To What Extent Is Ethan A Victim, And What Is He A Victim Of? (Ethan From By Edith Wharton)

927 words - 4 pages

Essay Question : To what extent is Ethan a victim, and what is he a victim of? Ethan has all the qualities of being a victim. He could be a victim of Zeena's sickness and cruelty, victim of circumstances and chance, a victim of his endurance and the weather of Starkfield, a victim of his conscience, and why not, a victim of Mattie's attitude at the end of the novella. The question is; is he totally a victim, in all extents, or does Wharton portrays his as a victim? The author wants the reader to sympathise with Ethan, and she creates this effect showing him as a victim and perhaps exaggerating some of the victimisers, such as Zeena. He is a victim, but maybe not up to such point as the reader may think. He can also be to blame for many thing, but the author describes every single thing as if he was a victim of every circumstance in his life. This can be very effective, because readers usually sympathise with victims, and this is what she intended.The main victimiser in the novella is Zeena, evidently, but she is not the only one. Zeena makes Ethan be a victim since she develops the sickness and traps him in Starkfield. He can't go away, because he can't let her alone. Above this, Zeena makes him suffer and enjoys it. She is one of the main reasons of his unhappiness. He is a victim of her "obstinate silence" and of her "microscopic cruelty". The lack of communication and the lack of communion between them make the marriage a fallacy, and he needed someone to talk with. The writer shows Zeena as a victimiser, specifying this in the text and including the reader in Ethan's thoughts: "there had never been anything in her that one could appeal to". Zeena is one of the symbols of the impossibility of his happiness, she had "taken everything else from him".Ethan is also a victim of circumstances. He is a victim of determinism and fatalism: he is helpless against fate and circumstances, he can't change what will happen, and at the same time, everything in his life ends up wrong. First he couldn't escape from Starkfield, when he would have liked to, because he "had to stay and care for the folks". He couldn't do anything about it. Then, he couldn't go away due to Zeena's illness and to economic crisis, he was also helpless. There are many moments which mark this fact of Ethan being limited by chance. For example, in chapter 2, when Mattie is with Denis Eady and he can't do anything to be with her: "she stood perfectly still , looking after him, in an attitude of tranquil expectancy torturing to the hidden watcher." In chapter 4, when...

Find Another Essay On To What Extent Is Ethan A Victim, And What Is He A Victim Of? (Ethan From By Edith Wharton)

Trapped in Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

1002 words - 4 pages 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

Examples of Naturalism in Ethan Frome Characters, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

978 words - 4 pages notable even in a community rich I pathological instances. When she came to take care of his mother she had seemed to Ethan like the very genius of health, but he soon saw that he skill as a nurse had been acquired by the absorbed observation of her own symptoms.”(Wharton 53)This is an example of Naturalism because Zeena’s need to be required by others led her to become psychologically sick and this affected her marriage with Ethan. In

The Witch Wins in Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

1352 words - 5 pages part of the thickening darkness, to be the winter night itself descending on us layer by layer” (Wharton 20), the narrator is forced to stay the night at Frome’s. As he enters the unfamiliar house, the story flashes back twenty-four years to Ethan Frome’s young life. Living out his life with Zenobia Frome, his hypochondriac of a wife whom he does not love, Ethan has nowhere to turn for a glance at happiness. But when Zenobia’s, or Zeena’s, young

The Tragic Heroism of Ethan Frome(Edith Wharton

838 words - 3 pages tragic hero.Ethan shows all of the qualities used to classify a tragic hero. He exemplifies an overall sense of goodness, obvious flaws, and realization of his faults. Ethan was also touched by fate, and was eventually destroyed by the outcome of the tragedy at the end of the story. Through these characteristics, it is apparent that Ethan Frome is the perfect example of a tragic hero.Bib:Ethan Frome- by Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton's "Ethan Frome" - A Review

1070 words - 5 pages In "Ethan Frome", Wharton uses imagery to depict the ways individual expression is repressed by social constraints. "Ethan Frome", the protagonist in the tragic novel, is a victim of the social expectations. The setting for the novel, Starkfield, is bleak and barren, like the "deadness of the community". Wharton criticises the traditional conventions, which prevent Ethan from escaping from a marriage in which he has no happiness, to pursue a new

Oedipus: Victim of Fate or He Deserves What He Got?

586 words - 2 pages Fate is the development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power. It is a very common theme used in literature. We’ve seen examples from stories such as: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Iliad. We’ve been reading Oedipus the King written by Sophocles. My main thesis that I would be talking about is if: Oedipus was actually a victim of fate, or did he deserve what he got. In my opinion

Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

2921 words - 12 pages Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome Edith Wharton has succeeded in creating a place, which by its very name, is isolated and desolate - a "mute melancholy landscape", which unrelentingly consumes those within, preventing them from ever escaping its grasp. Furthermore, Wharton's novel delves into the human psyche, to give a glimpse of manipulation and entrapment. The prevailing mood is continually bleak and tragic, with only

Symbols used in "Ethan Frome" by Edith Warton

633 words - 3 pages Mattie. By considering suicide, Ethan tries to run away from his troubles. He tries to run away from his financial circumstances and social conventions. He tries to run away from the duties and responsibilities of his life. In the end, Ethan's attempt fails symbolizing Ethan's inability of running away from his troubles. Ethan finally yields to destiny and fate when he says "I ought to be getting him his feed..." This brings the book to a tragic and ironic end. Edith Warton makes readers wonder who really controls our own fates and destinies.

The Responsibility of Ethan Frome for His Own Tragedy in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

3698 words - 15 pages was going through one at that time. Wharton probably wanted the people to understand her and her actions and sympathize with her. She does this, in the book, by drawing our sympathy towards Ethan who is trapped in a lonely and desolate farmland with a wife he does not even like. Through her depiction of Ethan, Wharton, perhaps, wants us to see how the surroundings and circumstances can influence our actions and

Ethan Frome: Edith Wharton's Use Of Figurative Language

1710 words - 7 pages wrote Ethan Frome. Only an author with skill and talent can write a novel in which the characters and settings are as foreign to her as a hamburger to a Japanese sailor. This is what sets Edith Wharton apart from other novelists. Edith Wharton used many of her writing styles in this book, and when applied properly, makes for an outstanding story.One writing aspect that Edith Wharton used to convey this story to us was her use of symbolism. One

Codependency in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

1182 words - 5 pages his consistent submission to Zeena and by his inability to take control of events that are occurring in his life.       Zeena Frome, the second of the three important characters, is often unable to take direct action without receiving confirmation from other characters.  In one conversation with Ethan, Zeena says "He wanted I should speak to you about a girl"(19) and then later, Wharton adds to this feeling of dependence in the

Similar Essays

Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton Essay

1680 words - 7 pages The novel “Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton, expressed that the influence of circumstances can affect the aspects of a person’s life, just as it did with the character Ethan Frome. For instance, Ethan inherited the family farm and sawmill while facing the adversity of maintaining agriculture but keep true to his family traditions. Secondly, Ethan will experience his parent’s misfortune, self-sacrifice, an unpleasant marriage and the emotions of

"Ethan Frome" By Edith Wharton Essay

546 words - 2 pages The romantic tragedy, Ethan Frome was written by Edith Wharton. The novel takes place in the small town of Starkfield, Massachusetts in the early 1900s. Ethan Frome is the main character in the novel and is married to his wife Zeena. They live in an old farmhouse along with Mattie Silver, who came to live with them to be of assistance to Zeena around the house. Ethan is caught in a love triangle with his spouse Zeena and secret lover Mattie

"Ethan Frome" By Edith Wharton Essay

643 words - 3 pages Ethan Frome, the main character in the book entitled Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, has manycomplex 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

"Ethan Frome" By Edith Wharton Essay

519 words - 2 pages Ethan is a nice guy that does good for other people. Ethan Frome's patheticfallacy is that he is too nice and too caring. Ethan has to take care of his mom andfarm, Ethan cant leave the farm to Zeena and run away with Mattie, and he wantsmoney from the hales but he doesn't want to ask.Ethan has to take care of his mother and the farm. He was going to go tocollege and become an engineer but his mother became sick and couldn't take careof the farm