The best description of this book I ever heard was: "I love you! Let's sled to our deaths!"
Haha, OK, for serious. I reread this the other day and found I liked it a lot better the second time around. The book was so depressing I found myself drawn to the little flashes of kindness the townspeople showed, like the women asking after Zeena when Ethan would go to town.
One of my favorite lines in the movie "Grosse Pointe Blank" was when John Cusack's character says to his high school english teacher "Are you still inflicting that "Ethan Frome" damage?" Unfortunatly, my high inflicted that damage upon me.
This story was not one of my favorites. The language could be confusing at times as well. Ethan Frome was an interesting character. I personally felt bad for him because he was stuck with his crabby wife. But Ethan's choice of going back with his wife, rather than leaving her, showed how he was a real man. I didn't like the ending of the story either. Overall the book was quite depressing.
this book was not the greatest.It was fustrating how clueless Zeena was and yet how foolish Ethan was.I did not like Mattie at all. I won't read this book again
Edith Wharton, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, is in my opinion one of the greatest writers of English of the twentieth century. It is no secret that Wharton's marriage was not a good one and her doctor encouraged her to write fiction to relieve her stress --imagine that?! Well from her stress comes some powerful fiction and this story is one of them. ETHAN FROME - a very tragic tale - is filled with some very hard-edged irony and heart-wrenching emotions that have some long-term sad consequences for its characters in the end. Anyone who has been trapped in a "loveless" marriage and relationship will relate to this story. The circumstances in this book in my opinion clearly represent how Wharton felt about the bleakness of her own marriage and the "unforgiving" society she lived in as well. Though tragic in tone -- this is a powerful read!
It may have been the case in Wharton's age, but these days is it still fair to paint a character as having been swept unintentionally into a marriage and still absolve them of the part they play in their own unhappiness? Telling the story from Ethan's point of view, I think, highlighted his myopic perspective that Zeena was all bad and Mattie all good. The fact that, once Mattie no longer represented such a sweet escape, she "becomes" Zeena is a powerful indictment of how far we go to justify our own judgments, even when they turn out to be less than justifiable.
Interesting. Not to read, but how it all played out. I don't think I really liked any of the characters. And I really think that Ethan could have tried to be more of the man of the house rather than Zeena.
Just wrote a research paper on this. I argued that the cause of Wharton's torment of Ethan was her failed marriage/affair. I think it's definitely true. You should check it out sometime.
I have recently started a group that plans to discuss this novel as well other prominent works of fiction:
Best English-Language Fiction of the Twentieth Century
A new group centered on a composite list of the best English-language fiction of the twentieth century. Please give it a look, join up and invite your friends!
Well I found this book interesting because it mainly inspires you to live. To risk a little more in life in order to not get stuck and not to stop making an effort to change the course of your life.
My teacher says I was too demandig on Ethan but mainly what this book has taught me wast not to setlle in life as he did. But to make the best efforts to change the course of it and always try to outcome adversities.
It also reminds me of humanism and how it taught us to take control of our lifes.