Books and Movies Reviews

The Effect of the Setting On t

The Effect of the Setting On the Characters
A bright and sunny day or a dark, cold cave; the setting of a story gives the reader an idea of where the story takes place, but it also shows the affects it hason the characters. Ethan Frome, a novel by Edith Wharton, is a prime example in the usage of setting to affect the characters. The setting for Ethan Frome symbolizes the emotional and the physical isolation, cold, and death that surround Ethan.
The cold, harshness of his surroundings affectsEthan in several ways. One of his surroundings is a winter wasteland. He associates winter with many of the woes that are in his life now. For example in the novel it says that with each passing winter Ethan became more elderly looking. The oppressiveness of winter takes its toll on Ethan. The winter is also used to describe those that he feels a hatred for,that being Zeena, who is bitter, ugly and sickly cold just like the winter. He says that if it had been spring and not winter he would never had married Zeena. Mattie is the complete opposite of Zeena, she is associated with spring and summer and a new life. Ethan seeks the warmth of the summer (Mattie)and to leave his winter (Zeena) behind. Seemingly he is unable to do this, just as he is unable to escape winter. Another example of cold is the house. It is in a constant state of chill. Especially when Zeena was about. The coolness of the house was a constant reminder to Ethan of the elements that lurked just outside his door.
The town that the Fromes live by is small and isolated and his worn down and shabby house affect Ethan as well. The town of "Starkfield" is just that- barren, harsh, grim, severe, and hard. It is a miracle that anyone survives such a brutal environment. The ground is not productive, the buildings are falling down, there is barely enough timber to build with let alone be used a


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