An analysis of the character ethan frome in edith whartons book ethan frome

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An analysis of the character ethan frome in edith whartons book ethan frome

A "ruin of a man," according to The Narrator, he is still a "striking figure. He has a "powerful look," that is "bleak and unapproachable. Ethan is a poor man who is simple, straightforward, and responsible. When The Narrator first glimpses Ethan's face in an unguarded moment, he sees Ethan as a man who ".

As a young man, Ethan began college, hoping to become an engineer. His studies are interrupted by the death of his father. He succumbs to his sense of duty and cares for his mother, who is ill, and the family farm and sawmill.

Aware of the isolation and loneliness facing him after his mother's death, Ethan marries Zeena, a cousin who nursed his mother. Ethan would like nothing better than to move away; however, Zeena will not leave Starkfield.

She becomes a hypochondriac and Ethan finds himself captive to the farm, sawmill, and Zeena. To avoid saying things to Zeena that he doesn't mean, Ethan does not respond to her incessant complaining; instead, he suffers in silence. His external conflict with Zeena becomes an internal conflict also.

In Mattie, Ethan discovers a kindred spirit. She seems to understand him. Ethan experiences an internal conflict when he realizes that he is in love with Mattie.

He feels that it would be unfair to Mattie to reveal his feelings or to provoke her feelings for him. Again, Ethan suffers in silence.

Ethan Frome - Wikipedia

He watches Mattie dance with Eady and feels jealous but is unable to voice his feelings; he is, after all, married to Zeena. Because Ethan never talks to Mattie about his feelings for her, he is unsure of her feelings for him.

He agonizes, wondering if Mattie could ever love him. When he is around Mattie, Ethan feels a sense of mastery. For example, he feels protective of Mattie; he feels authoritative, important, and needed.

The feelings Ethan has when he interacts with Mattie are in sharp contrast to the feelings he experiences during interactions with Zeena, who has a way of demeaning Ethan with her control of him. The night that Zeena is in Bettsbridge and Ethan is alone with Mattie, he fantasizes that he is married to Mattie.

When the pickle dish breaks, Ethan becomes assertive; he takes over and makes decisions. He tells Mattie that he will glue the red dish together the next day before Zeena returns home.

Ethan's intention is to deceive Zeena and protect Mattie. In so doing, he is proving his manhood and his love for Mattie. Although there is no physical contact between Ethan and Mattie, their nonverbal communication reveals the deep feelings they have for each other.

An analysis of the character ethan frome in edith whartons book ethan frome

After Zeena tells Ethan that Mattie will have to leave their household because a hired girl is coming, Ethan's antipathy for Zeena is evident. He shows his anger and realizes that he has lost; Zeena has conniving dominance of his life.The three primary characters in Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton are Zenobia, Mattie Silver, and of course the title character, Ethan.

As your question suggests, each of them does "engage in a process.


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.

Setting Analysis of Ethan Frome By: Mary Thompson Ethan Frome Analysis In Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome, setting is an important element.

An analysis of the character ethan frome in edith whartons book ethan frome

The setting greatly influences the characters, transportation, and activities. The setting takes place in a small town called “Starkfield”. Read an in-depth analysis of Ethan Frome. Zenobia Frome - Ethan’s sickly wife, more commonly known as “Zeena.” She comes across as prematurely aged, caustic in temperament, prone to alternating fits of silence and rage, and utterly unattractive, making her the novel’s least sympathetic figure.

The novel Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, is a tale of a man and the eventual downfall of his life and well-being. Ethan emerges as the main protagonist and . 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 fiction.

SparkNotes: Ethan Frome: Character List