Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome

Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome

by Edith Wharton


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Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

"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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451571165
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/25/2010
Pages: 90
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.19(d)

About the Author

Edith Wharton combined her insider's view of America's privileged classes with a brilliant, natural wit to write humorous, incisive novels and short stories of social and psychological insight. She was well-acquainted with many of her era's other literary and public figures, including Henry James and Theodore Roosevelt. In 1885, at 23 years of age, she married Edward (Teddy) Robbins Wharton, who was 12 years her senior. From a well-established Boston family, he was a sportsman and a gentleman of her social class and shared her love of travel, although they had little in common intellectually. In addition to her famous novels, Wharton wrote at least 85 short stories. She was also a regarded garden designer, interior designer and lifestyle taste-maker of her time. She wrote several influential design books including her first published work, The Decoration of Houses of 1897, co-authored by Ogden Codman Another is the beautifully and generously illustrated Italian Villas and Their Gardens of 1904 has been reprinted to the present day.

Date of Birth:

January 24, 1862

Date of Death:

August 11, 1937

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Place of Death:

Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt, France


Educated privately in New York and Europe

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