Historical Context in Ethan Frome

Historical Context Examples in Ethan Frome:

Prologue 2

"popular science..."   (Prologue)

The fact that science, engineering, and technology are the subjects that are finally able to spark conversation between the narrator and Ethan echoes the interests of the time. As Ethan Frome is set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, technological and scientific advancements are important and interesting topics. Consider also the hint of surprise when the narrator discovers that Ethan, a rural farmer, is interested in and knowledgeable about these topics.

"Carcel lamp..."   (Prologue)

A Carcel lamp is a type of lamp invented by Bernard Guillaume Carcel in the 19th century. It was considered a unique and innovative invention for its time, one of the main reasons being its ability to keep oil constantly burning on its own—without human intervention. In this way, the lamp may symbolize both the significant technological progress of the time and a sense of insignificance—as the lamp can now function for long periods of time largely without the help of the human.