Ethan Frome

what mood do the setting details help to create

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The narrator, an outsider, expresses dismay at the incredible harshness of the Starkfield winters. The name of the town is symbolic of the character of the land and its people. This is not a bountiful or generous land. A living must be scraped from the soil. Frome's own farm mirrors the name of the town, as his nearly barren soil provides barely enough for his family's survival. To say that a man or woman has spent "one too many winters in Starkfield" has become a grim town joke, and after the narrator experiences the darkness of the winters he understands why. The harshness and power of the land are mirrored by Ethan Frome, whose body still exudes strength despite its lameness. But he is a "ruin of a man," and his face shows how much he has suffered.