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Ethan Frome

            Ethan Frome was considered by many to be Edith Wharton's finest novel. This dismal and depressing tale of tragedy and hopelessness won her great acclaim as an author. Wharton engaged the reader with her usage of a clear theme, literary devices, and fascinating characters. The end result of her work on the novel is a tale of such sadness and despondency that emotional readers are overwhelmed. .
             Edith Wharton was born in 1862 to a wealthy family involved in New York City society. Her career began with her use of clever satire to demean her New York society. Her reputation and place in history as a novelist was established beyond a doubt with the publication of The House of Mirth in 1905. (another satire) In 1911, Wharton wrote her finest novel Ethan From while in France with her husband Edward. Wharton spent the remainder of her life in France, but still involved her writing with subjects about America. Her last novel Bunner Sisters was published in 1909, and Edith Wharton passed away in 1937. .
             Wharton was a writer of the twentieth century. Therefore, her ideas went along with those of other American writers of that time period. Wharton, like such successful writers as Faulkner and Fitzgerald, concentrated on the immense new subject of American values. She did not follow the pattern of writing about European topics and pursuits in the novel Ethan Frome. This novel was a perfect example of the writer's examination of America's new set of cultural boundaries and morals the twentieth century's arrival entailed. .
             The setting of the novel Ethan Frome was notably important to the formation of this novel's plot. The novel was technically set in the small town of Starkfield, Massachusetts. Emotionally this novel took place in frozen isolation. The main character in this novel stood out because of his pathetic life and depressed outlook. One character joked that his condition was brought on by "to many winters in Starkfield".

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