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Ethan Essay, Research Paper

In the novel, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, Ethane?s life, although

difficult, was full of discontent because of his choices. Ethan?s poor choices have

made him a miserable man with little to look forward to and only agony to look back

on. Three topics that display this discontent for life and the poor choices that Ethan

made are that Ethan?s experiences personal misfortune that hurt his chance for

happiness, Ethan made choices too quickly and gave them little or no thought, and

Zeena?s hypocondriact nature was a huge weight on the soul of Ethan Frome.

Ethan experiences personal misfortunes that hurt his chances for happiness.

Ethan Frome?s troubles began he made poor choices in his life. When Ethan was

attending his college classes his father had become deathly ill and soon after the

illness had struck, he died. As a result of his fathers death, Ethan?s mother was left

all alone and so was his father?s saw mill. Ethan had no choice but to leave college

and stop his classes so that he could go home and take care of his poor mother. Ethan

went home like any respectable young man would do those days,

As Marline Springer writes ?Ethan Frome gives up scholarly ambitions to help an

improvised motherly figures.?

This move started a domino affect of bad choices and bad karma falling towards


Ethan made decisions too quickly and gave them little or no thought

Some of the decisions that Ethan made were not well planned and were blinded by

quick thinking and natural human instinct. When Ethan got back from college, to

his distress, his mother was stricken with a deadly disease. Now poor Ethan had

double the work on his hands, taking care of the saw mill and his mother. So his

cousin, Zeena, came to take care of his ill mother. Ethan saw how well Zeena had

taken care of his mother, which gave him the idea that because she took care of his

mother so well that maybe she would care for him as well as she cared for his

mother. Ethan also thought that being alone during the hard cold winter was

unbearable, which made him turn towards the decision of asking Zeena to marry

him. After his mother had died he had also felt he owed Zeena for all her hard work,

so he did the only thing he could afford and married her; this would turn out to be

one of the worst decisions Ethan would ever make.

Zeena?s hypochondriac nature was a huge weight on the soul of Ethan

Frome. Zeena became ?ill? from nursing Ethan?s mother, so Ethan thought it a

good idea to bring Mattie Silver to his household to help nurse Zeena back to health.

As the narrator states ?when she entered the household as Zeena?s cousin her aid it was

thought best.?

Ethan Frome then foolishly fell in love with Mattie, which complicated matters

even further. Ethan would then have to make many choices about advancing his and

Mattie?s relationship or staying faithful to Zeena.

Ethan was about to commit suicide with Mattie so that Zeena would not be in

the way, but instead supposedly made the decision to stay with Zeena by veering

away from the tree at the last second leaving Mattie crippled and him with a warped

left side.

In this novel there were many choices that were made by Ethan Frome, most

of which were poor and not well thought out in consequence these decisions brought

him anguish and pain, and one short leg.

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