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    Ethan Essay

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    In the novel, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, Ethan’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: Ethan’s personal misfortunes that hurt his chances for happiness, Ethan’s hasty decision-making, and Zeena’s hypochondriac nature, which weighed heavily on Ethan’s soul.

    Ethan experienced personal misfortunes that hurt his chances for happiness. His troubles began when he made poor choices in his life. While attending college, his father became deathly ill, and soon after, he died. As a result of his father’s death, Ethan’s mother was left all alone, and so was his father’s sawmill.

    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 in those days. As Marline Springer writes, Ethan Frome gives up scholarly ambitions to help an improvised motherly figure.” This move started a domino effect of bad choices and bad karma falling towards him. 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 sawmill 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 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 felt he owed Zeena for all her hard work, so he married her. Unfortunately, this turned 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 was 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 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, pain, and one short leg.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Ethan Essay. (2018, Dec 29). Retrieved from

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