Ethan Frome Essay, Research Paper
E s s a y
There is a close relationship between the seasons and the characters actions and moods in Ethan From. Whenever there is a change in the atmosphere, the climate changes as well, making it an important foreseer of the novels plot.
The story takes place in an unpopular placed called Starkfield. The name given to the place is made by the union of two words, the first syllable means isolated, and the second means countryside. These shows that the name of the place is an isolated countryside where a sense of unhappiness is developed. The sense of isolation and loneliness is also created by the landscape and darkness of the place. What s more, there is a close relationship between Ethan s view of the characters and places of the city. This is clearly shown when Ethan describes his house as a cold and depressed place because Zeena lives in it. Also when he sees the Church as a warm and joyful place because he remembers seeing Mattie dancing there. Finally, setting and season reflect personalities and relationship. Examples which reflect relationship are, for the relationship between Mattie and Ethan, when both of them are looking at the sky showing interest and love. Meanwhile, the relationship between Ethan and Zeena is a contrast to the previously mentioned one, as both characters seem to live in different places because of how they treat each other.
On the other hand, climate plays an important part in the novel. Firstly, for the reader it is easy to notice that the passage of time is measured by the number of winters that go by instead of years, days, etc. What s more, characters are greatly affected by the climate. An example of this is when Ethan says that his marriage would not had taken place if his mother had died in spring instead of winter . In other words, the fear of isolation, which is worse in winter than in summer, lead Ethan to marry. The climate in a sense, froze Ethan s feelings. This is shown when Ethan goes quiet when the snow starts to fall again. Added to this, the antagonistic climate, creates seclusion, wretchedness and gloominess causing an unsympathetic life for all the people. Thirdly, the author also creates a contrast between summer and winter. Every single harsh moment is accompanied by a notion that winter is striking again. For example, Zeena s character is represented as a winter, because she is cold, and eventually unbearable. Contrastingly, everything which is joyful or delightful is described as summer. An example of this, related to character s personalities is Mattie, who is content, warm, fresh, has wild hair and is easy to live with just as a cosy summer. Another contrast is related happy and sad moments. During winter, Ethan s marriage to Zeena which concluded in a hard and cold relationship. The decision to crush the coaster and commit suicide, is also another good example of a heart-rending moment. On the other hand, there is spring and summer full of happy moments, such as, Ethan s meeting of Mattie and the picnic at shadow lake where Ethan s and Mattie s love flourish. Last but not least, weather can be related to mood. Ethan had lived in Florida where the sun shined and he could study sciences. He was extremely happy there. When he had to move back to stark field with its cold climate and, being obliged to work in the farm and look after his parents and wife, Ethan became a miserable person.
Concluding, setting and season played an important part in the novella, contributing strongly to reworking the feeling and plot maturity. If this two factors would have been changed, the story would surely have taken a different turn.