© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome


by Edith Wharton

Ethan Frome Dreams, Hopes, and Plans Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

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...