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Ethan FromeStephanie Agresti , Gabby Benson, Sarah Fleming, Heather Koenig

Edith WhartonBorn on January 24, 1862 in New York City Wealthy family Educated by private tutors in New York and Europe Married to Edward Wharton in 1885 The couple resided in New York, Newport, Paris, Lenox divorced in 1912 greatest mistake of her life Originally titled Ethan Hart, a short story of the same plot Suffered from neurasthenia Died August 11, 1937 of a stroke (Werlock 1-2).

Role in the Canon of American Literature Wrote during the age of Realism (Neary 2). Her writing incorporates nature, like many of the other authors of the time (Neary 2). Her career and lifestyle was not accepted, as an educated, upper-class woman (Fedorko 1).

Setting Starkfield, Massachusetts Winter reflects personality and mood of the piece and its characters Church, Frome house, Frome Barn, Starkfield town(Wharton 1-130).

Characters Narrator: young, visiting engineer Ethan Frome: protagonist, poor New England farmer, 28 years-old Zenobia (Zeena): Ethan s bitter, ill, wife Mattie Silver: Zeena s cousin, object of Ethan s affections Denis Eady: wealthy, young, grocer; suitor of Mattie Ned Hale: husband of Ruth Varnum Mrs. Ned Hale: widow of Ned Hale, landlord to the narrator, hesitates to discuss the Frome s( A Guide to Ethan Frome 2).

Characters Jotham Powell: hired man on the Powell farm Harmon Gow: town gossip, stage-coach driver( A Guide to Ethan Frome 2).

Major Plot Events Begins with narrator describing first encounter with Ethan Continues as a flashback beginning with Ethan picking up Mattie from a dance at the village church Ethan waits at the church for Mattie while learning of her friendship with Denis Eady Ethan and Mattie walk home to be met by Zeena at the door( A Guide to Ethan Frome 2).

Plot Overview Zeena leaves for Bettsbridge, Ethan learns of his first opportunity to be alone with Mattie overnight Mattie prepares dinner for herself and Ethan Mattie uses a wedding dishes and during the dinner the it breaks and Ethan disguises the cracks After dinner Mattie and Ethan share a romantic moment Zeena orders Mattie to be dismissed When Ethan takes Mattie to the flats they waste time and eventually plan to commit suicide together Their attempts fail and they both live crippled lives Ethan is left to take care of both Mattie and Zeena in their invalid state( A Guide to Ethan Frome 2-3).

Conflicts Internal Conflict: Ethan s struggle to fulfill his romantic desires Internal Conflict: Inability to articulate his passion for Mattie External Conflict: Between Ethan and his bitter wife Zeena Situational Conflict: Poverty stricken External Conflict: Ethan s jealousy of Denis Eady( A Guide to Ethan Frome 1).

Plot Structure Introduction and Conclusion are told from the perspective of the narrator The rest of the story is told in third person limited Plot is introduced by an opening segment depicting the current state of Ethan Frome The rest of the novel follows as a flashback explaining how Ethan evolved toward his present state(Wharton 1-130).

Plot Development Wharton spends the greater half of the novella building the relationship between the characters and the setting The story climaxes in the last chapter of the inner story, when Mattie is being sent away and Ethan plans an escape(Wharton 1-130).

Characterization Ethan: Age 28 in the inner story Nature the narrator provides insight- illustrates Ethan's weathered appearance, mysteriousness, and the curiosity he provokes Puts thought into situations and evaluates the actions that could follow( A Guide to Ethan Frome 2).

Characterization Mattie: Age 20 nature Youthful yet independent and fearless Depicted by Ethan Admired by other young gentlemen in the townDenis Eady Not liked by Zeena, but seeks to please( A Guide to Ethan Frome 2).

Characterization Zeena: Age mid-late 30s Characterized by her illness Bitter, jealous, hypochondriac Attention seeking Uneducated Negative view of other characters( A Guide to Ethan Frome 2).

Point of View Outer frame: first person limited limited narrator, unfamiliar with the atmosphere in Starkfield

Inner story: third person limited Concentration on Ethan s thoughts as apposed to the other characters(Fedorko 3).

Major vs. Minor Characters Major Narrator Ethan Frome Zeena (Zenobia) Frome Mattie Silver

Minor Denis Eady Mrs. Hale (Ruth Varnum) Ned Hale Jotham Powel Harmon Gow(Wharton 1-130).

Imagery The main literary device used along with similes visual imagery depicts the relationship between characters and setting Tactile imagery used to depict Ethan's passionate love for Mattie Olfactory imagery used to illustrate the atmosphere of the house (Wharton 49).(Wharton 1-130).

Theme Analysis Silence and Isolation All character encased in silence Lack of communication and contact Isolation enforced by outside circumstances Ethan tries to escape confinement: imprisoned by farm, millwork and Zeena.(Fedorko 1-2).

Theme Analysis The Pressures of Society and Morality on the Individual Desires Ethan hindered by his wife s conditions and unable to demonstrate affection for Mattie Right vs. Wrong

Poverty Family life is impacted( A Guide to Ethan Frome 1).

Motifs Illness and disability Snow and cold( A Guide to Ethan Frome 1).

Work in the Context of the Literary Movement Exemplifies the Realist literary era Book was revolutionary in that it exposed situations that would previously be concealed Written by a woman, at a time of discrimination and feminine limitations(Neary 2).

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