Ethan frome essay on fate

Every plan he thinks of is impossible to carry out, and he remains in despair and frantically trying to think of a way to change this one more turn of events against his ability to have a happy life. The next morning, Zeena describes her specific and imminent plans for sending Mattie on her way. Panicked, Ethan rushes into town to try to get a cash advance from a customer for a load of lumber in order to have the money with which to abscond with Mattie.

He realizes that, of all people, he cannot cheat this kindly woman and her husband out of money, since she is one of the few people who have ever seemed to have seen or openly acknowledged Ethan's lifelong plight, as well as his honor in fulfilling his duties. Ethan returns to the farm and picks up Mattie to take her to the train station. They stop at a hill upon which they had once planned to go sledding and decide to sled together as a way of delaying their sad parting, after which they anticipate never seeing each other again.

After their first run, Mattie suggests a suicide pact: that they go down again, and steer the sled directly into a tree, so they will never be parted and so that they may spend their last moments together. Ethan first refuses to go through with the plan, but in his despair that mirrors Mattie's, he ultimately agrees, and they get on the sled, clutching each other. On the way down, a vision of Zeena's face startles Ethan into swerving a bit, but he corrects their course, and they crash headlong and at high speed into the elm tree.

Ethan regains consciousness after the accident but Mattie lies beside him, "cheeping" in pain like a small wounded animal. Ethan is also injured, and the reader is left to understand that this was the "smash-up" that left Ethan with a permanent limp. The final chapter or epilogue again unnumbered like the prologue , switches back to the first-person narrator point of view of the prologue, as Frome and his visitor, the narrator, enter the Frome household two decades later. The narrator hears a complaining female voice, and it is easy to assume that it belongs to the never-happy Zeena, but in the final twist of the story, it emerges that it is in fact Mattie, who now lives with the Fromes due to having been paralyzed in the accident.

Her misery over her plight and dependence has embittered and "soured" her, and, with roles reversed, Zeena is now forced to care for her as well as Ethan.


  • Navigation menu.
  • Ethan Frome - Wikipedia;
  • ocr as biology coursework 2012.
  • Essay about Codependency in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome.
  • school admissions essay?
  • Related Documents?

Further illustrating the psychosomatic nature of most of Zeena's previous complaints, she has now found the strength through necessity to be the caregiver rather than being the invalid. In an agonizing irony, Ethan and Mattie have gotten their wish to stay together, but in mutual unhappiness and discontent, with Mattie helpless and paralyzed, and with Zeena as a constant presence between the two of them. The story of Ethan Frome had initially begun as a French-language composition that Wharton had to write while studying the language in Paris , [2] but several years later she took the story up again and transformed it into the novel it now is, basing her sense of New England culture and place on her 10 years of living at The Mount, her home in Lenox, Massachusetts.

She would read portions of her novel-in-progress each day to her good friend Walter Berry, who was an international lawyer. Wharton likely based the story of Ethan and Mattie's sledding experience on an accident that she had heard about in in Lenox, Massachusetts. They crashed into a lamppost while sledding down Courthouse Hill in Lenox. A girl named Emily Hazel Crosby was killed in the accident. Wharton learned of the accident from one of the girls who survived, Kate Spencer, when the two became friends while both worked at the Lenox Library.

Kate Spencer suffered from a hip injury in the accident and also had facial injuries. It is among the few works by Wharton with a rural setting. Lenox is also where Wharton had traveled extensively and had come into contact with at least one of the victims of the accident; victims of the accident are buried in graves nearby Wharton family members.

In her introduction to the novel, Wharton talks of the "outcropping granite " of New England, the austerity of its land and the stoicism of its people. The connection between land and people is very much a part of naturalism ; the environment is a powerful shaper of man's fate, and the novel dwells insistently on the cruelty of Starkfield's winters. However, the problems that the characters endure are still consistently the same, where the protagonist has to decide whether or not to fulfill their duty or follow their heart.

Related essays

She began writing Ethan Frome in the early s when she was still married. The novel was criticized by Lionel Trilling as lacking in moral or ethical significance. Jeffrey Lilburn notes that some find "the suffering endured by Wharton's characters is excessive and unjustified," but others see the difficult moral questions addressed and note that it "provides insightful commentary on the American economic and cultural realities that produced and allowed such suffering.

Edith Wharton's "Ethan Frome" - A Review words - 5 pages In "Ethan Frome", Wharton uses imagery to depict the ways individual expression is repressed by social constraints. The setting for the novel, Starkfield, is bleak and barren, like the "deadness of the community". Wharton criticises the traditional conventions, which prevent Ethan from escaping from a marriage in which he has no happiness, to pursue a new.

It is a very common theme used in literature. My main thesis that I would be talking about is if: Oedipus was actually a victim of fate, or did he deserve what he got. In my opinion.

Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome words - 12 pages Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome Edith Wharton has succeeded in creating a place, which by its very name, is isolated and desolate - a "mute melancholy landscape", which unrelentingly consumes those within, preventing them from ever escaping its grasp. Furthermore, Wharton's novel delves into the human psyche, to give a glimpse of manipulation and entrapment.

The prevailing mood is continually bleak and tragic, with only. By considering suicide, Ethan tries to run away from his troubles.

The Consequences of Choices in E. Frome: [Essay Example], words GradesFixer

He tries to run away from his financial circumstances and social conventions. He tries to run away from the duties and responsibilities of his life. In the end, Ethan's attempt fails symbolizing Ethan's inability of running away from his troubles. Ethan finally yields to destiny and fate when he says "I ought to be getting him his feed Edith Warton makes readers wonder who really controls our own fates and destinies. Wharton probably wanted the people to understand her and her actions and sympathize with her. She does this, in the book, by drawing our sympathy towards Ethan who is trapped in a lonely and desolate farmland with a wife he does not even like.

Ethan Frome - Thug Notes Summary and Analysis

Through her depiction of Ethan, Wharton, perhaps, wants us to see how the surroundings and circumstances can influence our actions and. Only an author with skill and talent can write a novel in which the characters and settings are as foreign to her as a hamburger to a Japanese sailor. This is what sets Edith Wharton apart from other novelists. Edith Wharton used many of her writing styles in this book, and when applied properly, makes for an outstanding story.

One writing aspect that Edith Wharton used to convey this story to us was her use of symbolism. Codependency in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome words - 5 pages his consistent submission to Zeena and by his inability to take control of events that are occurring in his life.

Zeena Frome, the second of the three important characters, is often unable to take direct action without receiving confirmation from other characters. In one conversation with Ethan, Zeena says "He wanted I should speak to you about a girl" 19 and then later, Wharton adds to this feeling of dependence in the. For instance, Ethan inherited the family farm and sawmill while facing the adversity of maintaining agriculture but keep true to his family traditions.

The novel takes place in the small town of Starkfield, Massachusetts in the early s. When Zeena leaves for an overnight visit to seek treatment for her various complaints and symptoms in a neighboring town, Ethan is excited to have an evening alone with Mattie. During this evening, the narrator reveals small actions that show that they each have feelings for the other, including a lingering of touching hands on the milk jug, although neither openly declares their love.

Mattie makes supper and retrieves from a high shelf Zeena's treasured pickle dish, which Zeena, in a symbol of her stingy nature, never uses, in order to protect it. Mattie uses it to present Ethan with a simple supper, and disaster ensues when the Fromes' cat jumps on the table and knocks it off, shattering it beyond repair. Ethan tries to help by setting the dish's pieces neatly in the cupboard, presenting the false impression of wholeness if not examined closely, with plans to purchase some glue and fix it as soon as he can.

Ethan then goes into town to buy glue for the broken pickle dish, and upon his return finds that Zeena has also come home.

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

Zeena retreats upstairs, proclaiming her illness, and refusing supper because she is not hungry. There, she informs Ethan that she plans to send Mattie away and has already hired another girl to replace her, claiming that she needs someone more efficient because her health is failing more rapidly than ever. Ethan is angry and frustrated to the point of panic by the thought of losing Mattie, and he is also worried for Mattie, who has no other place to go and no way to support herself in the world.

Mattie reacts with shock but rapid acceptance, trying to calm Ethan, while Ethan becomes more agitated and begins to insist that he will not let her go. Ethan kisses her. Moments later, they are interrupted by Zeena, who has decided that she is hungry after all. After supper, Zeena discovers the broken pickle dish and is heartbroken and enraged; this betrayal cements her determination to send Mattie away. Ethan, miserable at the thought of losing Mattie and worried sick about her fate, considers running away with Mattie, but he lacks the money to do so. He feels that he cannot abandon Zeena because he knows that she would neither be able to run the farm nor sell it the poor quality of the place has been discussed at several points in the story already.

Every plan he thinks of is impossible to carry out, and he remains in despair and frantically trying to think of a way to change this one more turn of events against his ability to have a happy life. The next morning, Zeena describes her specific and imminent plans for sending Mattie on her way.

Panicked, Ethan rushes into town to try to get a cash advance from a customer for a load of lumber in order to have the money with which to abscond with Mattie.

SparkNotes users wanted!

He realizes that, of all people, he cannot cheat this kindly woman and her husband out of money, since she is one of the few people who have ever seemed to have seen or openly acknowledged Ethan's lifelong plight, as well as his honor in fulfilling his duties. Ethan returns to the farm and picks up Mattie to take her to the train station. They stop at a hill upon which they had once planned to go sledding and decide to sled together as a way of delaying their sad parting, after which they anticipate never seeing each other again.

After their first run, Mattie suggests a suicide pact: that they go down again, and steer the sled directly into a tree, so they will never be parted and so that they may spend their last moments together. Ethan first refuses to go through with the plan, but in his despair that mirrors Mattie's, he ultimately agrees, and they get on the sled, clutching each other.

Essay Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton Setting Analysis

On the way down, a vision of Zeena's face startles Ethan into swerving a bit, but he corrects their course, and they crash headlong and at high speed into the elm tree. Ethan regains consciousness after the accident but Mattie lies beside him, "cheeping" in pain like a small wounded animal. Ethan is also injured, and the reader is left to understand that this was the "smash-up" that left Ethan with a permanent limp.

The final chapter or epilogue again unnumbered like the prologue , switches back to the first-person narrator point of view of the prologue, as Frome and his visitor, the narrator, enter the Frome household two decades later. The narrator hears a complaining female voice, and it is easy to assume that it belongs to the never-happy Zeena, but in the final twist of the story, it emerges that it is in fact Mattie, who now lives with the Fromes due to having been paralyzed in the accident.

Her misery over her plight and dependence has embittered and "soured" her, and, with roles reversed, Zeena is now forced to care for her as well as Ethan. Further illustrating the psychosomatic nature of most of Zeena's previous complaints, she has now found the strength through necessity to be the caregiver rather than being the invalid. In an agonizing irony, Ethan and Mattie have gotten their wish to stay together, but in mutual unhappiness and discontent, with Mattie helpless and paralyzed, and with Zeena as a constant presence between the two of them.