Miserable Routines In Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton

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“There was no way out- none. He was a prisoner for life, and now his one ray of light to be extinguished”(Wharton 29). Miserable routines caused by terrible occurrences trappes Ethan Frome every single day. Edith Wharton opposes the idea of following any routine. Wharton expresses that routines and cycles prevent a person from expressing their own desires or achieving their personal goals in life. These cycles prohibit a person from seeing changes within their environment and possible opportunities that could improve their life. Even if a person breaks free from a routine, an endless amount of reasons exist to pull them back in. Ethan Frome momentarily escapes from his daily routine to pursue his education, but not far into this break he has to return in order to help his family. Ethan Frome somehow found a way out of his miserable routine, but failed to take that exit; resulting in a life much worse than before. Finding a way out seems like a reasonable solution to escape bad situations, but taking such a great risk to completely change one’s entire life, seems nearly impossible for any citizens of Starkfield. In the novella, Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton exemplifies how routines deny a person from reaching their full potential through the constant pull Ethan and other members of Starkfield receive to follow their normal, average routine and not follow their desires.
The Frome household contained many illnesses over many years, bringing in people outside of the immediate

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