The paper "Ethan Frome's Story Interpretation like a Fairy Tale due to His Archetypes" is a great example of an annotated bibliography on literature.
Ammons, Elizabeth. “Elizabeth Ammons on Ethan Frome as a Fairy Tale.” Blooms Major Novelists: Edith Wharton (2002): 48-50.Web. 29 Nov. 2011. Literary Reference Center.
Ammons argues that Ethan Frome can be interpreted as a fairy tale because the novel depicts the archetypes of “the witch, the silvery maiden, the honest woodcutter” (48). She compares Ethan Frome to Snow White by describing the novel's characters with respect to the characters of Snow White. Zeena is the witch, Mattie is the silvery maiden, while Ethan is the honest woodcutter. Ammons uses physical and personality descriptions to assert the parallels between Ethan Frome and Snow White. Ammons adds that the use of ellipsis in the novel proves that this is a fairy tale. Furthermore, the novel comes in bits and pieces from many people, making it a communal story, which many fairy tales are.
This is a valid source because it came from an academic database. Language and analysis are also formal and persuasive. This source is relevant because it produces an analysis of Ethan Frome as a fairy tale. I will be using this information to explore the use of allusion and ellipsis in the novel.
Carroll, Emmett H. “Ethan Frome.” Masterplots (Nov. 2010): 1-3. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. Literary Reference Center.
Carroll examines the use of symbolism in Ethan Frome to depict its theme of isolation. The cat resembles the witch which affects the characters in Zeena's absence. Caroll describes Zeena as a witch too. The article also notes that though the novel poses psychological implications, “Wharton adopts an austere realism, a tone in keeping with the hard landscape and with the shocking outcome” (1). Carrol stresses that the setting, with its barren and cold landscape, can be compared to Ethan's personality and the life: “Wharton describes Ethan as like the landscape, mute and melancholic” (3). The town's isolation also impacts Ethan's mother and other characters.
This is a valid source because it came from an academic database. Language and analysis are also formal. This source is relevant because it analyzes the theme of isolation in Ethan Frome. I will be using this information to explore how Wharton's use of symbols shapes the theme of isolation in the novel.
Hattenhauer, Darryl. “Wharton's Ethan Frome.” Explicator 51.4 (1993): 226-228. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. Literary Reference Center.
Hattenhauer produces a short analysis of Ethan Frome from a psychoanalytical perspective. She argues that Wharton used “sexual symbolism” (226) to depict the sexualities of Zeena, Mattie, and Ethan. Hattenhauer stresses that the red pickle dish symbolizes sexuality. When Zeena does not use this dish, it refers to her lack of sex life. At the same time, Hattenhauer emphasizes that the redness of Mattie's cheeks means that she is replacing Zeenas sexual role as a wife in Ethan's life. Hattenhauer adds that the cucumber in the brine also suggests Ethan's sexuality.
This is a valid source because it is an academic article with formal language and persuasive appeals. Psychoanalysis is a valid and prominent analytical framework in literature. This source is relevant because it analyzes the theme of sexuality in Ethan Frome. I will be using this information to explore the theme of sexuality that is expressed through various symbols.
Morton-Mollo, Sherry. “Ethan Frome.” Masterplots II: Women’s Literature Series (Mar. 1995): 1-3. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. Literary Reference Center.
Morton-Mollo analyzes Ethan Frome as a “framework story” and from the viewpoint of feminism (1). The novel is a frame story because it comes from different sources and the “reader never knows the truth” directly from Ethan, Mattie, or Zeena (1). Morton-Mollo also says that Wharton uses irony as a literary device and as part of her world view. Irony exists when Ethan chooses “a death-in-life,” instead of leaving Zeena behind to be with Mattie (2). Furthermore, the article examines the gender roles in the novel. Morton-Mollo notes, nevertheless, that Wharton treats these gender issues in the periphery. The article also draws parallels between the characters and the “barren” countryside. Zeena and Ethan are cold and barren, for instance. Morton-Mollo further explores the use of contrasts to characterize irony.
This is a valid source because it is an academic article. The language and analysis follow a formal structure. Feminism and framework analyses are also valid analytical frameworks. This source is relevant because it analyzes the theme of gender roles and the use of irony in Ethan Frome. I will be using this article to explain the use of irony and symbolism in the novel.
Wendt, Tracy. “Body as Mentality in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome.” Atenea 25.2 (2005): 55-171. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. Literary Reference Center.
Wendt argues that Wharton uses the body as the main language of the characters, especially Ethan so that “simple” characters can depict a “complex” story (155). She compares the mute personality of Ethan with the “mute landscape” (155). Wendt stresses that the setting has greatly shaped Ethan's behavior. The “frozen environment” and demands of “hard labor” make the body aware of its physical needs more than its mental and emotional needs (155). In addition, the cold environment also impacts how people communicate with each other. Instead of conversations, people share silence and brevity (157).
This is a valid source because it is an academic article with a formal structure and well-written arguments. The article uses communication analysis to explore the characters goals and behaviors. This source is relevant because it helps readers understand how non-verbal communication and speech patterns impact peoples morality and behaviors. I will be using this article to explain the use of the body as a form of communication in the novel.