Ethan Frome Sacrifice Analysis

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Throughout the romantic struggle, Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome sacrifices himself to be happy with Mattie Silver but in the process he paves his path towards infinite limbo. Ethan Frome is introduced as a man who is battered and withering. Upon going into his backstory, we discover his true self. A man who is in a marriage with a woman he has little to no feelings for, Zeena. Mattie Silver is the new woman who he has his eyes on and for her he sacrifices everything but just saves enough to withhold his integrity and obligation. But by withholding these things solely because he is afraid of what Starkfield, his hometown, will think of him, he makes his actual sacrifice. By not following through with his passion with Mattie Silver, he sacrifices the freedom, happiness, and life he sought. In the end he just ends up in the same situation he began. Upon hearing that Mattie Silver was to be replaced with…show more content…
Ethan loses everything he sought. He lost his Mattie but also managed to not lose her at the same time. Literally he lost Mattie as her original personality was lost by the accident. In another sense he managed to keep her from leaving their household which was the whole ignition to Ethan’s plan. In the end, Ethan sacrifices everything to abandon his old life of a boring, sickly Zeena to end up being with a boring, sickly Mattie Silver. The infinite limbo and the consequence of trying to stay with both ends of the stick. Edith Wharton provides a deeper meaning to the work, Ethan Frome. Readers may initially skim over it but with a deeper analysis we uncover an idea that revolves around the complexity and consequences brought by a decision. In our case, Ethan Frome made a decision that brought him back to where he started with a fruitless outcome or perhaps worse off than he already was. Our decisions should be well thought out and reckless ones should be avoided, no matter if “most of the smart ones get away” or
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