The Theme Of Love In Wharton's Ethan Frome

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The works of Edith Wharton have endured for years because of her ability to write themes that can relate to actual experiences by humans. While her novel is a depressing one, it is realistic enough that it can still happen in this day in age. One theme is love, it is seen well throughout the story. The main character, a lonely and isolated man, portrays many signs of love. In Ethan Frome, the theme of love is seen through the main character’s secrecy, craving for attention, and irrational actions. As the main character, Ethan Frome, spends time on his farm surrounded by no one, he has time to think. He discovers he is unhappy with his life and his wife Zeena. When Ethan starts talking to Zeena’s cousin, Mattie, he secretly learns to like her…show more content…
He felt as though he owed Zeena, his marriage is somewhat forced and it made him feel even more removed from happiness. “At the same time, each abhors silence–Ethan, particularly, had asked Zeena to marry him to escape his mother 's silence” (Wright 2). When his mother passed, he didn’t like how quiet it was living alone so he proposed. He mentioned to Mattie that he loved nature but didn’t want to be a farmer, what kept him in Starkfield was Zeena. He gave up his dream job as an engineer and plans to watch over the farm. When Zeena stated she did not want to move out of the town, his future was sealed and he soon fell into a depression. In Ethan Frome, Ethan’s secrecy, craving for attention, and irrational actions all make for the story of a man who was isolated on a farm and who changed over time. Through these examples, the reader is shown the theme of love in the novel. As love is seen in many ways throughout the world, readers see that edith Wharton’s depressing story is still relevant because of how much it connects to readers and how realistic it is. Ethan Frome will be studied and analyzed by many other schools because of the themes and the author’s ability to incorporate emotions and mental illness in her
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