Isolation Between Ethan Frome And Mattie Silver

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The town of Starkfield is very aptly named: the town is barren and has long, harsh winters. Staying in Starkfield for too many winters is considered a terrible fate by many, and is the unfortunate fate of the main character. But the setting of Starkfield was established the way it was for a specific purpose: to help develop characters in a very intimate manner. This is why not many characters, outside of the three main characters, are seen throughout the novel, to force them to connect with each other. Edith Wharton uses the theme of isolation to develop the characters to have intimate understands of each other, and allows her to create strong characters. Isolation is used as a means of developing relationships between the characters, whether friendly or hostile. An obvious relationship that is formed is the one between Ethan Frome and Mattie Silver. Mattie was brought in by Zenobia, or Zeena, Frome as an assistant around their house. Ethan, being isolated from most other people that would bring him happiness, quickly begins to fall in love with Mattie. This is made clear early on, stating, "The girl was more than the bright serviceable creature he had thought her. She had an eye to see and an ear to hear; he could show her things and tell her things, and taste the bliss of feeling that all he imported left long reverbations and echoes he could wake at will" (Wharton 32). Due to the fact that Ethan had no one else but Zenobia in his life, Mattie was the only person keeping

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