Ethan Frome Questions and Answers

Ethan Frome

It is in the prologue of Edith Wharton's novel Ethan Frome where we find the description of both Ethan and his place of residence. The prologue serves as a wonderful conduit to help us realize the...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2012 12:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Of course there will be differences between a novel and a movie made from that novel; the question for readers is always what the director will choose to omit, add, or change. In the case of Ethan...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2013 2:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

This novel is filled with different types and examples of irony. The most obvious examples are found within the ending of the novel. It is great situational irony that Ethan intends to commit...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2011 12:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Ethan and Mattie's sled ride in chapter 9 foreshadows their subsequent failed suicide attempt. All seems well—on the surface, at least. Ethan and Mattie are about to share a fun sled ride down the...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2018 12:41 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Ethan Frome

In her essay,"Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome and the Question of Meaning," Elizabeth Ammons examines the novella as an inverted fairy tale modeled after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as Wharton...

Latest answer posted May 23, 2012 3:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

We get more impressions of decay and darkness from the mood of the story than from actual description when learning about the state of the home of Ethan Frome. We know already that he is poor, so...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2010 2:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Chapter Five of this short novel is the pivotal chapter in which Mattie and Ethan share their solitary dinner together and seem to pretend what life would be like if the two of them were the...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2012 11:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Little is known of Ethan Frome's father as he is only mentioned in Chapter I and later in Chapter 4 as having died of an accident, presumably on the farm or in the sawmill, when Ethan was a...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2011 12:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Similes are easy to locate and there are several in Chapter One of "Ethan Frome". Remember that a simile is a comparison of two unlike things or situations using "like" or "as". That makes them...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2009 7:23 am UTC

2 educator answers

Ethan Frome

The eponymous character Ethan Frome is a tragic hero because he is flawed and because fate is against him. A tragic hero is described as a character with either great traits, or with promising...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2013 5:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Communication is an important theme in Ethan Frome because the story shows how little of it actually takes place in the Frome household. This continuous lack of communication only intensifies the...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2011 12:54 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

This is one of the most significant lines in the whole book. Mrs. Hale is referring to the recovery of Mattie after the misguided suicide attempt by Ethan and Mattie. Ethan becomes the weak,...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2011 12:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Let's first define what constitutes a "rhetorical device." The Guide to Literary Terms by eNotes has an ample index with all the information you need to best understand how authors use their...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2020 8:03 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Ethan Frome

To add to the previous post- Chapter 9 is the pivotal chapter in which Mattie and Ethan make their suicide pact when Mattie told Ethan to "take her down again" (down the slope) so that they could...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2011 1:01 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Ethan Frome

Simply put, the sled in Edith Wharton's novel Ethan Frome represents freedom in more ways than one. However, it will later become a symbol of oppression and despair. The story takes place in the...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2012 9:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Ethan doesn't want to face the bleakness of a New England winter by himself, so he impulsively proposes to Zeena to avoid that fate. Winter is traditionaly a season of cold isolation due to the...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2010 1:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Ethan and Mattie's love for each other is not selfish or carnal; it represents instead the deep human longing for spiritual connection with another. When Ethan and Mattie first meet, each lives in...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Having spent a night together with Mattie without the troubling presence of Zeena in Chapter Five, Ethan wakes up the next morning in Chapter Six with a feeling of happiness and joy. Although, as...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2011 7:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

In American history--specifically that of New England where Wharton's narrative is also set--the elm tree holds much significance. For, in Boston there was a large, tall elm tree which came to be...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2011 12:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

The narrator essentially learns almost everything about the elusive Ethan Frome through other people in the town. He is intensely curious about the unique man, and so asks a lot of questions. He...

Latest answer posted January 4, 2010 5:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

To really understand the significance of setting in any novel, you might ask yourself what the author might have intended by creating the setting that she did. Edith Wharton didn't set Ethan Frome...

Latest answer posted May 31, 2011 3:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Frome is internally conflicted because he knows that he cannot just abandon Zeena and elope with Mattie. Zeena is an unpleasant person, querulous and irritable, and Ethan doesn't love her. But...

Latest answer posted January 11, 2020 4:28 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Ethan Frome

Ethan does not like Denis Eady as he is jealous of him. Unlike Ethan, who is shy, unhappily married, and struggles to make a living, Eady is a confident, successful young businessman, like his...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2013 4:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

The beginning of Ethan Frome is full of foreshadowing, setting up for the reveal about Ethan, Mattie, and Zeena's ironic and unfortunate past. The narrator's first descriptions of Ethan indicate...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2019 4:33 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

An argument can certainly be made for this moral of warning against the assuming of responsibilities to which a person cannot resign himself. For, in a moment of weakness in his fear of living...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2015 9:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Ethan’s marriage to Zeena took place during one of Starkfield’s long, cold winters. It was also after a long period of pain and sorrow, when Ethan was growing desperate between the impending death...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2016 10:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Ethan is strong in that he doesn't kill himself. He continues plugging on, even though he is barely alive. I guess you could also suggest that cheating on his horrible wife would show some...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2012 6:34 am UTC

7 educator answers

Ethan Frome

This question relates explicitly to the whole question of point of view and narration, which is particularly interesting in this book. Firstly, because the narrator is an outsider of Starkfield who...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2011 6:06 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

In Chapter VIII of Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton writes, Beaming maternally on Ethan, she bent over to add: "I on'y just heard from Mr. Hale 'bout Zeena's going over to Bettsbridge to see that new...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2011 3:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

The connection between Ethan and Mattie as it is presented in the novel surpasses the physical. They are drawn to each other as soul mates, finding in each other their own deepest emotions. When...

Latest answer posted January 1, 2011 6:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

The setting of Ethan Frome is New England, specifically the town of Starkfield, Massachusetts. While the town is fictional, the description that accompanies it very much resembles a traditional...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2015 8:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

There are a few different themes that can be seen in Ethan Frome. One of them is the contrast of personal fulfillment as compared to duty to family and society. This is made clear through the...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2009 1:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

The statement you refer to comes at the beginning of this novel, and serves the purpose of giving us a description of the kind of man Ethan Frome is, but also indicates the kind of frustrations...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2011 7:52 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

In chapter 6 we witness one of Ethan's many desperate moments regarding Zeena. After Zeena's relished pickle dish accidentally breaks, Ethan has to find glue to mend it before Zeena returns from...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2013 10:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Ethan's tragedy lies in what his life could have become had he been able to free himself from Starkfield, first as a very young man and then later at the age of 28. When he was very young, Ethan...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2009 6:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

If you are asking about the meaning of alliteration in the phrase, alliteration is a sound device found in poetry and prose in which the beginning consonant sound of a word is repeated in other...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2009 2:46 am UTC

2 educator answers

Ethan Frome

The imagery that is used in the opening description that the narrator gives us of Ethan Frome is very notable for the way that it presents him as a man who has suffered greatly and has become...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2011 7:52 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

In her Author's Note to Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton explains that she deliberated on how to tell the story of Frome as she felt that she must not "elaborate and complicate" the feelings of the...

Latest answer posted August 12, 2012 5:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Foreshadowing of the accident begins in Chapter VIII of Wharton's Ethan Frome as Ethan forms a letter to Zeena explaining that he is leaving to start a new life out West. However, Ethan halts his...

Latest answer posted July 29, 2011 4:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

At the beginning of the book, the narrator describes Ethan Frome as "the ruin of a man." Ethan is very tall, and stands out in contrast to the majority of the other denizens of the area, who tend...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2010 1:27 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

After Zeena returns earlier than anticipated from her distant visit to the doctor in Bettsbridge, Ethan misses his opportunity to repair the broken pickle dish. Still, he hopes to detain Jotham who...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2011 4:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

In Chapter IV after Zeena rather unexpectedly informs Ethan that she needs to see some new doctors in Springfield about her "shooting pains," Ethan is relieved to know that Jotham Powell will drive...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2011 2:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Similes are where you compare two different things, using the words like or as. So, for example, "my love is like a red rose," or "my love is as constant as the sunshine." When you are looking...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2010 9:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Sexuality is also a tricky subject, in literature as well as in life, and it's not always possible -- try as people might -- to put someone else in a neat little box. Your question is good, of...

Latest answer posted March 17, 2010 1:49 am UTC

2 educator answers

Ethan Frome

I believe that it is a combination of the two. He definitely had some odds stacked against him that determined the quality of his life as he lived it. However, everyone is given free agency, and...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2010 6:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

I have a little bit of sympathy for both Zeena and Mattie. I think that in some ways both of them are just trying to find a way to survive in a world where a man needs a woman. They each find a...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2012 6:37 am UTC

9 educator answers

Ethan Frome

Let's first define ambivalence in itself. It is a state of doubt where the individual experiences conflicting emotions due to his or her own uncertain feelings about a situation. Main character...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2013 10:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

Chapter 7 is generally not identified as the novel's climax since Ethan Frome belongs to modern American literature, but if you were to examine it as such, you should consider Shakespeare's...

Latest answer posted July 28, 2009 11:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

Ethan Frome

What's chiefly lacking are any signs of comfort, any things that would "make a house a home," as the saying goes. It is a bare bones setup indicating, first, that Frome is poverty stricken, and...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2019 9:25 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Ethan Frome

With a sickliness that has "made her notable, Zeena Frome announces to Ethan that in the morning she will stay at her aunt's and then consult her doctor. Relieved that she would trust him so...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2011 5:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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