Ethan’s agreement that death is better than parting is an example of cognitive dissonance that directly affects the plot of the novel. Cognitive dissonance is best described as an inconsistency in the beliefs that one holds, which is prominent in the thoughts as opposed the actions taken by Ethan. He is essentially given an ultimatum when Zeena threatens to fire Mattie; Ethan must make the decision to act upon his desires without the benefit of time as he had once thought he had. Before this is thrust upon him, he has the general cognition that he should not pursue Mattie. This is evident in his lack of action during their dinner without Zeena.
As Edith Wharton said, “The worst of doing one’s duty was that it apparently unfitted one for doing anything else”. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton involved a man who was stuck in a love triangle as well as his home in Starkfield. The themes of passion and integrity apply to Ethan Frome like no other, whereas the theme of passion applies to Mattie Silver. Ethan Frome has tried countless times to get out of his home in Starkfield, “he’s been in Starkfield too many winters”(Wharton 6). All of Ethan’s attempts leave him empty and drawn back because of the sense of duty and integrity he has in him.
How a man goes about dealing with his past experiences portrays not only his character, but also his true inner self. This is especially true in Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome. The main character, Ethan Frome, struggles with the consequences of his decision to marry his wife Zenobia following the loss of his parents. Ethan made this disastrous decision because of a feeling of obligation from societal pressure and ancestral conservatism. Wharton controls Frome like a puppet throughout the story displaying his perpetual contentions with his mistake-ridden marriage and uses it to power the novel as a whole.
In the life of Ethan Frome, Ethan had two women that played a large role in the middle of his life Mattie Silver and Zeena. Both of which ended being up his significant other at one point. The changing of roles, to Ethan, by Mattie and Zeena has lead these characters to become parallels. The first example of them being parallels is at the point where they are Ethan’s helping hand around the house. Zeena being the first, developed a relationship with Ethan.
In the book Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton multiple objects are used to represent big moments in the book and is heavily used. There are many objects that clearly relate to people and relationships between people. The first emblem that represents love between Mattie and Ethan is Mattie's red scarf and ribbon in her hair. The first symbol is the pickle dish representing Ethans and Zeena’s relationship. The final commodity is the cat which represents Zeena.
Starkfield, Massachusetts (stark meaning, hard, bare, difficult) really is an environment that is supposed to be a place of eternal hardship. The winters are long and spring and summer come short. The author Edith Wharton base Starkfield, Massachusetts on the New England area. In this she quote she says the following “one of the reason [I] wrote the novella was because [I] didn't think other fiction writers had properly captured the New England landscape. [I] wanted to show the harsh and beautiful land as [I] saw it, in all its beauty and all its danger.”
While everyone has a right to their own happiness, the truth of the matter is that it is not always easy to reach. While a person can struggle their entire life searching for happiness, some may never find what they’re looking for or may never be satisfied with what they have in front of them. The character Ethan, in Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton is a story of full of unlucky love and fate. Ethan stumbles upon a gravestone with his name on it, except this man had a wife, Endurance. This leaves Ethan wondering what his own gravestone with his wife, Zeena, will one day say.
Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome, and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening are novels that represent the traps that society has set forth for them. In both novels, suicide is seen as the only way to escape from their constricted circumstances in which these people are expected to live in. The Frome’s and The Pontellier’s have very similar circumstances, such as blaming each other for their problems, and having marriage’s which they are not happy in. “Her marriage to Leonce Pontellier was purely an accident, in this respect resembling many other marriages which masquerade as the decrees of Fate.”
In the novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton the narrator tells the readers how he met the main character,Frome, in Massachusetts. Edith Wharton takes the reader twenty-four years into the past and there we see that Frome is a young man,who chased after an education in science, but when his father dies he is forced to return back to the farm. After that his mother becomes ill and his cousin Zeena comes to take care of her,but when his mother dies, Frome marries Zeena out of loneliness. As time passes by Zeena becomes more sick, due to this their marriage is without love and Frome feels very lonely and has no one to talk to. Then Mattie silver,Zeena’s cousin,comes to take care of her,and Frome falls in love with her and can not imagine life without
Like many individuals in today 's society, Ethan Frome merely wished to achieve his aspirations and pursue lifelong contentment. However, Frome 's over ambition created more complication than achievement. Frome processed many extraordinary qualities, such as his intelligence and benevolent nature. Though his moral character possessed merit and his actions were of good intent, this is what ultimately drove him to a tragic end. From early adulthood, Frome’s nature took precedence over him.