Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton Setting Analysis Essay

865 Words Sep 16th, 2011 4 Pages
Setting Analysis of Ethan Frome By: Mary Thompson

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”. Starkfield is a town that is just like its name, it is boring, barren, severe, and harsh. Starkfield is known for its many harsh winters that leave the inhabitants bitter and in harsh condition. Starkfield is a village that lays “under a sheet of snow perpetually renewed from the pale skies” (pg.10).By the time the snow is gone and things are well it snows again. Not only is the snow harsh but it acts as a barrier to many of the residents keeping
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Then without the illness and the subsequence death of his mother Ethan would never have married Zeena out of loneliness instead of marrying for true love. Transportation is effected in many ways in this novel. Since stark field is a small town away from the cities it is a little distance to the Corbury flats for the daily transportation and communication. Not very long after the narrator arrives in Starkfield, the horses at the local stable fall sick do to the terrible weather. Since the horses are sick Denis Eady can not drive the narrator to Corbury flats. This causes the narrator to look somewhere else fro his daily transportation. Also when the heavy perpetual snow falls on Corbury flat the railroad closes down because the trains will become blocked and trapped by the snow. The snow acts and becomes a barrier on transportation making it hard and only allowing horse and buggy transportation. Since they have to use horse and buggy transportation it takes longer and they have to leave early for town. This makes the trip to town long and a arduous journey. Also making a barrier on communication between the Flats and Ethan’s home town of Starkfield. Because of the setting in this novel the activities in Starkfield are sparse. For many citizens there is little to do because the heavy snow falls keep the citizens in with lack of transportation. The activities they do are mostly during the spring which is extremely short, consisting only of a few weeks or possibly