Gender Roles In Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

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Edith Whartons novella Ethan Frome portrays the opposite of a man chasing “The American Dream.” The story is set in Starkfield, New England in the early 1900’s. Ethan, the protagonist of the novel was called back to his parent’s farm from college because his father had suffered from a head injury. That event changed the rest of Ethan’s life. The story unfolds as an anonymous narrator discovers the mystery behind the tragic situation. Throughout the novel, Ethan Frome, traditional gender roles are focused upon. There are limits put on the potential of women being in control of their own life and making their own decisons. Through Mattie, the novel critiques gender expectations that resulted in young women being raised to become nothing more
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