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Ethan Frome's Strengths Essay


In Edith Whartons novel, Ethan Frome, the title character is portrayed with strengths in many aspects of his life. Ethan Frome shows his strengths by supporting his family, Zeena, and Mattie financially and physically. He is also a trustworthy man who would never lie to someone to get an advantage on them. Ethan expresses his strengths by showing his strong will and fast emotional recovery after any tragedy that happens to people close to him. Ethan Frome is a person of many strong characteristics.

Ethan supports Zeena by taking care of her and being there for every beckoning call. He also puts up with every order coming out her hated face. For a moment such a flame of hate rose in him that it ran down his arm and clenched his fist against her. He took a wild step forward and then stopped (103). The previous quote shows how Ethan refuses to let his anger to quell Zeena overcome his strong will and determination. Ethan also takes care of Mattie by helping her out emotionally. He supports Mattie when she is sad and when Zeena tells her to leave. Ethan supports both Zeena and Mattie because he has no one left to care for. Ethan is trying to do all he can to give the last of his care to the only strand of humanity there is left for him.

Ethan does his best not to lie to anyone or cheat anyone out of their fortune. He has a really hard time asking for the advance in the money from the Hales. Ethan thought that he didnt even need the money after the request to Andrew Hale and after Andrews decline in that request. Ethan felt that if he had pleaded an urgent need Hale might have made shift to pay him; but pride, and an instinctive prudence, kept him from resorting to this argument (66). The quote shows that Ethan is too proud and strong to be thought that he was going under again. Zeena can also trust Ethan for all of her medicine and other errands that she requires. Ethan also daringly trusts Mattie about a happier life after death by suicide. However he is a predicable man who is loyal to his own duties and cannot leave Zeena alone. This causes Ethan to stop the attempt at taking his and Matties life.

Ethan always does his duty to his job and his life. His suicide attempt does show a major weakness in Ethans personality. However, Ethan goes right back to his normal life of caring and servitude to his job and his duties, such as Zeena and Mattie. He heard the sorrel whinny, and thought: I ought to be getting him his feed (149). Even though Mattie is laying there in the snow Ethan hears his horse moan for some feed and he has to tend to his horse or in the bigger picture his duties. Ethan also gave up his future of engineering to take care of his parents thinning health. Then his mother got queer and dragged along for years as weak as a baby; and his wife Zeena . . . Sickness and trouble: thats what Ethans had his plate full up with, ever since the very first helping (12). This shows that Ethan commits to Zeena and his duties which cause Ethan to spend the rest of his life in Starkville. Ethan threw his life away for the sake of his parents and Zeenas well being.

In conclusion Ethans strength took away his opportunities in life while also keeping him alive and busy. He cared for Zeena and all others in his life with the strength he puts into everything he does under his own will. Ethan also lived with truth throughout his life because he saw that there was no good in lying. The strength in Ethan gives him the will power to continue living on through all the obstacles that life has to offer.

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