Plot[ edit ] The novel is framed by the literary device of an extended flashback.
Instead, the conflict occurs between his passions and the constraints placed on him by society, which control his conscience and impede his fulfillment of his passions. Although he has one night alone with Mattie, he cannot help but be reminded of his domestic duties as he sits in his kitchen.
He plans to elope and run away to the West, but he cannot bring himself to lie to his neighbors in order to procure the necessary money—and so on.
In the end, Ethan opts out of the battle between his desires and social and moral orders. However, he eventually realizes that Starkfield and its inhabitants spend much of each year in what amounts to a state of siege by the elements.
The novel suggests that sensitive souls like Ethan become buried emotionally beneath the winter—their resolve and very sense of self sapped by the oppressive power of the six-month-long cold season.
Ethan yearns to escape Starkfield; when he was younger, we learn, he hoped to leave his family farm and work as an engineer in a larger town.
Though Zeena and poverty are both forces that keep Ethan from fulfilling his dream, the novel again and again positions the climate as a major impediment to both Ethan and his fellow townsfolk.Ethan Frome is a book published in by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Edith Wharton.
It is set in the fictitious town of Starkfield, Massachusetts.
The novel was adapted into a film, Ethan Frome, . after all, the tragedy unveiled to us is social rather than personal “Ethan Frome” is to me above all else a judgment on that system which fails to redeem such villages as Mrs.
Wharton’s Starkfield. Ethan Frome Social Tragedy Major themes in Ethan Frome include silence, isolation, illusion, and the consequences that are the result of living according to the rules of society.
Wharton relies on personal experiences to relate her thematic messages. The Responsibility of Ethan Frome for His Own Tragedy in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome A: Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome, published in , was a departure from her other works that were primarily concerned with the privileged New York Society and its hypocrisy.
Major themes in Ethan Frome include silence, isolation, illusion, and the consequences that are the result of living according to the rules of society. Wharton relies on personal experiences to relate her thematic messages.
Throughout her life as a writer, Wharton would schedule the time that she wrote around social engagements and she did not readily discuss her writing. Edith Wharton's tale of Ethan Frome is a classic story of hopeful romance ending in tragedy. We are introduced to Ethan as he's walking to pick up his wife's cousin Mattie, at a church social.