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Ethan Frome

Page history last edited by paul bonnell 11 years, 11 months ago

The Ethan Frome Project.

 

Inarguably, Ethan Frome revolves around tragedy.  A key question for critics (and us) is what sort of tragedy is it--personal or social?  Check this website for a discussion about regional literature and Ethan Frome: Edsitement.  After reading through the site, ask yourself this question too: Is Ethan Frome another sort of personal tragedy all together?  Does Ethan need a change of personal perspective that does not depend upon circumstance?  How does perspective change with our circumstances?

 

Complete this project in addition to your critical analysis.  Here's the project:

 

1.  You (or your group) needs to note quotations in the book that address the environmental/personal question.  (20 Quotations)

 

2.  Deal with the "Personal/Social" tragedy question by looking at Bjorkman's thesis (in the Edsitement link above) about small rural communities.  Refute, support, or otherwise deal with his thesis with examples or "evidence" in these media: Audio, Video, and Visual Still Art (Photography or Painting).  Choose local evidence first.  All "evidence" must have a bibliographic entry.  Make sure all examples are appropriate!  Write a brief summary that explains the relationship of the evidence to Bjorkman's thesis.  Claim all work, comment on others' work, claim all comments.  (100 pts.)

 

3.  Specifics: Suppport with at least two Audio examples, one Video example, and two Visual Still Art examples.  You can create these yourself, compile them, or combine them (as in a music video, movie, interactive art project, etc.)

 

Here's an example:          (Also, ask about successful projects from the past!)

 

Thesis: Often, rural communities get plagued by an isolation that produces depression and loneliness.

 

Page 19 (Ethan speaking) "But after the trains begun running nobody ever come by here to speak of, and mother never could get it through her head what had happened, and it preyed on her right along till she died."

 

I think of that song by The Cowboy Junkies, "The Last Spike."

 

The Last Spike Lyrics

 

It doesn't matter whether it's the shift from the stagecoach to the railroad, the railroad to Highway 66, Highway 66 to Interstate 40, letter to telephone, telephone to email, email to Facebook and instant messaging, people get left behind and people let themselves get left behind.

 

Remember this?

 

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Thinking Laterally:

05 Unopened Letter to the World.m4a

 

 


On the other hand, life is what you make it.  Keep moving.  I think of that summation of parkour philosophy: etre et durer (to be and to last).  Or etre fort pour etre utile (to be strong to be useful).  Part of the equilibrium of life involves moving through it and helping others, continually overcoming the stagnation of body, mind, and spirit that seems to plague Ethan, Mattie, and Zeena.  Old, young, sick, well, infirm, robust, beleagured, hopeful, etc., each of us has some contribution to make, some way to be and to last, some way to be strong to be useful.  Keep moving and keep hope alive.

 

Look at the ironic links in this music video as it relates to Ethan Frome (audio and video):

 

three doors down "It's Not My Time" 

 

Lyrics:

 

Looking back at the beginning of this

And how life was

Just you and me and love and all of our friends

Living life like an ocean

Now the current's slowly pulling me down

It's getting harder to breathe

It won't be too long and I'll be going under

Can you save me from this

It's not my time,

I'm not going

There's a fear in me

It's not showing

This could be the end of me

And everything I know

Oh, I won't go

I look ahead to all the plans that we made

And the dreams that we had

I'm in a world that tries to take them away

Oh, but I'm taking them back

All this time I've just been too blind to understand

What should matter to me

My friend, this life we live

Is not what we have, it's what we believe

It's not my time

I'm not going

There's a fear in me

It's not showing

This could be the end of me

And everything I know

Oh, It's not my time

I'm not going

There's a fear in me

Now I know that

This could be the end of me

And everything I know

Oh, I won't go

I won't go

There might be more than you believe

There might be something you can't see

It's not my time

I'm not going

There's a fear in me

It's not showing

This could be the end of me

And everything I know

It's not my time

I'm not going

There's a will in me

Now it's gonna show

This could be the end of me

And everything I know

There might be more than you believe

There might be more than you can see

I won't go!

No I wooooon't gooooo down!

 

How does this contrast with characters in the novel who are not strong for the sake of others?  How does this compel us to live with fortitude and hope rather than resignation?

 

 

Check out this video of guys running through the woods.  These are just regular small-town guys (not world class traceurs in Hollywood movies) out for a training day.

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