Ethan Frome

This essay has a total of 657 words and 3 pages.

Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome, the main character in the book entitled Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, has
many complex problems going on at the same time. His family has died and he has a wife
that is continually sick, and the only form of happiness he has is from his wife's cousin
Mattie. This, however, at times proves to be hard because of Ethan's wifes interference.
Nothing seems to be going in Ethan's favor. The main theme of the book is failure, and
this is shown through marrying his wife, not being able to stand up to his wife, and his
involvement concerning the "smash up."


He first way failure is shown in the book is through the marriage of Ethan and his wife.
He married her because she had tried to help his mother recover from an illness and once
his mother died he could not bear the thought of living in the house alone. His wife was
seven years his senior and always seemed to have some kind of illness. It seemed all she
ever did was complain, and he resented this because it stifled his growing soul. Since his
wife was continuously ill, and her cousin needed a place to stay, they took her in to help
around the house. Ethan took an immediate propensity to her cousin, Mattie, because she
brought a bright light upon his dismal day. He seemed to have found someone that cared for
him was always happy and could share his youth, unlike his sickly wife who always nagged
him. He longed to be with Mattie, however he had loyalty to his wife. Being married to the
wrong person proved to be Ethan's first failure.

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