Ethan Frome essay - irony

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ETHAN FROME KEYHOLE ESSAY The novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton tells the story of Ethan Frome and the tragedy he faces in his life. The story mainly focuses on the relationships between and among Ethan, his wife, and his wife’s cousin, with whom he is in love. Wharton uses different literary devices to develop the plot, including irony as one of the most effective. The use of irony in the novel, especially in …

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…accident, the Frome household is caught in a “living death,” rather than released from its tensions. The tragic aspects of the novel are further emphasized by the use of irony. Rather than simply writing the unfortunate episodes of the story, Wharton reminds the reader that these situations have the capability of producing favorable results. This contrast between the possibility of a good ending and the resulting tragedy creates the illusion of an even greater tragedy.