Comparing Ethan Frome And Fatal Coasting Accident, By Edith Wharton

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Ethan Frome and “Fatal Coasting Accident” Comparison Ethan Frome is a classic novel, written in 1911 by author Edith Wharton. She based the accident that occurred in her novel on the historical “Fatal Coasting Accident.” In Ethan Frome, the simplicity of the accident is similar to that of the “Fatal Coasting Accident”, but the details overall are very different. Edith knew one of the victims personally, which made her change some aspects out of respect, but she also changed them to make the story her own. Ethan Frome is different from “Fatal Coasting Accident” because Edith changed the storyline and technicalities, the reasons behind the accident, and the aftermath of the accident, which dramatized her novel and made it fictional. Firstly,…show more content…
In “Fatal Coasting Accident”, the accident itself was literally unexpected. Unfortunately, Hazel Crosby crashed the sled, but nobody wanted that to happen. She just happened to lose control of the sled because the sled was going down the hill extremely fast. On the other hand, the accident in Ethan Frome intentionally happened. The standing issue was that the accident didn't happen the way that they wanted it to. Mattie suggested to Ethan that they commit suicide by crashing into the big elm tree because they undeniably loved each other and did not want to spend another minute apart. Although, the plan went left because an image of Ethan's wife popped into his head, which shocked him, made him feel guilty, and instead of dying Ethan and Mattie were just seriously injured. In the passage it states, “Ethan! Ethan! I want you to take me down again.’ Ethan replies, ‘Down where?’ Mattie responds, ‘The coast. Right off...So 't we'll never come up any more’”(Wharton 109). Also according to the author, “But suddenly his wife's face, with twisted monstrous lineaments, thrust itself between him and his goal....”(Wharton 112). Ethan and Mattie ultimately were committing a suicidal act, which bumped the interest level of the story up, and made the story fictive because it's the total opposite of what happened in the real
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