Ethan Frome Essay

1082 WordsFeb 6, 20145 Pages
The Novella of Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome, is a tragedy. Ethan Frome suffered tragedy because of his character flaws, errors in his judgment, and forces beyond his control. Ethan Frome married a woman, Zeena, he was lonely and not truly in love with her. When her cousin, Maddie comes to live with them Ethan becomes infatuated with her. When Maddie has to leave, Ethan and Maddie decide to kill themselves so they never would have to leave one another. In the novella of Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome, Ethan is a unique character who suffers a downfall due to character flaws, and errors in judgment, and most important forces beyond human control to in which he gains wisdom. Ethan Frome is a unique character who suffers a downfall in the tragedy…show more content…
This was an error in his judgment that led to him suffering his downfall. Forces beyond human control are the most important aspect to the downfall of Ethan Frome. Fate is the major force beyond his control. The night before Maddie had to leave Ethan and her were discussing going down the hill eventually. Then the next night it was fate that, in order to get to the train station, they had to drive past the hill. Ethan comments, "We were to have gone down last night" (79), so they decided to go down then. If fate had not taken them past the hill they would not have gone down. It was also fate that there was a sled by the tree; if there had been no sled they could not have gone down. Maddie says, "'but there isn't a sled round anywheres' 'yes, there is! Right over there under the spruces'" (79). If there was not a sled then they would not have been able to go down the hill. However fate allowed the sled to be there. Having suffered physically and emotionally from hitting an elm tree while sledding Ethan Frome gains insight. He learned that trying to run away from his problems will never work. Ethan attempted suicide to run away from Zeena and be with Maddie, because he didn’t understand “the good of either of [them] going anywheres without the other” (81). Instead of getting away from Zeena, she was taking care of him and Maddie at the end of the novella. Ethan also gained the wisdom of knowing what it is like to be ashamed. “He's that proud he don't even like

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