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Ethan Frome Essay

Would you take a risk that would change the rest of your life for temporary feelings? If one took the risk and chose to, the effects of it could be everlasting. In the novel Ethan Frome written by Edith Wharton and the poem “When we two parted” by Lord Bryon the main characters are faced with the consequences of acting on their wrongful feelings. Sometimes people are faced with the issue of trying to hide the love they truly feel in order to keep the peace that is needed. In the novel Ethan Frome written by Edith Wharton, the main character Ethan is faced with the huge issue of catching feelings for another woman, other than his wife.

This causes a huge conflict not only within himself, but also with the other people that are involved as well. It gets to the point where both Ethan and Mattie don’t think they could ever be happy if they were not together forever. Ethan once said “What’s the good of either of us going anywhere without the other one now. ” They know it’s not likely for them to be, so Ethan comes up with the plan to commit suicide. If Ethan had to think of such a dark idea he most definitely has to be depressed. Being in love should never bring along thoughts and ideas like those. If Ethan did not have such feelings for Mattie none of this could have happened.

He just had to have Mattie though and get rid of his wife because he could not stand it anymore. Society won’t let these two be together because Ethan is a married man. Ethan should know better than to start liking his wife’s cousin. You could call Ethan selfish, one could also argue that you can’t control who you fall for. Symbolism is a plays a big role in the story. One symbol is the last sled ride. Normally a person can control the sleigh, but in the case Ethan just lost all control and didn’t even try to take control of the situation. Just like the love triangle with him, Zeena and Mattie.

It shows that he couldn’t escape the issue. He lets society and other burdens make decisions for him. unfortunately in the case because of feelings there was a life lost due to the fact of the secret affair that should never have went on. The poem “When we two parted,” by Lord Byron, portrays ones feelings when they are filled with such emotions of love and confusion. The person in the poem is dealing with the reality of having a relationship that is very toxic. In line 25 they say, “In secret we met, in silence I grieve. ” From this line the reader can really feel the strong emotions that are spoken with these words.

Even though he got the satisfaction of seeing the person for a small amount of time they still have to deal with the feelings after. It’s even harder because now the person can’t even talk about it because no one is supposed to know. Now they have to keep it bottled up inside for a long time, which is never good. A specific literary element that ties in very well with this poem is mood. The author made the overall mood to come across as very depressing and dark. In line three they use the words like “half broken-hearted,” and in line thirteen “broken. ” By using these words it really sets the mood for the whole poem.

In the poem there is more harm showing then actual good and love because of this relationship. This person is not getting what they need in a healthy relationship. When one knows from the start they are not suppose to have feelings for a particular person it leads to nothing but heartbreak. In the novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton and the poem “When We Two Parted,” by Lord Bryon these characters chose their own fate due to their feelings. The authors of these two works of literature felt so strong about this idea because they know how many people could relate to this very personal issue.


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