Ethan Frome

A Feminist Literary Analysis of 'Ethan Frome': Zeena's Problematic Portrayal College

Feminism is a movement about value and respect. It is a movement that is still evolving in our modern age to be ever more inclusive and aware of the experiences of all women. According to Robert Dale Parker’s book, Interpreting Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies, Feminism “is a simple concept and it involves taking women seriously and respectfully” (149). Although Parker sees it as a “simple concept” in the past, the idea that women even needed to be taken into consideration in society didn’t enter into a larger discourse. “The word feminism, as a term for supporting women’s rights did not enter the English Language until the 1890s” (Parker 148). Meaning the idea of women having rights was not articulated in the English language until almost the nineteen-hundreds. Given such constraints women could become ill and the common diagnosis was hysteria. Whether hysteria was an illness of the mind or of the body is beside the point. Meaning it doesn’t matter if women were actually afflicted with a disease or not, but what does matter, is that this illness did result in women’s roles in the family being altered, and in certain ways gave them more agency than society usually offered them.

The book Ethan Frome...

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