Ethan Frome And Age Of Innocence: Compare And Contrast

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

Love is shown in many ways. Whether it be a boy and a girl that like each other, a disastrous love triangle, or an old marriage between two wise ones. Writers such as Edith Wharton, show love in their works. Specifically, Edith Wharton created two tales of a love triangle, that may or may not have ended up so well. In one of her books, Ethan Frome characters Ethan Frome and Zenobia (Zeena) were married for seven years before Mattie Silver showed up. The love triangle that Mattie created, showed that love can be dangerous. In another of Wharton’s books, The Age of Innocence, or the film, showed characters, Newland Archer and May Welland, happily engaged and announcing it to everyone, until May’s cousin Ellen Olenska appeared and turned everything fiery. However, Welland and Archer continued to stay together, as Olenska left for England. The two works compare, because they both show love in peculiar ways, and the main characters, Frome and Archer are alike, but they contrast because of society, and its limits. Wharton incorporated love in her works in many ways.

To begin, Archer and Frome are fundamentally the same. In Ethan Frome, Zeena referenced that Silver would most likely long leave and would possibly marry Dennis Eady. Frome ended up angry and said she could never wed him and she could never leave Zeena when she required her–or all the more significantly him. Zeena continues to say, ‘Dennis Eady! If that is all, I surmise, there’s no such rush to search for a young lady…’ (Wharton, 34). Afterward, Frome saw that Silver hit the dance floor with Dennis Eady. He got desirous and couldn’t go into the room and get her so he covered up. In The Age of Innocence, Archer urged Olenska to remain in New York and not return to her better half. Even though Archer was locked into his engagement, he needed her to himself. He did all that he could to get her to avoid her ex-husband. Her ex-husband asked and argued for her to return and Archer got envious and persuaded her to remain. Archer and Frome both needed something they knew was not so much theirs and didn’t need them to be with any other individual. All things considered, The Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome are fundamentally the same as yet at the same time extraordinary.

Additionally, love is expressed solemnly in the two works. In Ethan Frome, Silver sewed the brown stuff and Frome kissed it. Silver pulled the brown stuff away from Ethan after a short time. It’s narrated, “As his lips rested on it he felt it glided slowly from beneath them, and saw that Mattie had risen and was silently rolling up her work…” (Wharton, Chapter 5). This symbolized the way that Frome expected to leave her since he was married to Zeena for a long time. This is similar to the part in The Age of Innocence, Archer and Welland go to an opera performance. In this show, the man kissed the darker string on the woman’s dress as he left her. He expected to leave her since they are not to be as one, much the same as Archer and Olenska is not to be as one since he was engaged to her cousin. These parts are connected because the two of them symbolize an affection that should have been overlooked, an adoration that should have been left previously.

Moreover, the setting demonstrates that regardless of the place or individuals, society will consistently limit its own components. Ethan Frome takes place in Starkfield, while The Age of Innocence takes place in New York. In Ethan Frome, the town disproves of Frome and his ancestral background for their past and their difference to the remainder of the town. Character, Mr. Hale, doesn’t give Frome cash when he requests the surplus in money because, “…business is pretty slack, to begin with…”(Wharton, Chapter 4). Hale does this since he is taking the lead of Frome. Hale is going about as the despot, like society; and Frome not replying questioningly, resembles a part being restricted, because he didn’t get the cash he requested. Another point is when Frome attempted to kiss Silver, however, he doesn’t because he feels constrained and stresses over the results of these confinements. In The Age of Innocence, New York is an enormous, well-off city with common individuals who have better standards. No social affair summons Julius Beaufort to supper or any occasions, because of his over-the-top standing. He left his better half for a better woman, which was viewed as unusual around then. Society had attempted to restrict him to remain with his significant other, and because he declined this, he is rejected socially. Even though these settings are totally extraordinary, Wharton works the association that society is present and restricting everywhere.

Ultimately, Wharton’s works assemble the key idea of hidden and obvious love. They both show a similar idea of hidden love and main characters through love triangles, but they differ in societies and the expectations that go along with them. If there was a word of advice for Frome and Archer, most people would probably suggest that Frome would speak up more for himself and tell others what he believes. His constant, “…come along…” throws people off and is just a pretty awkward thing to say if you don’t have anything to say nonetheless. Also, people would probably recommend that he stays loyal to his wife because you never know what trouble and “pain” you’re going to get yourself into. A word of advice some may suggest Archer is that he too be loyal to his wife, but also be better at hiding things. Archer couldn’t hide his relationship to the point where even Welland knew about it. Most would probably ensure that their lives would be better. However, in all, Wharton distinguished a love throughout her works, that have an everlasting impact on the reader. 

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