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Ethan Frome

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"Ethan Frome," a classic novel, was published in 1911 by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Edith Wharton. It is set in turn-of-the-century New England in the fictitious town of Starkfield, Massachusetts, and adapted into a film (which starred Liam Neeson) in 1993. Edith Wharton set "Ethan Frome" in a fictional, wintry New England town named Starkfield. There an unnamed narrator tells the story of his encounter with Ethan Frome, a man with dreams and desires that end in an ironic turn of events. The narrator tells the story based on an account from observations at Ethan Frome's house when he had to stay there during a winter storm. Ethan's character is one that comes full circle, moving from silent desire to action to quiet submission, ordered by life's circumstances. "Ethan Frome" is all the more remarkable for its forbidden impressions of rural working-class in New England, especially given that its author was a woman of leisure. The name of the small Massachusetts town represents a bleak, cold and dismal environment. Lenox is also where Edith Wharton had traveled extensively and had come into contact with one of the victims of the accident. Ethan and Mattie cannot escape their dreary life in Starkfield. The connection between the land and the people is a recurring theme of the novel. The narrator is amazed by the harshness of the Starkfield winters and through his experience of the winter he comes to understand the character of the people. In her introduction to the novel, Edith Wharton talks of the "outcropping granite" of New England, the powerful severity of its land and people. This connection between land and people is very much a part of naturalism; the environment is a powerful shaper of man's fate, and the novel represents this relationship by constantly describing the power and cruelty of Starkfield's winter.

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Keywords

  • Accident victims -- Fiction
  • Children's literature, English
  • Domestic fiction
  • Fiction
  • GITenberg
  • Married people -- Fiction
  • New England -- Fiction
  • PS
  • Rural poor -- Fiction
  • Social conditions
  • Triangles (Interpersonal relations) -- Fiction

Links

web: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4517

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