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.
Ethan Frome is a story of sorrow and regret. The author Edith Wharton spins a tale of misery, where fate and freewill are unrecognisable. Ethan is seemingly introverted and shy which makes him sympathetic, but also selfish and impulsive which are very negative traits. His story is gossip in the village he is resident to, and when the unknown narrator visits the town; similarly to the reader, he hopes the story is one that will be unforgettable. It isn’t though, it is not exactly normal, but it is very anti-climactic and symbolic of life for most people. Ethan is like most men and desires excitement, and his dear Mattie is the source of that. Young, energetic, and charming; she’s a dream to him. He makes decisions in hopes of at least a grand suicide, but can't even achieve that. Even after the symbolic sled, he can’t achieve satisfaction, because he is trapped with his always grouchy wife and a now frustrated and older Mattie in a small cabin. The novel is a dramatic recreation of disappointment in life and the reality of events.
Most Americans this day and age has been tempted by the idea of unfaithfulness in a relationship. Whether that relationship was a marriage or a dating one, being unfaithful is certainly a topic that has to be dealt with. In Edith Wharton's, Ethan Frome, the main character of Ethan is faced with this decision. Ethan can be described as self-absorbed, gullible, and impulsive. These characteristics play a very important role in his decision. Despite these characteristics Ethan’s decision is not an easy one, because whatever he decides will forever affect him and the people around him lives forever.
Whether it is on TV or movie screens, the faces of white actors and actresses have always been prevalent in the media. For generations, many teenagers have been exposed to countless movies with white people in major roles. Moreover, the few roles that are cast to minorities feature the characters in their stereotypical personas (Bonilla-Silva 179). Even in advertising, Asians are placed in business settings, upholding the hard-working Asian stereotype (Taylor and Stern 50). As Taylor and Stern mention in their paper, the “model minority” has made the issue of stereotyping seem less important for Asians. The majority of these actors that are examined, regardless of race, are typically middle-age and well established in their acting careers. However, there is a lack of research behind Asian youth acting and their perceived roles. To account for this knowledge deficit, I examine how whiteness influences the media to portray youth actors as individuals that stray from their stereotypes in an attempt to achieve whiteness. My research site centres around Fresh Off the Boat (FOB), a comedic television series featuring a Taiwanese family. The title of the show Fresh Off the Boat or “FOB” is also a term used to describe a person that is considered too ethnic and as a term of denigration. I utilize Pyke and Dang’s categorization of “FOB” and “whitewashed” to analyze the narrator, Eddie Huang. I chose to limit my research primarily to the first “pilot” episode where the audience is
Does deviating from one’s gender norms inevitably doom one down a spiral of moral corruption? Tim O'Brien, author of “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” and Ernest Hemingway, author of “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”, certainly seem to hold this view, as evident by the fates of the major female characters in their respective works. The deviance of the major female characters in both works appears to corrupt not only themselves, but also pollute their partners, causing them to suffer injury or harm as a result. The degree of injury ranges from negligible, like Fossie’s demotion and broken heart, to fatal, like the bullet that rips through Macomber’s skull. It begs the question, are these stories meant to serve as cautionary tales for their female readers, or possibly for their husbands, so they may recognize gender deviance and stop it in its tracks before their wives transform into Margot Macomber or Mary Anne Bell? This essay will analyze what such characters say about pervading views of women, both in society and in literature.
In Edith Wharton’s powerful work Ethan Frome, she introduces two leading female characters and instantly creates a comparison of the two within the reader’s eyes. This, not coincidentally, is the same comparison the protagonist Ethan constantly faces and struggles with throughout the novel. On one hand, Zenobia, commonly called Zeena, Frome has been a long-standing part of Ethan’s life. Years of marriage, although not always happy, combined with her always declining health, cause Ethan to feel indebted and sympathetic towards her. While, on the other, Mattie Silver, a relative of Zeena walks into the life of the Frome’s, and with her brings a new feeling of life and vitality to which Ethan has never experienced before. Her appearance in
The balance of power has been one of mankind’s most prominent and fought-over issues, particularly among the two sexes. Men are biologically predisposed to be more powerful, and humans have historically associated a male’s physical strength with authority. At the same time, women have been conditioned to yield to a man’s power, and have been taught that men are meant to hold economic, societal, and domestic control, as displayed by New York’s high-society in Edith Wharton’s timeless novel The Age of Innocence. Yet, power is an unquantifiable, metaphysical idea completely unrelated to one’s gender. Power is held in the eye of the beholder, and over time, women have used this idea to manipulate and control men without them even knowing. In doing so, women have been creating their own power for centuries, though society does not recognize it nor give them credit for having as much control as they do. Despite its setting in a patriarchal 19th century society, Wharton manages to defy even modern gender roles by contrasting the influence of resolute Ellen Olenska—a presumably promiscuous noblewoman—with lawyer Newland Archer’s submissiveness so as to suggest that women truly hold power over men during this time.
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
Born in 1862, Edith Wharton Newbold Jones was brought up within the graceful, wealthy yet conservative, confining circle of New York society, which fostered sexual repression and prided itself on the innocence of its young girls. Edith Wharton herself was discouraged from expressing her emotions or developing her intellect which was supposed to be very unbecoming traits in a woman. This is the reason why she stressed in her fiction the need of growth, and has shown how painful and frustrating this process can be for a woman. This process of growth and development is revealed in her major works, Ethan Frome (1911), and Summer (1917) (Balakrishnan 1).
Many people oppose society due to the surroundings that they face and the obstacles that they encounter. Set in the bleak winter landscape of New England, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton is the story of a poor, lonely man, his wife Zeena, and her cousin Mattie Silver. Ethan the protagonist in this novel, faces many challenges and fights to be with the one he really loves. Frome was trapped from the beginning ever since Mattie Silver came to live with him and his wife. He soon came to fall in love with her, and out of love with his own wife. He was basically trapped in the instances of his life, society’s affect on the relationship, love, poverty, illness, disability, and life.
The story of “Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton bring many different themes into question and conflict. One of these ideas is the dispute between ethics and morals versus personal desire. In the story, Ethan wants to leave Zeena because she is shrewish, while Mattie is kind, gentle, radiant, and a perfect match for Ethan. Ethan's desire to leave Zeena for Mattie is therefore completely understandable. Yet, because Ethan knows that society standards in this time period would cause him to be severely judged as a man who abandoned his wife. The author uses variety of literary tools to help contribute to the theme morals and ethics versus personal desires. The setting, character, and plot contribute to the theme morals and ethics versus personal desires.
The strife between monogamy and the lust for another is often the cause of a marriage ending before "death do us part." The challenges of infidelity in these situations often shape the individual enduring them in mostly negative ways. The novel Ethan Frome presents a main character facing an internal battle about responsibility versus his innate immoral nature, and the author exposes this extended metaphor as a struggle to warn that the conflict between moral standards and impulsive desires may have dire consequences.
In the novella, Ethan Frome, the author Edith Wharton portrays Ethan’s downfall caused by marrying Zeena for convenience but loving Mattie Silver instead. “The inexorable facts closed in on him like prison warders handcuffing a convict. There was no way out-none.” Throughout the novella, Edith Wharton displays a continuous theme of trapped by expressing Ethan's temptation to love Mattie but cannot because of his commitment to Zeena which makes him feel like a prisoner. Wharton depicts the theme trapped throughout the novella by regretful marriage, forbidden love, and moral principal.
Throughout the tragic yet romantic novella, “Ethan Frome”, written by Edith Wharton, the protagonist, Ethan Frome, experiences frequent loss of hope in his life. The story follows his daily struggles and how those defeats in human nature impact him, as well as others, later on. Furthermore, the author reveals how his decisions lead to irreversible mistakes, which shows the irony in his situations.
Throughout history, humans have always been expected to act a certain way depending on their sex. These societal expectations are called gender roles. (Rathus, 2010, p.447). These roles begin to develop even before a child is even out of the womb. A mother may decorate their nursery pink if they are having a daughter because “girls like pink,” and “boys like blue.” Gender roles should not be confused with gender stereotypes. A gender stereotype is a narrow way of thinking about how men and woman are obligated to behave. For example, men have always been considered to be the breadwinners of the family. Females, on the other hand, are seen more as the gentle homemakers that stay home to clean and take care of the children. (Rathus, 2010, p.447). These types of stereotypes have caused certain out-of-the-home jobs to be mainly categorized for either women or men, causing an even more distinct line between the genders.