Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome

(3321 words)

In her biography of Edith Wharton, Hermione Lee observes that “Ethan Frome comes as a great shock” (375). Wharton had ventured into areas such as the industrial novel in her 1907 work, The Fruit of the Tree, but her literary reputation was largely based on her successful representations of wealthy American society as seen, especially, in The House of Mirth of 1905. Ethan Frome, published in 1911, turns from the old moneyed urban world of Wharton’s background to embrace instead the landscapes and inhabitants of rural New England with its range of physical and psychological impoverishments.

The “shock” (Lee 375) of Wharton’s shifting focus from urban, sophisticated …
Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Bode, Rita. "Ethan Frome". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 September 2012
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5284, accessed 30 November 2015.]