Isolation In Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton

650 Words3 Pages

In the 1900s, Starkfield, Massachusetts as described in the fiction novel, Ethan Frome, was a small town with harsh winters. Starkfield had poor transportation which takes one a long time to get from place to place. Also, there were fewer opportunities or choices in Starkfield. People in Starkfield were living in isolation because there was no technology invented to give them more opportunities. In Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton uses the setting of the story to show how the environment one is in can influence one's decision-making, mental state, and outlook on life. Winter in Starkfield influenced Ethan’s decisions that he made throughout the story. One winter Ethan married Zeena out of loneliness. The narrator states, “I simply felt that he lived in a depth of moral isolation too remote for casual access, and I had the sense that his loneliness was not merely the result of his personal plight, tragic as I guessed it to be, but had in it, as Harmon Gow had hinted, the profound accumulated cold of many Starkfield winters” (13). He was afraid to be alone and made an unwise decision. He rushed into marrying Zeena only …show more content…

In Ethan Frome, many of the character's mental state is in an unfortunate place because of the situations they are in and their surroundings. One example is Ethan being mentally tired of Zeena. Ethan's mental state is in such a poor place that he thinks Zeena is the problem. Ethan states, “She had taken everything else from him; and now she meant to take the one thing that made up for all the others” (72). In this statement, Ethan feels Mattie is his happiness and that Zeena is trying to take his happiness away. He feels as though she has taken away his chance to live in the big city and fulfill his dream life. Zeena should be Ethan's happiness because she is his wife but instead, she is his burden. One’s outlook on life can be seriously affected by their mental state just like

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