A Life Without Hope by Ethan Frome

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Throughout Ethan Frome's life, he was condemned to a cruel, indecent life. Tormented for years, Ethan was pushed to the extreme. Since his return from college, after the sickness of his parents, Ethan had been isolated from the outside world. Following the death of Ethan?s mother, he attempted to escape the loneliness and silence, so he proposed to the caretaker, Zenna. However, the marriage brought a life of poverty and lonesomeness. A Starksfield native, Mrs. Ned Hale, summed up the gravely condition of the Fromes. She said there is no difference between Ethan Frome at the farm, or him in the graveyard (Wharton 74). After years of enduring hardships, Ethan and his new lover, Mattie Silver, introduced a final solution for all the years of misery. His human spirit was so low that suicide was the medicine for years of torment. After his unsuccessful suicide attempt, his life only worsened.

The human spirit can be severely bruised after suffering from extreme poverty and isolation.

To begin with, living in the rural town of Starksfield resulted in an inescapable state of despair. For example, the Frome?s house was miles away from society (Wharton 5). Nowadays a mile or two is just a simple car ride; but during Ethan?s time, several miles caused most people to live a life of solitude. It is hard to conceive the sadness and hopelessness he endured. On top of that, cold blizzards that afflicted the town only brought out the agony and isolation rural life can provide (Wharton 6). When leaving the house was incapable, how would it feel to never see anyone? The life of separation would get the best of all people. Moreover, the narrator of the story, a traveling engineer, describes the fact that he went in Ethan?s house. The narrator was...