Ethan Frome Essay

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Fuad Baghdady AP English 3/2/13 Ethan Frome Essay The novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton can be considered a tragedy because the main character, Ethan, has one tragic flaw. Ethan Frome is antisocial and this one flaw leads to an inability to express his feelings, loneliness, and a failed marriage. Through irony and Wharton’s choice of words, these three aspects make Ethan Frome a tragedy. Ethan Frome’s antisocial behavior makes it impossible to express his feelings. He is unhappy with his marriage to Zeena but he never tells anyone how he feels. He just goes on with his life as if nothing is wrong. This is an example of irony because Ethan has the ability to change his life, which he is unhappy with, however, he chooses not to. Meanwhile, he keeps all of that depression and sadness inside. This not only hurts himself, but Zeena as well. He also cannot express his feelings for Mattie. One example of this is where Mattie is cleaning the dishes and Ethan is leaving for work. (50) It is the perfect opportunity for Ethan to tell her how he feels because they are all alone, but all he can manage to say is, “So long, Matt.” (50) Instead of acting on his emotions, he constantly thinks about them. Ethan’s behavior seems to make him create a fantasy world where he is always happy. He often gets lost in his “world” and starts to think of outrageous things. For instance, after Ethan had gone to bed the night he and Mattie were alone, he thinks to himself why he hadn’t kissed her. This is extremely inappropriate behavior considering he is married, but he doesn’t realize he is doing anything wrong. If Ethan didn’t isolate himself from others as much, he could express his feelings and live a happier life. Ethan Frome became lonely because he wasn’t a very friendly person. Ethan spent his whole life living at home with his family and never made any real friends
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