Literature of the early 20th century contains many of the same themes that Wharton’s novel contains. In writing an essay for an English 101 course or for an Introductory class in American Literature, be sure to look at the overriding themes that the story contains and place them in the context of other works of literature, either written at the same time or by the same author. It is also very good to use primary sources to back up your thesis. For example, when writing on Ethan Frome, you could use a newspaper article from the same time-frame or look at the dress of the day to illustrate the transition from Victorian era dress to the Romantic era. Use your imagination, as there are many themes in Ethan Frome and it is an easy novel to impress a professor with your overreaching knowledge of the literary era.