Plot[ edit ] The novel is framed by the literary device of an extended flashback. The prologue, which is neither named as such nor numbered, opens with an unnamed male narrator spending a winter in Starkfield while in the area on business. He spots a limping, quiet man around the village, who is somehow compelling in his demeanor and carriage.
It is winter in Starkfield. Young Ethan Frome walks through the deep snow to the church where a dance is being held. As he walks, Ethan is reminded of a physics course he took four or five years earlier at a technological college in Worcester, before his father's accidental death forced him to drop out of school and return to Starkfield to take over the Frome farm.
Ethan's educational ambitions were thwarted by events outside of his control—a horse kick to his father's head—and by his own sense of duty to return and take over the farm. Active Themes Hiding outside the church, Ethan peeps through a window and sees Mattie Silver, his wife's younger cousin, dancing with Denis Eady, the son of Michael Eady, a wealthy shopkeeper.
Mattie, wearing a cherry-colored scarf called a "fascinator," appears happy and exhilarated. Ethan is dismayed that Mattie doesn't see what an arrogant, offensive fellow Denis is. Since Ethan is only happy when he is with Mattie, he's confused by Mattie's high spirits, and worries that she may be in love with Denis.
Ethan standing out in the snow while the dance goes on inside shows his isolation from society.
Ethan's jealousy of Denis Eady's wealth shows his sense of inferiority as well as his tendency to blame external forces, like his poverty, for his situation in life.
The red scarf sets Mattie apart from the crowd, and is the first of several images that associate her with warmth and light. Active Themes Mattie lives with the Fromes because her own parents lost their money and died a year earlier.
She now helps Ethan's sickly wife Zeena with household chores in exchange for room and board.
To make the transition from city life easier, Zeena has encouraged Mattie to attend social events in Starkfield occasionally. Ethan enjoys walking Mattie the two miles back to the farm after these events. Ethan and Mattie share a love of nature, and during the walk he likes to point out the constellations to her and impress her with his knowledge.
As an orphan with no inheritance, Mattie is dependent on her relatives for support. Ethan is attracted to Mattie partly because she listens respectfully to what he tells her and admires his learning. Unlike Zeena, who questions his authority, Mattie makes Ethan feel masterful. Active Themes Recently, however, Zeena pointed out to Ethan how inefficiently Mattie does the housework.
Ethan tried to cover up for Mattie by secretly helping her with the chores. Zeena noticed his efforts, however, and suggested that they look for a new hired girl, adding that Mattie will soon be leaving them when she marries Denis Eady.
Although Mattie has given no indication that she is interested in Denis, the sight of them dancing together arouses Ethan's fears, as he realizes that he can no longer live without her.
Zeena has the exclusive right to Ethan's love and loyalty. To protect her marriage and ensure her security, Zeena reminds Ethan that it is in Mattie's best interest to marry a promising young bachelor like Denis Eady. Despite his love and concern for Mattie, Ethan cannot bear to lose her to a younger and more successful rival.
Cite This Page Choose citation style: Retrieved November 13, Edith Wharton is unique in the intimacy and sureness, not to mention the virile and satiric tone, with which she investigates this narrow and declining society. --Ethan frome Wharton's prose, with its menacing images of death and darkness, is rutadeltambor.com://rutadeltambor.com · Ethan Frome is a book published in by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Edith rutadeltambor.com is set in the fictitious town of Starkfield, rutadeltambor.com novel was adapted into a film, Ethan Frome, in rutadeltambor.com · Ethan Frome () is a classic short novel by American author Edith Wharton.
A departure from the typical setting of her fiction–the world of urban high society–the novel takes place in rutadeltambor.com Character of Ethan Frome Ethan Frome, a tragic romance, first published in , is widely regarded as Edith Wharton's most revealing novel and her finest achievement in rutadeltambor.com://rutadeltambor.com · Ethan Frome Analysis In Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome, setting is an important element.
The setting greatly influences the characters, transportation, and activities. The setting takes place in a small town called “Starkfield”.rutadeltambor.com Edith Wharton wrote Ethan Frome as a frame story — meaning that the prologue and epilogue constitute a "frame" around the main story How It All Goes Down It's winter.
A nameless engineer is in Starkfield, Massachusetts on business and he first sees Ethan Frome at the post rutadeltambor.com