Study Guide

Ethan Frome Characters

By Edith Wharton

Ethan Frome

Ethan is our tragic hero, a man of many faces. He lives with two women, his wife and his wife's...

Mattie Silver

Because we see Mattie only though Ethan's (and the narrator's) eyes, and only hear her thoughts...

Zeena Frome

We know that the narrator is entirely biased and that he portrays everything the way he imagines...

The Narrator

The narrator is an engineer who has come to Starkfield to work at a nearby power plant. He's an...

Harmon Gow

Harmon Gow is the town gossip. He used to drive the stagecoach before the railroad was built and...

Mrs. Ruth Hale

Ruth is the daughter of the late "lawyer Varnum" and has a little more money and a little more...

Ned Hale

Ned is dead by the time the narrator arrives in Starkfield. We only see him once in the story...

Andrew Hale

Andrew Hale is Ned's father. He likes Ethan and has business dealings with him. Ethan almost...

Mrs. Hale

Mrs. Hale is Ned's mother and Andrew's wife. Ethan runs into her on his way to borrow money from...

Denis Eady

When we first meet Denis, he is a wealthy man, the owner of a grocery store, and also the person...

Michael Eady

Michael Eady is Denis's father. He started the grocery business that made his son a wealthy man.

Jotham Powell

Jotham Powell works for Ethan at the sawmill and the ranch. We don't really get to know him.

Ethan's Parents

Ethan's parents aren't named, and are dead before the action of the story begins. Because Ethan...