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A new pastor arrives in a stark Vermont village and is intrigued by crippled, misshapen Ethan Frome living on an isolated, hardscrabble farm with his sickly wife Zeena.

SparkNotes: Ethan Frome: Themes

A summary of Themes in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Ethan Frome and what it means
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When Mattie Silver, a cousin of Zeena, comes to live at the broken down Frome farm to take care of Zeena and her constant illnesses, Ethan begins to realize what real love can do to a person.

The Symbolism of the Color Red in Ethan Frome by …

Everything the color red in ethan frome I Know About How to Write a Story. Celona, Tina
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The novel was criticized by as lacking in moral or ethical significance. called Ethan Frome "a compelling and haunting story". Edith Wharton was able to write an appealing book and separate it from her other works, where her characters in Ethan Frome are not of the elite upper class. However, the problems that the characters endure are still consistently the same, where the protagonist has to decide whether or not too fulfill their duty or follow their heart. Some critics have read the novel as a veiled autobiography where they have interpreted the likeness between Ethan's situation with his wife in the novel to Wharton's unhappy marriage to her husband, Edward (Teddy) Robbins Wharton. She began writing Ethan Frome in the early 1900s when she was still married. Wharton based the narrative of Ethan Frome on an accident that had occurred in Lenox, Massachusetts, where she had traveled extensively and had come into contact with one of the victims of the accident. Wharton found the notion of the tragic sledding crash to be irresistible as a potential extended metaphor for the wrongdoings of a secret love affair. However, the critic Lionel Trilling thinks that the ending is "terrible to contemplate," but that "the mind can do nothing with it, can only endure it ."

 

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Ethan Frome: Metaphor Analysis | Novelguide
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Ethan Frome makes ample use of symbolism as a literary device: similar to the by (also set in New England), Edith Wharton uses the color red against the snowy white background of her Massachusetts setting to symbolize Mattie’s attraction and vitality as opposed to Zeena, as well as her temptation to Ethan in general. Wharton uses the cat and the pickle dish to symbolize the failing marriage of Ethan and Zeena; the cat symbolizes Zeena’s presence when Ethan and Mattie are alone, and when it breaks the pickle dish, this symbolizes the final fracturing of the marriage that is rapidly coming as Mattie and Ethan slide closer and closer to .

Ethan Frome: Metaphor Analysis ..
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was originally born Edith Jones in 1862. She received a marriage proposal at a young age, but the wedding was opposed by the perception of the snobbery prospective in-laws’ of the well-established Jones family. In 1885, at the age of 23, Edith married Edward Wharton, an older man whom the Jones family found to be of suitably lofty social rank, whose last name she kept after the divorce. Wharton’s success as a writer, so unusual for a woman of her era, could possibly be credited to the fact that her unhappy marriage forced her to devote her energies elsewhere. She believed writing was good therapy to relieve stress and tension. Wharton most-likely based her story on an accident that she had witnessed in 1904 in . Five people total were in the actual accident, four girls and one boy. They crashed into a lamppost while sledding down Courthouse Hill in . One girl, Hazel Crosby was killed in the accident. Another girl involved in the accident, Kate Spencer, became friends with Wharton while both working at the .This is where Wharton would have learned of the accident. The story of Ethan Frome had initially begun as a composition that Wharton had to write while studying the language in . It is among the few works by Wharton with a rural setting. Also, another element that contributes to the story has to with the story being told as . The telling of the story is told within another story. The audience is first introduced to the narrator's story of meeting Ethan Frome, and then is told the story of the accident and events surrounding it.


lending a much-needed freedom to the earthbound world of Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome is a novel that was published in by the -winning author . It is set in turn-of-the-century in the fictitious town of Starkfield, . The novel was adapted into a film in 1993.