Theme 1: Lack of love can twist and warp human beings beyond recognition
Without love, you can back track into a deep depression and craziness.
Quote 1: “It pleased Ethan to have surprised a pair of lovers on the spot where he and Mattie had stood with such a thirst for each other in their hearts; but he felt a pang at the thought that these two need not hide their happiness.” (Wharton 41)
Quote 2: " She had an eye to see and an ear to hear: he could show her things and tell her things, and taste the bliss of feeling that all he imparted left long reverberations and echoes he could wake at will” (Wharton 15)
Quote 3: “The fact that he had no right to show his feelings, and thus provoke the expression of hers, made him attach a fantastic importance to every change in her look and tone.” (Wharton 27)
Quote 4: “When the door of her room had closed on her he remembered that he had not even touched her hand.” (Wharton 47)
Theme 2: Do whatever you need to reach freedom and happiness. Don’t let things hold you back from doing what you want
Quote 1: "Most of the smart ones get away." But if that were the case, how could any combination of obstacles have hindered the flight of a man like Ethan Frome?” (Wharton 3)
Quote 2: "Guess he's been in Starkfield too many winters." (Wharton 2)
Quote 3: "To him, who was never gay but in her presence, her gaiety seemed plain proof of indifference.” (Wharton 16)
Quote 4: “A moment ago he had wondered what he and Mattie were to live on when they reached the West; now he saw that he had not even the money to take her there.” (Wharton 68)
Theme 3: Many times, people use manipulation as a fall back that substitutes more direct forms of communication.
People often manipulate each other into doing what they fear to do all along.
Quote 1: “"You'd have found me right off if you hadn't gone back to have that last reel with Denis," he brought out awkwardly.” (Wharton 24)
Quote 2: "...