Ethan Frome Failure: The main theme of the book Ethan Frome is failure.It is shown in three ways throughout the story: Ethan’s marriage, him not beingable to stand up to Zeena, and his involvement in the “smash up”.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Category:EnglishPaper Title:Ethan Frome FailureText:Failure in Ethan FromeThe main theme of the book Ethan Frome is failure. It is shown in three waysthroughout the story: Ethan’s marriage, him not being able to stand up to Zeena,and his involvement in the “smash up”.Ethan marries Zeena so he won’t be alone after his mother dies.
She seemedlike a very cheerful, vivacious person while his mother was sick. After theirmarriage all this changed. She became a very nagging, sick wife. Because ofZeena’s “complications” they had to hire someone to help around thehouse. Mattie, Zeena’s cousin, needed a place to live and seemed fit for thejob. She moved in and Ethan took and immediate liking to her.
He found someonethat cared for him, was always happy, and could share his youth. All of which,Zeena was incapable of doing. Ethan longed to be with Mattie, but he was loyalto Zeena.
Being married to Zeena was Ethan’s first failure.Ethan’s second failure was not standing up to Zeena. She claimed the doctorsaid that she was extremely sick and needed more help around the house. She toldhim without any discussion that Mattie had to go. Ethan could not find the wordsto make her alter her decision.
Zeena also decided that Mattie had to leave thenext day. It was stated in the book that Zeena had the upper hand in the houseby the line “Now she Zeena had mastered him Ethan and he obeyedher.” Ethan could not find the right things to say, and it was because ofhis failure of not being able to stand up to his wife that he was going to losethe only thing that made him happy.
Ethan’s last failure was the way he modified his and Mattie’s lives regardingthe “smash up”. He wanted to run away with Mattie, but he could notbecause his practical sense told him it was not feasible to do so. Mattie wantedso desperately to be with Ethan that she suggested in order to stay togetherforever, to die together. It was Ethan’s job to steer into the tree with thesled so that it looked like an accidental death. He did not hit the tree rightand it did not kill either of them. Instead it injured them, and these injuriesstayed with them forever.
In this way, Ethan had his last failure in notexceeding to die with his love. Now he had to live with the guilt from his wife,the injured Mattie, and broken dreams. Everything Ethan tried to do workedagainst his favor. With all the incidents that happened it seemed inevitablethat his life would always be a string of failure.-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-