Character Analysis Of Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

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In 1911, Edith Wharton published her short novel, Ethan Frome, which is a story of an unhappy bleak marriage, an impermissible love affair, and a violent attempt of suicide. The once ambitious Ethan finds himself in a begrudging marriage with the older Zenobia Pierce but is also attracted to Zenobia much younger and distant relative, Mattie Silver. Trapped in the village of Starkfield on a run-down farm and sawmill business, Ethan becomes the “ruin of a man” at age 58. Edith Wharton exhibits that Ethan Frome changes from a young man who dreams of being an engineer living in a city with lecture halls and theaters in Florida to a broken man, “living in hell now” because of the decision he made in interacting and taking Zenobia as his wife. Ethan met Zeena when he was caring for his mother that died from…. Ethan claims that she filled the emptiness within him that he longed for. Ethan decisions in taking Zenobia as his wife is his fateful choice that traps in the village of Starkfield. Zeena takes many things from Ethan 's life that causes him to be unsatisfied and unsuccessful in life. “Twice or thrice before she had suddenly packed Ethan’s valise and started off to Bettsbridge, or even Springfield, to seek the advice of some new doctor, and her husband had grown to dread these expeditions because of their cost” (pg. 33). The quote shows that Zeena needs impacts Ethan in a costly way. Ethan and Zeena are poor and Zeena 's trip to Bettsbridge only is drowning him in debt
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