English 1 Honors
6 March, 2013
Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome essay
Edith Warthon was born in New York City into a very wealthy family. She was forced into a loveless marriage and eventually fell in love with another man. Her life closely resembles the two books she wrote--Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome. Age of Innocence was a novel by Edith Warthon that was turned into a movie. Newland was about to marry May when May’s cousin Ellen came from Europe to New York. Newland found himself wanting to be with Ellen rather than May. Ethan Frome was very similar to Age of Innocence and was the story of a poor man, his wife, and her cousin who find themselves in a love conflict. Ethan was married to Zeena, his very ill wife. In order for Ethan to continue to work, Zeena’s cousin, Mattie, came to take care of her. Ethan instantly fell for the young, charming, and beautiful Mattie. The film and the novel share similarities in the representation of symbolism and jealousy in the main characters yet differ in how their love affairs were resolved. Both Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome shared similar symbolism. To start with, in Age of Innocence, Newland and May attend an opera. In this opera the man kissed the brown string on the women’s dress as he walked away from her. He needed to leave her because they should not be together, just like Newland and Ellen should not be together because he was engaged to her cousin. This compared to the part in Ethan Frome, when Mattie knitted the brown stuff and Ethan kissed it. Mattie pulled the brown stuff away from Ethan before long. This symbolized the fact that Ethan needed to leave her because he was married to Zeena for seven years. These parts are related because they both symbolize a love that needed to be forgotten, a love that needed to be left in the past.
Secondly, Newland and Ethan are very similar. In Age of Innocence, Newland encouraged Ellen to stay in New York and not go back...