Two writers, both women, both from different backgrounds. Edith Wharton was high society. Grazia Deledda was a commoner from another country. Though both wrote almost exclusively to their won regions, their portrayal of women was quite similar. In Wharton's Ethan Frome she has two women, both distinct from one another. In Deledda's La Madre, two women also make up the bulk of the story. But there are many more similarities in these works. Released only nine years apart both novels deal with a struggle of the heart, of the faith, and a struggle of their moral soundness. And in both stories the women are portrayed on opposite sides of the conflict. In this paper I intend to show an apparent bond between these stories' characters, and the gamut ran between the female personae.
Published in 1911, Ethan Frome is considered one of the best contemporary short novels of its time.
Ethan Frome illuminated Wharton's familiar writing style with a spark of imagination. In this story, as I expressed in the opening paragraph, lie two women. The first is Zenobia Frome, or Zeena for short. In her late twenties, she suffers from a compounded sickness that was thought to be brought on by her taking care of Ethan's mother and her absorption of life's burdens. In this story she is the conflicting character.
The other woman is a young Mattie Silver, the cousin of Zeena and the housemaid of the Fromes. Mattie is about twenty-one years old and not too much of a house keeper since she is small and weak and somewhat clumsy. But nevertheless she caught the eye of Ethan Frome who would fetch her on nights of town revelry, and with that grew a forbidden love. This is the conflict of the story.
In 1920, Grazia Deledda...