Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton is a great example of this. One theme from the story is that you might not be able to obtain whatever you want in life. Ethan is very unhappy with the way is life is bound. He is very unhappy with his marriage, which was destined to be a failure in the first place. The only reason Ethan marries Zenna is that she had come to take care of his sick mother, and after she died he could bear to be alone, therefore he asks her to marry him. Ethan also had many ambitions such as moving to Florida, which he could never achieve because his wife held him back. Soon Zenna becomes sick, and all she does is complain and bicker about life. He spends most of his money paying for Zenna’s medicine and doctor bills. Although, soon someone is needed to help around the house and this is when Ethan Frome meets the woman of his dreams. Mattie Silver who is Zenna’s cousin moves in. Throughout the book Ethan yearns
When Zenna had returned from Bettsbridge, she tells Ethan that her condition has worsened and that she has hired a girl to help around the house. Zenna is not very fond of Mattie, especially of her house cleaning skills. He even goes as far as lying to his wife to be alone with Mattie. Even though he wants to leave this dreadful town he cannot because once again his obligation to his wife holds him back. As Ethan is driving Mattie to the train station, they come to the realization that this was possibly the last time they will ever see each other. to be with her but cannot because of his obligation to Zenna. Soon they come upon a hill and a sleigh, and decided to go sleighing reminding them of the few happy times they had in the past year were with each other. Every waking moment he dreams of being with her. Nothing had changed for Ethan Frome; his life was just as it was before. Although he soon realizes that he could not do this. Ethan than contemplates the idea of risking everything and leaving his wife, and moving west with Mattie. They go through with their plan yet, they do not die, Mattie is crippled, and Ethan is also injured severely. Hale as an excuse not to give her a ride to the flats when she has to go to Bettsbridge for a doctor. Even though this is where they both state the feeling they both have for each other.