Naturalism is normally understood as an extension or intensification of pragmatism. The intensification involves the debut of characters of a sort ( Baym. 1999 ) A perfect illustration of Naturalist work is Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Ethan. one of the chief characters in the book. is a old. deformed adult male who is in love with his married woman cousin. Zeena is Ethans married woman who on occasion has psychological unwellnesss. Mattie is Zeenas cousin and is in love with Ethan. There are many illustrations of naturalism in Ethan Frome: the characters. their malformations. and their humble topographic point in society. their bad fortune. and unsavory environment they lived in.
Ethan Frome. a important character in the book. is really troubled. Life hasnt been pleasant for Ethan. Through his life experiences. Naturalism has been portrayed. At the beginning of the narrative. the reader. from the undermentioned quotation mark. finds out that Ethan is crippled from a smash-up: The smash-up it was—I gathered from the same informant—which. besides pulling the ruddy cut across Ethans Fromes brow. had so shortened and warped his right side that it cost him a seeable attempt to take the few stairss from his roadster to the post-office window. ( Wharton 4 ) This is a characteristic of Naturalism because the smash-up was caused by Ethans emotions. If Ethan did non hold any feelings for Mattie. the smash-up would hold ne’er taken topographic point and Ethan and Mattie would non be injured and forced to pass the remainder of their lives being taken attention of by Zeena. Then. the novel goes into a flashback and the whole narrative of Ethan Frome is told to the reader.
The reader so finds out that Zeena. Ethans married woman. is really his cousin who came to Starkfield to take attention of Ethans female parent. and she ne’er left after his female parent passed off. Ethan and Zeena acquire married and they have a loveless matrimony that took topographic point because of solitariness. In the novel. it says that the matrimony might non hold taken topographic point if it had non been wintertime. This is besides another illustration of Naturalism because it was determination that was controlled by their inherent aptitudes that if they did non acquire married. so they would hold a alone winter. Zeena becomes ill. and her cousin Mattie has to come to Starkfield and take attention of the house. Ethan falls in love with Mattie. but is non able to show his feelings at first because of Zeena. Later on in the narrative. Ethan and Mattie discover that they love each other and that they can non be together so they decided to perpetrate self-destruction.
Unfortunately. the suicide effort was ineffectual and Mattie and Ethan both survive. In this portion of the narrative. Ethan and Mattie are moving on their emotions because they know that they can non runaway together. and they besides know that if they commit suicide they will ne’er hold to be apart together. Ethan and Mattie would hold run away together if non for their economic conditions. Because the farm was so hapless. Zeena wouldnt have sold the farm for really much and she would hold to endure if Ethan and Mattie had runaway together. Although. Ethan Frome plays a really large function in this novel. Zeena besides portrays illustrations of naturalism.
Zeenas character was portrayed to the reader as being selfish and destitute. Because Zeena was non required to take attention of anyone. she began to demo the symptoms of illness that Ethans female parent was described to hold had.
And within a twelvemonth of their matrimony she developed the sickliness which had since made her noteworthy even in a community rich I pathological cases. When she came to take attention of his female parent she had seemed to Ethan like the really mastermind of wellness. but he shortly saw that he skill as a nurse had been acquired by the captive observation of her ain symptoms. ( Wharton 53 ) This is an illustration of Naturalism because Zeenas need to be required by others led her to go psychologically ill and this affected her matrimony with Ethan. In the center of the novel. Ethan and Mattie walk place together after the dance and Zeena hasnt put out the key. To the reader. this seems like it was Zeenas inherent aptitude to non set out a key because she was leery of the relationship between Mattie and Ethan.
Soon after. Zeena goes to see a new physician in town because of her illness. This event gives the feeling that Zeena is ill merely because she wants to be recognized in society. and being ill is leting her to be noticed by others. At the very terminal of the novel. Zeena recognizes that Mattie and Ethan have feelings for each other. and attempts to divide them apart by engaging another miss to take attention of the house. However. the smash-up allowed Zeena to be needed by the disabled Mattie and Ethan. and Zeena instant got better. These are illustrations of naturalism. because Zeena is moving on her inherent aptitudes that that Ethan and Mattie are holding an matter. and the result is that they try to perpetrate self-destruction and fail and have to populate the remainder of their lives together with Zeena about in poorness.
The determinations that the characters in Ethan Frome impact the remainder of their lives. These determinations are all illustrations of Naturalism. Ethan determinations are based on his inherent aptitude and besides his emotions of love for Mattie. and his emotion of loathe for Zeena. Zeenas. on the other manus. are based on by her inherent aptitude that Ethan and Mattie are in love with each other. her lowly position in society. and besides their meagre economic conditions. This book shows the reader that life should non ever be controlled by inherent aptitude and emotion. but instead that it should be controlled by ideas and accommodating to the environment around you.
Wharton. Edith. Simon & A ; Schuster. 2004.