Ethan Frome's Limitations
Throughout Ethan Frome, there is a consistent feel of limitation on Ethan, Zeena, and Mattie. The author, Edith Wharton, creates many restrictions that limits how much the characters do. There are many different scenarios of limitations such as the shortness of money that the Frome’s have, Zeena’s sickness and depression, the marriage of Ethan and Zeena, and Ethan and Mattie’s love that they share.
In all of these scenarios, there isn’t much interaction with each other which proves the limitation that happens in the book. Limitation is important in the book because it shows how little is done between the characters and how controlling they are of one another.
Shortness of money is the first example of limitation. With the shortness of money that the Fromes have, Ethan has to work a lot, such as hauling wood for Andrew Hale. They have a trouble making a living out of their family farm. Zeena could be healthier if they had enough money for the doctor. If they leave Starkfield for another town, the climate would be better because Starkfield is cold and snowy. Unfortunately, Zeena didn’t want to move to the city because she didn’t want people looking down on her. It would also be good because there may be better job opportunities to make a living out of. Another reason why the Frome’s money is limited is because Ethan wants to run away with Mattie, but they don’t have enough money. If Ethan and Mattie do run away together, then they wouldn’t have a house or food because of the lack of money they have. Final reason is Zeena sends Mattie away to make room for the new house girl because Mattie isn’t doing a good job.
Zeena’s sickness is a limitation because she can’t move or work that much. When Zeena goes to see her doctor, he explains to Zeena that she should get a housekeeper because Mattie isn’t good at cleaning the house, and Zeena can rest as her doctor tells her to. Ethan usually wakes up early to clean the house so Mattie doesn’t get in trouble with Zeena. Zeena also doesn’t leave the house much and she’s controlling of Ethan. She tells Ethan what he can and can’t do which prevents him from doing what he wants to do.
The final limitation is Ethan’s marriage. In chapter 3, Zeena says, The doctor says it’ll be my death if I go on slaving the way I’ve had to. He doesn’t understand how I’ve stood it as long as I have, (Wharton 98). This happens after Zeena comes back from seeing her doctor and explains that Zeena is controlling in their marriage and Ethan doesn’t have much of a say. Ethan and Mattie’s relationship is unnoticeable to Zeena because they’re afraid of how she’ll react and what she’ll do to them. This shows that Ethan and Zeena don’t have a secure marriage and they don’t interact with each other much.
In conclusion, limits are consistent throughout the book; the Frome’s shortness on money, Zeena’s sickness in health, Starkfields climate, Ethan’s marriage with Zeena, and Ethan’s love for Mattie. All of these limits are pressurized onto Ethan because he has a relationship with Zeena and Mattie which puts him in the center of all of the chaos.
The devil and tom walker and Masque of Red death are similar because both of the stories have an evil undertone, both have a life lesson of Those with wealth […]
In the Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, the rooms and the colors of the rooms play a big role in the story. Each room has its […]
Contents 1 Introduction 2 Symbolism 3 Setting 4 Narration 5 Conclusion Introduction Edgar Allen Poe delivers his theme that no one escapes death in his short story “Masque of the […]
Who would ever think that a scheme of seven colorful rooms actually portrayed a person’s cycle of life? Edgar Allan Poe used his talent in writing to make this scenario […]
An analysis of The Masque of the Red Death But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence […]
When analyzing the characters in any novel, the reader seeks to understand the influences in which shape how the character lives their life and the choices in which they make […]
Set in the early twentieth century, Ethan Frome was a novella written by Edith Wharton, the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature. Edith Wharton’s paternal family, the […]
Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome is a sophisticated period piece which places the reader in a poignant era of American history during the turn of the 20th century. Published in 1911, […]
Deserts can be either hot or cold, but all are barren and hostile, much like society can be and much like Edith Wharton’s fictional town of Starkfield, the setting of […]
Throughout Ethan Frome, there is a consistent feel of limitation on Ethan, Zeena, and Mattie. The author, Edith Wharton, creates many restrictions that limits how much the characters do. There […]