Analysis Of Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton

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One man’s tragic fate worse than death, trapped with only his estranged wife, former love, and impossible dreams to keep him company through perpetual winter. This is the heart-wrenching tale of Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Ethan Frome may seem like a simple sad tale of a broken man who can never fulfill his dreams, but the message from the author is much more desperate and meaningful. Edith Wharton writes to warn other women about the dangers of marriage that she experienced on a first hand basis. Despite writing many awarding winning novels over the course of her career, Edith Wharton claims Ethan Frome to be her most autobiographical novel. The startling parallels between the marriage of Ethan and Zeena and Edith Wharton’s real life marriage…show more content…
She too married out of fear of society. When she was 23, “old” by 1880s standards, she married a fellow member of the elite class; Edward Roberts Wharton. He was 13 years older than her and both agreed they were not suited for each other. After twenty-eight years of traveling, buying homes, and Edith writing they divorced. During their rocky marriage, Edith designed and built their home called The Mount. She built the masterpiece in Lenox as she wanted to escape away from Newport, where the couple had been formerly living. Despite loving the home she had chosen every detail of when she and Edward divorced she left it for Europe and Edward returned to Lenox to live with his sister. Her story is reminiscent of Ethan’s own struggles. They both married out of a foreign pressure and wished to escape it by moving to a new location. At least in Edith’s case, she was able to divorce her husband but she surely faced social pressure again for this controversial decision. She moved to France immediately following her divorce and only returned to America twice more before her death. In many ways, Ethan’s own failed attempt to escape from his marriage is very similar to Edith. She was technically free of her marriage, but she could never be the same in the eyes of those around…show more content…
Her own life experiences inspired her to warn other women of being misled by society. According to her, marriage will become a prison and both members will desperately try to escape. Ethan goes so far as an attempt on both his and Mattie’s life just to break free of the bond of marriage. By crumbling under the weight of society in marrying Zeena in the first place and when she became what he feared the most, the voice of society, Ethan sealed his own fate. Edith Wharton desperately appeals to other women both then and now and advises them to never fall into the trap of marriage society
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