Ethan Frome Criticism

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Critics generally regard Ethan Frome as a departure from Wharton's usual subject matter. Wharton herself remarked that "it was frequently criticized as 'painful,' and at first had much less success than my previous books." The enduring popularity of the novel has somewhat cynically been attributed to its brevity and its place in the high school and college curriculum. Yet, wrote the critic R. Baird Shuman, it "remains a monument in the Edith Wharton canon." According to Allen F. Stein, the novel represents "the fullest treatment of the disasters that can occur when one attempts to leave even a repellent marriage." And biographer Cynthia Griffin Wolff calls Ethan Frome "a tantalizingly literary work.".

At the time of the novel's publication in 1911, a review in the Nation praised the style as "assured and entirely individual." In a review titled "Three Lives in Supreme Torture," the New York Times Book...

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This section contains 655 words
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