Ethan Frome is a novel by Edith Wharton set in the fictional town of Starkfield, Massachusetts. The novel is set in the late 19th century and follows the life of the protagonist, Ethan Frome, who is trapped in a loveless marriage to his sickly wife, Zeena. The setting of Starkfield is a crucial element in the novel as it helps to create a sense of isolation and hopelessness for the characters.
Starkfield is a small, remote town in the Berkshires, a mountainous region in western Massachusetts. The town is surrounded by snow-covered fields and forests, which adds to the feeling of isolation and loneliness that the characters experience. The harsh winter weather also serves to compound the difficulties that the characters face, as they struggle to survive in the frigid and unforgiving environment.
The setting of Starkfield is also important in terms of the social and cultural context of the novel. Starkfield is a traditional, conservative town where strict social norms and expectations are upheld. This is exemplified by the character of Zeena, who is seen as the epitome of propriety and respectability in the town. The rigid social hierarchy of Starkfield further serves to confine and restrict the characters, particularly Ethan and his love interest, Mattie Silver.
The setting of Starkfield is also significant in terms of its symbolism. The town is described as being in a state of decay, with dilapidated houses and empty streets. This serves as a metaphor for the characters' own lives, which are also in a state of decline and despair. The bleak and inhospitable environment of Starkfield is a reflection of the characters' inner turmoil and their feelings of hopelessness and frustration.
In conclusion, the setting of Starkfield plays a crucial role in Ethan Frome by contributing to the overall atmosphere and themes of the novel. The isolated and inhospitable environment serves to amplify the characters' feelings of loneliness and despair, and serves as a metaphor for their own declining circumstances. The rigid social norms and expectations of the town also serve to restrict and confine the characters, adding to their sense of hopelessness and frustration.
Ethan Frome: Key Facts
Ethan is attracted to Mattie partly because she listens respectfully to what he tells her and admires his learning. Ethan is attracted to Mattie partly because she listens respectfully to what he tells her and admires his learning. In both versions, the character of Zeena Frome is portrayed as a sickly wife who displays a degree of hypochondria. Ethan comes back to the farm and picks up Mattie to take her to the train station. In Ethan Frome, however, Edith Wharton reinvents the use of setting as an integral element of the story. They stop at a hill upon which they had once planned to go sledding and decide to sled together as a way of delaying their sad parting, after which they anticipate never seeing each other again.
Ethan, miserable at the thought of losing Mattie and worried sick about her fate, considers running away with Mattie, but he lacks the money to do so. The tragic part is that in trying to keep Zeena from suffering, Ethan makes them both miserable. She also recounts how happy the two seemed, and Ethan immediately relates that happiness to himself and Mattie. The sledding plans are an example of how the feelings between characters reflect in the setting; the exhilarating winter sport mirrors the pent-up emotions in Ethan and Mattie. Ethan promises Mattie that the two of them can return to "coast" when there is a moon, boasting that with him steering there will be no danger of striking the tree.
This makes the trip to town long and a arduous journey. Despite her physical weakness she, not Ethan, holds the dominant position in the household. Unlike Zeena, who questions his authority, Mattie makes Ethan feel masterful. It is quickly clear that Ethan has deep feelings for Mattie. Zeena soon became silent also and communication between the couple came to a halt. Ethan tried to cover up for Mattie by secretly helping her with the chores.
Normally one particular of the subtler components of a novel, setting typically serves as a frame that supports the plot and characters. We then embark on the "first" chapter Chapter I , which takes place twenty-four years prior. Ethan regains consciousness after the accident but Mattie lies beside him, "cheeping" in pain like a small wounded animal. He returns to the kitchen and joins Mattie, and tries to eat, but he is distraught and suddenly blurts out Zeena's plans to send Mattie away. Not only is the snow harsh but it acts as a barrier to many of the residents keeping them stuck in the harsh climate.
He realizes that, of all people, he cannot cheat this kindly woman and her husband out of money, since she is one of the few people who have ever seemed to have seen or openly acknowledged Ethan's lifelong plight, as well as his honor in fulfilling his duties. Ethan is effected in many ways and aspects by the setting. Edith knew one of the victims personally, which made her change some aspects out of respect, but she also changed them to make the story her own. With nothing risked there is nothing gained, effectively preventing his life from moving forward or backwards. 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. The setting effects all of the characters in many different ways. Why did Ethan Frome stay in Starkfield? While, on the other hand, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a modern parable about the unfairness of human society.
Loneliness In Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton 149 Words 1 Pages In the novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton the narrator tells the readers how he met the main character,Frome, in Massachusetts. The novel revolves around this critical theory because Wharton wanted the reader to observe how the setting becomes dependent on the emotional state of the character and vice versa. The kitchens in the New England part of the country where not extravagant or beautiful in any way so saying that the Fromes kitchen was even worse is saying a lot about their lives and the way they live. The name of the town, Starkfield, symbolizes the devastating and isolating effects of the harsh winters on the land and the men who work the land. The use of the snow and the elm tree as a implies of suicide holds excellent significance the all-natural spot once so complete of hope for the possibilities amongst Ethan and Mattie now delivers nothing but death.
What Is the Role of Setting in Ethan Frome?: [Essay Example], 997 words
Standing in the "vault"-like kitchen, Zeena says she felt "too mean to sleep," meaning that she feels ill. The framing story resumes precisely where it left off: just as Frome and his visitor, the narrator, enter the Frome household in the story's present. Elizabeth Ammons compared the work to fairy tales. From his very first encounter with Ethan, the narrator views him through close parallels with the winter weather. Ethan Frome is a 1911 book by American author Edith Wharton. Mattie is given the occasional night off to entertain herself in town as partial recompense for helping care for the Fromes, and Ethan has the duty of walking her home.
The setting greatly influences the characters, transportation, and activities. In doing so the effects of the harsh winters cause a cruel and twisted fate trapping Ethan Frome in Starkfield with his undesirable marriage to Zeena forever and altering his fate of life. Mattie lives with the Fromes because her own parents lost their money and died a year earlier. The protagonist of the story, Ethan is a farmer whose family has lived and died on the same Massachusetts farm for generations. Denis brags that he has his father's "cutter," a light sled, with him, and offers to drive Mattie home.
You said you could. Explore how Wharton creates suspense in the novel Ethan Frome. The novel takes place in the fictional town of Starkfield, Massachusetts, in the winter and most likely during the early 1900s, a time better known as the Progressive Era. Edith Wharton uses setting in Ethan Frome to help bring out characterization and theme by the isolated life of Ethan Frome and the village in New England as well as the winter landscape surrounded by trees. Panicked, Ethan rushes into town to try to get a cash advance from a customer for a load of lumber in order to have the money with which to abscond with Mattie. Zeena Frome in particular is one other inhabitant who is greatly affected by the Starkfield winters. What is the tragedy of Ethan Frome? Battle of the Books: Ethan Frome vs.