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Ethan Frome | Study Guide

Edith Wharton

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Ethan Frome | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

ethan-frome-edith-wharton (1)here was no way out—none. He was a prisoner for life.Narrator, Chapter 8ThemesSilenceIsolated, Ethan lives quietly, never speaking up for himself or voicing his true desires.MoralityBound by religious and social rules, Ethan never leaves Zeena to follow his passions.OppressionEthan is desperate to escape his town, his marriage, and freezing weather, which stifle his passion and happiness.Set against the snowy backdrop of early 1900s New England, an unnamed narrator seeks to uncover the hidden past of recluse Ethan Frome. After a night in Fromes home, the narrator learns the history of Fromes unhappy marriage to Zeena, forbidden love for Mattie, and the sledding disaster that forced Frome and Mattie together.Forbidden LoveMAIN CHARACTERSEthan FromeTragic hero; injured physically and stressed mentallyMattieYouthful, beautiful, passionate; later immobileZeenaUnhappy and sickly woman MarriageRomanceWhartons popular novels, building on her own experiences in New York and Massachusetts, often feature tragic heroes and heroines oppressed by social and religious conventions. Her more than 50 books and numerous magazine contributions brought her critical acclaim, including a Pulitzer Prize.EDITH WHARTON1862–1937AuthorMotifsDisabilityEthan cares for his mother, his wife, and eventually Mattie, who all have unique disabilities.WinterFreezing temperatures, snow, and white landscapes create a bleak backdrop for Ethans life.RedA crimson hair ribbon and scarf evoke passion, while the red pickle dish warns Mattie and Ethan.Edith Wharton1911EnglishNovella AuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageEthan FromeTragedyEthan Fromeby the NumbersYears Wharton spent in formal educationLanguages Wharton spoke fluently: English, German, French, and ItalianYears Wharton was married to her husband before scandalously divorcingYear a film adaptation starring Liam Neeson was released19930428Sources: IMDb, Introduction to The Collected Stories of Edith Wharton by Anita Brookner, New York Public Library, New York Times, NPRCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.

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