The Grass Is Always Greener on the Other Side

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ethan Frome, The Great Gatsby Pages: 2 (729 words) Published: October 5, 2011
The saying, the grass is always greener on the other side, applies to real life because people are always comparing their current lifestyle to better ones, longing for improvements. Carleton Noyes once said, "The human heart has ever dreamed of a fairer world than the one it knows." In other words this means that human desire to want a better life. Even if their life presently is better than average, they always look for something more – for that dream world. This statement is valid found in both literature and real life. Both Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald illustrate the concept that humans always long for a more ideal life than what they have.

Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome establishes the dream for a preferred life, and the constant desire to yearn for more. One-way Wharton’s Ethan Frome proves this point is through characterization. To readers, the protagonist, Ethan Frome, becomes infatuated with the energetic and lively Mattie Silver, the cousin of Zenobia Frome, the wife of Ethan. Zeena is portrayed as old, ill, hot headed and unsympathetic. Thus allowing Mattie Silver to become more pleasing to Ethan than Zeena. The juxtaposition of both characters compels Ethan to question whether he should elope with Mattie. This relates Noyes’ quote because the comparison of both Zeena and Mattie demonstrates Ethan’s desire to be with Mattie, and leave Zeena. Another way Wharton illustrates this is through theme. Theme is the central messages revealed through a literary work. The theme, dream vs. reality, is demonstrated by Ethan’s dream to elope with Mattie and to escape bleak Starkfield and escape from his lifeless wife Zeena. He had married Zeena, after his wife died because he didn’t want to alone during the long barren winter, and now he wanted to leave Zeena for someone better in comparison. In the end, Ethan couldn’t make a decision, so he agreed with Mattie’s suggestion of suicide in order to spend their last seconds...
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