural town at the turn of the twentieth century.
At this time in American history, society was heavily structured and the things which were considered either morally acceptable or completely inappropriate were definite and there were serious repercussions for. Ethan Frome Critical Essay CRITICA ESSAY #1 Jeffrey M.
Lilburn, M. A (The University of Western Ontario) is the author of a study guide on Margaret Atwood ‘s The Edible Woman and of numerous educational essays. Ethan Frome literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Ethan Frome.
Critical Lens essay on Ethan Frome essaysAccording to Sophocles, "The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves." In other words, desire, greed, pride, love, and hate, all of these emotions come from a human's mind that is the real cause of sorrows.
A human's greatest enemy.Download