Reader Response Literary Analysis Of Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton

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Reader Response Literary Analysis of Ethan Frome The novel Ethan Frome written by Edith Wharton is a classic novel of the early 1900’s. Wharton created a novel that is only fully comprehended in the cold winter months with snow swirling outside your home as you read with a cup of hot tea to warm you. It is an icy writing, with many different thoughts to extract from it. A main theme in this novel is society and morality are obstacles to the fulfillment of desire(“Ethan Frome”) I agree with this yet I argue the main theme is that your circumstances determine your contentment. Through the stifling force of winter, Ethan’s alternating moods based mainly off of Mattie, and Zeena’s disappearing illnesses, it will be proven that their circumstances determined their contentment.…show more content…
Winter was a hardening season, and toughened anyone who lived there. An elderly man declares Ethan has “..been in Starkfield too many winters (Wharton 2),” for he is a tough man that seems to belligerently fight through anything that tests his endurance. Zeena nurses his mother as she was dying, Zeena falling ill after they got married, his true lover Mattie always just out of his reach, not enough money to live a comfortable life, and the crash in which him and Mattie were forever torn apart; proving that even if they could find a way to be together they would be torn away in the end. All of these things occurred and yet Ethan Frome pushes on, at war with his own life. Ethan was miserable because his life was miserable. When his only source of happiness dissipates, he forever separates himself from contentment because of all of his unfortunate

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