What are three examples of similarities and three examples of differences between the novel and the movie Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. 

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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 Frome by Edith Wharton, the movie is a semi-accurate but tepid portrayal of both the story and the meaning of the story. The movie does contain small changes or omissions which do not seem to make much difference in the narrative (in which case, why they were changed?). In the movie, for example, the narrator/storyteller is a preacher rather than an engineer. The engineer is better when we read because then we see, at least a little, what Ethan might have become; in the movie, that is not really a focus. 

Some similarities between the movie and the novel include some big-picture things. For example, the stark, northeastern setting in the novel is expertly portrayed in the movie, as are the unique colloquial accents the characters speak in (which we tend to subconsciously "standardize" as we read to ourselves in our own voices). Zeena is just as revolting in the movie as she is in the novel; it is easy to see why Ethan is drawn to Mattie. (Unfortunately, in the movie this is based more on attractiveness than on the fact that Zeena is mean and Mattie assuages his loneliness and desire for true companionship). There is a sledding accident in both the movie and the novel, and of course that leads to the great reversal between Zeena and Mattie in the end. Unfortunately, this specific event is also on my list of differences between book and movie (details below).

The most disheartening (to me, as a teacher and lover of this novel) difference between these two forms of the story is the fact that in the movie Ethan and Mattie...

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