Literary Devices In Ethan Frome

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Ethan Frome: A Series Of Questions About Morals
“I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.” (Wharton, 1911, p. 1.) The above quote is the very first sentence in the novel Ethan Frome, and although it has fewer than 30 words, it manages to hook the reader into a confusing situation. Ethan Frome began development in the early 1900s by the American writer Edith Wharton as an assignment to her instructor in French conversation. Edith based the narrative on several months of stay at her family's country home in Massachusetts. Originally, barely three chapters in length, the two central characters, Mattie and Hart, were lovers from the beginning who must part ways
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4.) The above quote from Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton is but one of the numerous examples of exemplary figurative language that the author uses to help the reader visualize Ethan’s longing to spend the rest of his days with Mattie. The works of Edith Wharton are known by their descriptive, yet simplistic prose and structure. As such, Ethan Frome contains several forms of literary devices and techniques that enhance both the dialogue and imagery contained within. The first of these is the inclusion of what is known as a frame narrative, or a story within a story. In Ethan Frome, the first chapter is a prologue that is composed in the first person view of an unknown narrator that tries to ascertain Ethan’s story in Starkfield. Once the narrator enters the Frome household, the point of view changes to third person omniscient, and the story within a story begins. After that story ends, the epilogue returns to the first person and the point of view of the unknown narrator. It is the prologue and epilogue that serve as the framework of Ethan Frome, and the chapters between the two that is the main story. Another literary technique found in the narrative is the ever abundant examples of metaphor and simile. The very first sentence after the prologue likens the hardness of the Starkfield winter to a “sky of iron” and, later on,…show more content…
9.) Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton can be deemed merely a story love that has an unfortunate conclusion. However, when one takes into account, all of the dialogue, all of the symbolism and imagery, all of the primary themes, Ethan Frome transforms into a story concerning how quickly a man’s mind, body, and spirit can be broken apart, reassembled, and broken back down again. From the events that place Ethan in such a terrible state to the arrival of a newcomer that spurs his heart, it is a tale of hardship and restoration. Edith Wharton did not specifically try to satisfy this summary when she was composing it, however. She just penned a tale that was based on her adventures at her family home many summers ago. It is this reason that allows a level of leniency when devising a reasonable moral for the story. When the literary techniques Edith used and the two most prominent themes are taken into account, the best potential answer to the question at hand is that Edith Wharton wanted to teach her audience that grief and loneliness lead to questionable choices with disastrous

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