Ethan Frome Tone Analysis

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In “Ethan Frome,” the author’s tone can be identified clearly in many passages in the novel. One example in which tone is present is: “Her sombre violence constrained him: she seemed the embodied instrument of fate. He pulled the sled out, blinking like a night-bird as he passed from the shade of spruces into the transparent dusk of the open. The slope below them was deserted. All Starkfield was at supper, and not a figure crossed the open space before the church. The sky, swollen with the clouds that announce a thaw, hung as low as before a summer storm.” Throughout the novel, there is also a very visible overarching theme of determinism. Determinism, the theme in this novel, is the philosophy that all events are caused by an individual’s environment and prior events outside of an individual’s control. One example is Ethan’s marriage to Zeena. He married Zeena because “he was seized with an unreasoning dread of being left alone on the farm,” (59). This dread was caused because he didn’t want to endure the characteristic loneliness of winter in Starkfield again(environment) and because earlier, he had been isolated at…show more content…
Winter and summer storms are characteristically very different. In winter storms, there is often mindless shrieking winds, and they occur quite often. However, summer doesn’t usually have that many storms, so when one happens, it seems to always happen with strong intention. Thus, using this word choice to describe the setting of the scene gives the reader the impression that there is a motive in the events taking place. Hence, adding to the idea that the results of the situation are inevitable. This attitude towards the situation shows that the author has given up. Therefore, her tone is conveyed as
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