In Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome, setting is an important element. The setting greatly influences the characters, transportation, and activities.
This lesson will take place throughout the months of November and December in a class of sixth graders. I will do this lesson during this time period due to the relatable Minnesota weather, which can help the students make connections while reading. I will also use this time period to nicely finish the semester off with a final project about the novel, before the students go home for their Holiday and Winter breaks.
The Winter is the opposite of summer, during the winter not only does the winter change but the town's appearance. The houses that once looked artificial were exposed and looked abandoned. “Winter comes down savagely over a little town on the prairie...The roofs, that looked so far away across the green treetops...they are so much more uglier then when their angles were softened by vines and
Throughout the story, the mood becomes more suspenseful. As Janet walks out of the strong spring storm and enters her cold damp house, she is overcome by feelings of isolation and loneliness. Her husband is not there; there are dead plants
References to winter in literature may refer to despair, anguish and death. During winter, the reality of war is brought to light to the students at Devon. Many students opt to join the war instead of finishing their
When Harmon states that Ethan has been in the town of Starkfield too many winters leads to the narrator finding out that Starkfield and the town members become emotionally buried under the snow covered blanket of Starkfield?s winters. Winter in Starkfield is depressing and cold and it seems to rub off on the residents of the town. People of the town say he is cold and depressing, simply because he has been in Starkfield too many winters.
In “Debasing Exchange: Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth,” author Wai-Chee Dimock argues that the society portrayed in the novel, which is a reflection of 19th century upper class New York, revolves around the idea that the business ethics of the economic “marketplace” determines all aspects of the culture. More specifically, this causes all forms of social interactions to be viewed as “currency,” with the precise value of a certain act or relationship determined by whoever possesses the most power. As Dimock herself puts it, “as a controlling logic, a mode of human conduct and human association, the marketplace is everywhere and nowhere, ubiquitous and invisible” (375). While some might wonder whether the marketplace really is the ultimate guiding structure for this particular fictionalized society, Dimock contends nevertheless that this interpretation is a viable one, due to the marketplace’s “ability to reproduce itself,” and thus “assimilate everything… into its domain” (375). I myself find Dimock’s argument both interesting and useful in interpreting The House of Mirth because of the clarity with which she presents the often complicated, critical lens of Marxism.
Edith Wharton, author of the novel Ethan Frome, speaks through her narrator to tell the ironically realistic tale of a poor, wishful New England farmer, who quickly realizes that his desire for happiness is futile. Ethan Frome’s acquaintances in town describe him as a man who has lived in the small town of Starkfield, Massachusetts for “too many winters,” yet Ethan is only fifty-two years old (Wharton 10). As the narrator relates the “tale of unremitting isolation, loneliness, intellectual starvation, and mental despair,” it is obvious that Ethan’s suffering is something “neither poverty nor physical suffering could have put there” (Faust 817; Wharton 13). The misery from which Ethan suffers is the heartbreak over the unaccomplished dreams of his past. In Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome, the author examines the effects of reality on the fulfillment of the dreams of the characters and the narrator through social conventions, isolation, and fatalism.
The novel opens, twenty years later, in Starkfield with The Narrator who develops the desire to know all about Ethan Frome’s past life. His curiosity gets him bits and pieces from the locals, but Ethan Frome remained mysterious. Due to a horrendous blizzard, The Narrator is given the opportunity to live in Ethan’s past and answer all of his questions. The reader starts off with the knowledge of Ethan Frome’s younger life. He desired to become an engineer ,but while pursuing his dreams, his father passes away and his mother becomes very ill. During that winter, Ethan hires Zeena, his cousin, to take care of his mother because he realized that it was too much for him to do on his own. When his mother passes away, he suffers from isolophobia, the fear of isolation, and decides to marry Zeena. The reader is made aware that the environment is cold representing a sense of isolation from the outside world. The Narrator finally learns about the “smash-up”(Wharton 1) according to the locals, that threw away all of Ethan Frome’s chances of escaping prison, also known as life.
As the problems of their neighbors are broadcast into the Westcott’s living room, the weather outside begins to reflect the climate inside: "There were hundreds of clouds in the sky, as though the south wind had broken the winter into pieces and were blowing it north" (821). The Westcott’s view of society and of themselves is being changed from a beautiful, solid picture of appearances into many jagged, separate pieces that do not seem to fit together.
This essay will explore the function of setting in Jane Eyre, and will argue how Bronte used setting to portray, the oppression of women in a patriarchal Victorian society. The settings of Gateshead and Thornfield will be discussed in detail, to emphasise how Bronte’s representation of her heroine’s Gothic imagination depicted the feminist issues of the time. In addition it will consider differences, and similarities, between the protagonist Jane Eyre as ‘The Angel of the house,’ and the antagonist Bertha Mason as ‘The Madwoman in the Attic’. To ruminate this discussion, it will consider the critical essays of Robert B Hellman, Gilbert & Gumar, and Mary Poovey.
Edith Wharton’s brief, yet tragic novella, Ethan Frome, presents a crippled and lonely man – Ethan Frome – who is trapped in a loveless marriage with a hypochondriacal wife, Zenobia “Zeena” Frome. Set during a harsh, “sluggish” winter in Starkfield, Massachusetts, Ethan and his sickly wife live in a dilapidated and “unusually forlorn and stunted” New-England farmhouse (Wharton 18). Due to Zeena’s numerous complications, they employ her cousin to help around the house, a vivacious young girl – Mattie Silver. With Mattie’s presence, Starkfield seems to emerge from its desolateness, and Ethan’s vacant world seems to be awoken from his discontented life and empty marriage. And so begins Ethan’s love adventure – a desperate desire to have
The pressure of conformity affects individual expression and varies in degrees in which it impacts an individual’s life. Regardless of time period, conformity is able to force individualists to abide by the social standards inculcated into society and deemphasize the importance behind individualism. In the 1920s, New York City adopted a structure parallel to conformity in its figurative hierarchy after the grief and devastation of World War I. With fear of the unknown, a reestablishment of tradition and routine followed, including an adaptation to the use of silences. The individuals with class and power used silence as a vehicle to conform and unify but, free-willed individuals gave another purpose to silence. It became a tool to express
The setting of a novel is typically only the frame in which a novel takes place; it makes no grandiose overtures to become a larger part of the novel than it is. However, the setting of Starkfield in Ethan Frome is different in that the depiction of Starkfield is integral to one’s understanding of the underlying motives and feelings of the characters in the novel. The “accumulated cold of many Starkfield winters” (Wharton 5) tangibly affects the personalities and actions of Ethan, Zeena, and Mattie, mostly negatively.
“You did love me for a moment; and it helped me. It always helped me. But the moment is gone, it was I who let it go.” (405). Some people believe if you have chemistry with someone, you only need one other thing. Timing. But it's hard to get timing right. However is timing really all that matters? In House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, Wharton proposes the question, was Lily Bart and Lawrence Selden’s fate inevitable or could they have prevented it? Other than Timing, different upbringings and miscommunication both were factors that kept Lily and Lawrence apart but also could have brought them back together.