Suicide In Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

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Edith Wharton focused her novel Ethan Frome, around the tragic story of the man himself. Ethan lived with his sherd wife, Zeena, and discovered early on in there marriage that happiness was not in the card for him, as he gave up his dreams for fear of being alone. Years into their marriage Zeena's cousin, Mattie, comes to stay with the Fromes. Ethan soon finds himself entranced by the girl, longing to be with her over the women he was married to. The two find themselves falling in love and are devastated when they hear that Zeena has arranged for a new aid to come. Mattie would have to leave and the two would have to live apart. This, however, is something that they will not accept. They decided that death is the better option and attempt suicide by riding a sled into a large elm tree. The attempt fails and they are sent back to the farm to be taken care of by Zeena. It is years after the “smash up” that the narrator visits the Frome and finds that the accident…show more content…
He attended college and found that his dream was to live in a metropolitan area where he could experience all that life in the city had to offer. This dream took a hard hit when his father died and his mother became ill. His cousin Zeena was there for both his mother and him, this convinced Ethan that he could not live alone, so he married Zeena. The nice girl turned wicked and miserable, forcing Ethan into a cycle of unhappiness that he could not break out of. Ethan Frome gave up his dreams, his happiness, for a miserable life with a miserable woman. A spouse that consistently wines and complains without a touch of love in their heart, like Zeena, is not the kind of person someone typically looks for. Whether it be the result of his decisions to let his fear control him, or just the misfortune of not finding a good match Ethan was not happy. He had a life that no sane person would desire. It was a life that he himself never
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