* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome

by Edith Wharton

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Even then he was the most striking figure in Starkfield, though he was but the ruin of a man. (Prologue.36)

For a man to be a ruin, he must have been something great before, right? Right away the narrator sees that Ethan was a man with promise, and that somewhere along the way that promise was lost.

Quote #2

"Guess he's been in Starkfield too many winters. Most of the smart ones get away." (Prologue.9)

Starkfield is always shown as a trap, a place to either escape from or get stuck in. The place is certainly a fertile breeding ground for hopes and dreams, but it also seems to have a super-glue quality to it.

Quote #3

"Somebody had to stay and care for the folks. There warn't ever anybody but Ethan. Fust his father-then his mother-then his wife." (Prologue.11)

This is a big part of what makes Ethan a tragic hero. He couldn't abandon anyone in pain, and as a result he hurts himself and everyone else around him. This kind of loyalty interferes with all his dreams.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement