Glenndale L. Taylor III
English 11 P:6
5 February 2019
Have you ever felt out of control? Well in the horror fiction story by Edith Wharton, titled Ethan Frome and Selected Stories. The author takes her audience on a journey of Ethan’s life where he come across many examples of how unexpected events in life will happen and you can do nothing about it, but let it happen. Post-reading, I found that there were numerous circumstances that the characters faced where they were not in control like sickness and health of family, their own fate, and the unanticipated weather/nature that can change in a blink of an eye.
Upon meeting Ethan, the loss of his family and the physical damages that happened to his lovers, he is pushed into a lifestyle he never wanted. We learned that his mother and fathers death “and the misfortunes following it had put a premature end to Ethan’s studies” (Wharton, 20) because “somebody had to stay and care for the folks. There warn't ever anybody but Ethan.”(Prologue) 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. Due to this unexpected death, it left Frome in an uneasy state. He was unable to continue learning and following his dreams all because of how vulnerable he was and the responsibilities he was left with. After all of this is undesired wife falls ill and he doesn’t really care, giving him a reason to be with Mattie, but his sins catch up with him as they try to escape by killing themselves they both remain alive as Ethan is left taking care of both his wife and mistress.
As much as Ethan believes he makes choices out of free will, it is fate that has the final say, every time. When Ethan and Mattie wanted to put an end to their unbearable lives, once separated, they choose to slide down the hill together on a sled and “ headed for the elm” tree. (195) This time though, f...