Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Analysis

Literary Devices in Ethan Frome

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Ethan Frome is loaded with symbols of death. We thought the dead cucumber vine was a pretty good one:A dead cucumber-vine dangled from the porch like the crape streamer tied to the door for a death...

Setting

Ethan Frome is set in the fictional town of Starkfield, Massachusetts. The story spans about 25 years, probably beginning in the late 1890s or early 1900s. Historically, this time period is marked...

Narrator Point of View

There are two narrative schemes going on in Ethan Frome. In the Prologue and Epilogue the narrator speaks in the first-person. He is a peripheral narrator because he is not telling his own story. R...

Genre

Ethan Frome doesn't have supernatural elements like some Gothic tales, but it features a strong sense of dread, and is very focused on death, and on the ways that people become trapped, both physic...

Tone

In the Prologue the narrator makes it clear that he is dazzled by Ethan Frome, and Ethan's kindness, strength, and intelligence, as well as his injury and his silence. Like the Starkfield snow, Eth...

Writing Style

In the Prologue the narrator gives us some important information:Though Harmon Gow developed the tale […] there were perceptible gaps between his facts, and I had the sense that the deeper me...

What's Up With the Title?

The title is almost deceptively simple. A man's name. It's kind of an odd name though. Ethan Frome. There is something solid and immoveable about it. And something old-fashioned. This novella is al...

What's Up With the Ending?

There are two endings in Ethan Frome. The first is right after Mattie and Ethan crash into the elm tree, at the end of Chapter 9. The second ending happens at the end of the Epilogue, 24 years late...

Plot Analysis

Mystery men…Ethan Frome includes a "frame narrative" or, a story within a story, so we have two initial situations. In the Prologue the narrator introduces us to the figure that has captured...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Lurking in the dark, looking for love…In this stage the hero is looking for something to fill the empty place inside him. For Ethan Frome this something, is a someone named Mattie Silver. And...

Trivia

Edith Wharton designed and built her own home, The Mount Estate and Gardens. (Source)Edith Wharton and Henry James were great friends. (Source)Wharton was an expert in Italian gardens. (Source)New...

Steaminess Rating

Though this is a story about an extramarital affair, there is no sex in Ethan Frome. The lovers, Ethan and Mattie, do kiss though, twice, just before they try to kill themselves. Other than that yo...
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top