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A Compare and contrast essay

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Ethan Frome is a story written by Edith Wharton. The story is deemed to b e a work of fiction. Edith`s story revolves around the working community based in the rural countryside of England. The narrative is fashioned from an occurrence that was accidental in nature. This accident that gave birth to the idea of writing the book had occurred in an area called Lenox; the author had come into contact with an injured victim of that incident. The accident made the writer think or compare the occurrence to a love affair which has gone awry. (Wharton, n.p) The story about the raven was conceived by Edgar A. Poe.

There is a man who was partially indulging in some reading; though he was partially doing this because of sleep. He is also deep in thought with the subject of meditation being Lenore. Lenore happens to be this gentleman`s lost love. In his partial slumber he hears a knock on the door; or so he believes. This gentleman rises to his feet in a humble way walks towards the door to his house apologizing for getting there late. Once at the door he gets a rude shock to realize that no one was there. A raven flies into his house. The man converses with the raven for a while. Bird then gets to a point of dead silent. Both of these stories exhibit the notion of isolation. When one scrutinizes both scenarios there is a clear indication that this is the similarity involved. (Poe, n.p.)

Similarities by the two stories

            The two narratives give the impression of people who suffer from isolation. The story of Ethan Frome is fashioned along the real life occurrence that had befell the author a while back. The author was an individual who did not have such a pleasant childhood to talk about. Edith the author of this particular story suffered isolation during her childhood. The character in the story is Ethan. He is a gentleman who despite having a wife falls for a lady called Mattie. The story shows that Zeena the lady who was the wife of Ethan was in dire condition. (Wharton, n.p) Due to her weak condition readers get to see that her husband tends to go behind her back; through a relationship with Mattie. Mattie is a maid who works in the house of Ethan and his wife Zeena. Zeena`s illness may have been the sole reason why her husband was busy trying to woo another lady to take her place. In this story isolation is very well exhibited when Ethan in his devices tries to make plans on how he could be spending time together with Mattie; yet he had a wife. Ethan may have given the reader the notion that he expected that his wife may pass on soon; this being the continuous attempt to do things behind his wife`s back. (Wharton, n.p)

Ethan tries to use his wits to get probable ways of spending time with him. The wife never seems to catch wind of what seems to have been transpiring behind her back all this while. It is no secret that the husband could never tell her what she was up to; maybe because of the immense guilt that would haunt him. (Wharton, n.p) Other than guilt shame would have been the other thing that would have caught up with him. Despite his efforts fate seemed to have conspired against when they are involved in what seems to be serious accident while he was in the company of Mattie. Mattie who was his new found love got injured seriously in the accident; and his wife whom he thought would perish in a few days’ time lives on decades later. In the story about the raven readers also get to see the aspect of isolation exemplified by the life of the man spoken about. (Wharton, n.p)

In the raven, the gentleman seemed to live a life that was saddist in nature coupled with depression. The man had isolated himself or may have felt isolated from the larger society. When the raven suddenly goes into silence in the first instance the man remembers of the many people whom he thought would be his friends but left him. (Poe, n.p.)He tends to indicate that many individuals had walked into his life but left in the same manner leaving him to make do with his loneliness. The gentleman reminisces of a time when he had a lost his love by the name Lenore; this creates a sad story. The loss of his love points the reader to make an assumption that that may have been the cause of his depression and isolation. (Poe, n.p.)

The contrast between the two stories

            In the story of Ethan the only visible sad ending is the case of Mattie getting seriously injured during their time out together during the ride they had. Ethan`s case was also a concern of things turning inside out and creation of a paradox being in the offing. (Wharton, n.p)The paradox is clear when Zeena his wife whom he thought could perish sooner lived to have a better life than that of Mattie. Mattie who was Ethan`s new found love would not live to have a pleasant lifetime. In the case of the man who seemingly conversed with the raven; despite the sad life of loneliness he had he could not enjoy the comfort of living with his loved one. The predictable ending to this gentleman would probably be dying miserably. (Poe, n.p.)


Wharton, E. (n.d.). Ethan Frome. Retrieved from http://www.literaturepage.com/read/wharton-ethan-frome-14.html

Poe, E. A. (n.d.). The Raven. Retrieved from http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/178713

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