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Ethan Frome The Destruction of Life The Unforbidden Love Affair This tragic book tells a story of yet another forbidden pair of lovers but separates itself from other stories such as these with its vivid imagery The setting of the book and the characters themselves share the same traits sullen silent somewhat cold and unfriendly Edith Wharton uses these images to portray each character each setting and each situation with an air of the tragedy that will soon strike them The characters and the settings in Ethan Frome share many of the same characteristics and are therefore symbolic of one another Even the name of the village in the story takes place in is symbolic Starfield Every feature of the landscape seems to relate directly back to the people of the town whether it is the town as a whole or a specific place As you will see throughout Edith Wharton uses imagery and symbolism in describing the plot theme and settings Edith Wharton draws many parallels between the plot of the novel and its setting As you read this story it has consistently stated throughout the novel that the silence of each character is symbolic of their inability to communicate with one another in order to dispel their own loneliness In the case of Ethan Frome to combat the silence isolation and loneliness in his life he marries Zenobia Pierce after his mothers death nevertheless she will never leave Starkfield and develops into an oppressively silent hypochondriac Ethan is unable to break away from the laborious captivity of his farm There seems to be no hope for Ethan the moral landscape of Starkfield offers no redemption and no new life Ethan must live out his days surrounded by the elements of a harsh and indifferent nature For
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