ethan frome Essay

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Ethan Frome. Edith Wharton.375 Hudson street New York, New York, 10014, USA: New American Library, 2000. 157 The book Ethan Frome was written by Edith Wharton. Ethan has had a hard life, and in the story is trapped between his sickly, overbearing wife, and loving his house girl, Mattie. This tragic romance seems to be aimed more towards the female psyche, and this affected how I interpreted it. I liked this book, but only because of the author�s ability to build up personalities for the key characters. Originally printed in Paris in1911, the novel is set in turn-of-the-century Starkfield, Massachusetts. There is little money to be had by any of the characters, and the sciences, especially in the field of medicine are lacking. The three major characters are Ethan Frome, Zenobia, his wife, and Mattie Silverman, Zeena�s cousin who handles most of the household chores. Ethan resents his wife, and as a result falls in love with Mattie, the embodiment of beauty, youth, and change. At the time of the story, Ethan has already developed feelings for her, and is struggling to clarify them. The book starts off with an unknown narrator laying out the setting of Stark field, keying into Mr. Frome�s strange anti-social tendencies. When a blizzard forces the narrator to spend a night at the Frome house, he learns of Ethan�s difficult past, and how Ethan came to be the broken man he is. Ethan�s story starts with himself as a young man trudging through the snow around the Starkfield Church. As he peers into the basement windows, a single girl catches his eye. She is Matte Silver. After the dance Ethan is delighted to see her refuse an offer of another man to take her home, and approaches her with a similar offer. Mattie accepts. Wharton continues to write about Ethan and Mattie, always balancing their love with Zeena�s presence.

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