The theme of failure in edith whartons ethan frome

Character Analysis You are here: Character… Ethan Frome, the main character in the book entitled Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, has many complex problems going on at the same time.

The theme of failure in edith whartons ethan frome

During this time, both men and women were torn between duty and morality, and personal desire. People were expected to follow the societal norms, which although plagued them, were deemed as correct and proper. This social constraint placed on individuals cause them to make the decision of whether to be accepted by society, or whether to be happy.

During this time, society was trapped in a web of their own formed ideas and opinions.

The theme of failure in edith whartons ethan frome

But with the recent death of his father, he is forced to return to Starkfield and run the family farm while continuing to provide for his ailing wife. This negation of his aspirations causes him to live with a sense of regret that plagues him, and drastically effects his future decisions.

The truth is that Ethan, being as intelligent and as motivated as he is, did try to leave Starkfield in the pursuit of a fulfilling career in engineering, but was trapped by the harsh grasp of conformity in the form of the Frome Farm.

We will write a custom essay sample on Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton or any similar topic only for you We will write a custom essay sample on Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton or any similar topic only for you Order now This failure to accomplish his ambitions gives his persona a tone of remorse, and by extension, the entire novel.

The conflict strengthens the theme in the way it shows that if he would have followed his dreams of studying engineering, his life would have played out much differently.

Wharton depicts Zeena as old, cold, and insensitive while Mattie is warm, loving, kind, and most importantly, a much more fitting wife for Ethan.

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Yet, just like in the case of his engineering career, Ethan cannot bear to leave Zeena, on the account that society would severely frown upon a husband that abandons his sickly wife.

It is important to note that his love for Mattie never falters—The conflict is external, not internal. He is afraid of what people would think, and not whether or not he loves Mattie.

Although he has one night alone with Mattie, he cannot stop thinking about all of the responsibilities placed on him. Time and time again, Wharton shows how society has oppressed Ethan to neglect his aspirations.

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Even when Ethan has the opportunity to elope with Mattie to the west, his morals keep him from lying to his neighbors to secure the sufficient amount of money to go.

These failures in following his own desire weaken him, and force him to live a life of submissiveness to the wills of society. His desire to conform restricts his happiness.

He felt as if he would never be able to escape the clutch of society, and be with Mattie. As they are coasting down the side of the slope, he becomes mentally encumbered with all of the responsibilities that he would be leaving behind, and becomes distracted.

Instead, he severely cripples both himself and Mattie, forcing them to return to the farm and live like Zeena. In a way, he did succeed in killing both himself and Mattie.

The theme of Gender Roles and Marriage in Ethan Frome from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

Society did not allow them to die that day, instead, suffer through a forming of living death that will never grant them the happiness they desired in death.Edith Wharton is an American author of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

In her novella Ethan Frome, Wharton uses symbolism as a means of developing the theme of her story. Ethan Frome takes place in a small New England community in which there is little acceptance towards sinful deeds.

LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Ethan Frome, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Determinism and Free Will In Ethan Frome, Wharton explores the concept of determinism—the idea that human lives are determined by outside forces, including social customs, heredity, environment, history, and laws of nature.

Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome: Character Analysis. Nothing seems to be going in Ethan’s favor.

Determinism and Free Will ThemeTracker

The main theme of the book is failure, and this is shown through marrying his wife, not being able to stand up to his wife, and his involvement concerning the “smash up.” The first way failure is shown in the book is through the marriage of Ethan and his wife.

Explore the ways in which Edith Wharton Presents themes of imprisonment and entrapment in Ethan Frome and consider the ways in which The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald illuminates this. In the novel Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton explores the themes of imprisonment and entrapment.

Ethan Frome, the novel’s protagonist, is described by an old man as having “been in Starkfield too many winters.” As the story progresses, the reader, and the narrator, begin to understand more deeply the meaning of this statement. Ethan Frome, the main character in the book entitled Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, has many complex problems going on at the same time.

His family has died and he has a wife that is continually sick, and the only form of happiness he has is from his wife’s cousin Mattie.

Ethan Frome Themes from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes