Psychological Analysis Of Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton

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Sierra Luers AP English 11 Period 3 Psychological Analysis of Ethan Frome Edith Wharton, the author of Ethan Frome, grew up in a privileged American family. At a young age she took interest in writing about the inside of her family’s social circle. At 23 she was married to a man from a well-established family. After thirty years of marriage she divorced him as he had serious emotional and depression problems. Wharton was even thought to have resented him for his incapability’s of the life she wanted , she felt tied down and stifled; the passion and romance had been long gone. The rest of her romantic life consisted of a couple affairs; the most prominent was with a young journalist. It was almost a forbidden love which is exemplified in…show more content…
It all started with Ethan’s humanly desire to find a partner and marry. He married Zeena not out of deep passion, but out of fear of being alone when his mother had died. “He was seized with an unreasoning dread of being left alone on the farm; and before he knew what he was doing he had asked her to stay there with him.” (Wharton 59) Ethan’s lonesome decisions created a catastrophic marriage in which Mattie Silver coincidently comes in to save Ethan. (White 1) Ethan’s id, according to Freud, allows him to quickly become memorized and even addicted to Mattie’s presence and the feeling of pleasure that overcomes him when he is with her. “She had an eye to see and an ear to hear: he could show her things and tell her things, and taste the bliss of feeling that all he imparted left long reverberations and echoes he could wake at will. (Wharton, 10) It gave Ethan extreme pleasure that Mattie was interested in him, in his life, and in his interests. Ethan thrived from this feeling and craved the satisfaction of having Mattie near. To Ethan, Mattie is a very sexual person; this can be explained by “fresh color in her cheeks and lips” (Wharton 36) and her jubilant partaking in the church dance. (Wharton 24) Dancing can be seen as a symbol of sexual pleasure. (Neboliterature) Ethan enjoyed watching Mattie dance but when she was dancing with another young man he became slightly jealous, this is a natural jealous, evil, feeling that is present when some ones id is not satisfied. Ethan yearned to be dancing with Mattie, instead he was discreetly hiding behind the church. The unsatisfied feeling in Ethan grows every time he is with Mattie; this is because of his superego. The natural desire quickly builds up though, and he longs to be with her. “For the first time he stole his arm around her, and she did not resist. They walked on as if they were floating on a summer stream.”

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