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Running head: THE UNIQUELY AMERICAN ETHAN FROME 1 The uniquely American Ethan Frome LITR221 December 21, 2014 Helen Driver American Public University The uniquely American Ethan Frome
THE UNIQUELY AMERICAN ETHAN FROME 2 What does it mean for someone to be uniquely American? While this is a question that can be answered in any number of different ways depending on the person being asked, it really comes down to the simple fact, that Americans considered themselves to be created equally and have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. With the creation of the United States being centered around this belief, it is easy to see why Ethan Frome is a character that embodies these characteristics of being uniquely American. While Ethan struggles with making the "right" decisions about his own life, he puts a great deal of effort into ensuring that his life is his own. Ethan makes many hard choices with seemingly unwavering resolve to follow through, has the ability to make these choices freely, and desires to seek what makes him happy. These ideals, as well as many others, clearly spell out why Ethan Frome is a uniquely American character in American literature. Ethan Frome grew up in Starkfield, a rural setting located in the harsh winter region of Northeastern America. Growing up in a rural community setting is just one of the defining character traits that helps to define Ethan as being American. By all appearances, Ethan had a very normal childhood for that time, spending time working with his father at the mill and tending to tasks on the farm as well. This is something that was very defining of the time period in which the children were expected to assist in the daily chores of maintaining both home and means of survival. Like many children do, Ethan had aspirations to be something more than his

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