Сentral figure of the narrative. The narrator describes him as a tall man, with blue eyes and brown hair. He is a little over 50, but he looks much older - the whole face of Ethan suggests that life has hurt him greatly. There is a certain secret, which has pushed Ethan to the ground with a heavy load, so much so that he does not have enough strength to lift his head, to try to straighten his shoulders and continue his way.
He is an unsociable, silent, half-educated farmer. He lives by inertia: austere daily life, heavy peasant labor, a squalid house, the boredom of life and a lack of feelings. For many years, Ethan pulls the strap of a hateful life, and a ray of light appears in this darkness - a feeling of love for a young girl, a distant relative of his wife, who was sheltered in the house. However, Ethan Frome is a passive person who can not make a strong-willed decision and easily falls under the influence of others. You could even say - a coward. He is a person who is on the verge of poverty, who is bound by an unhappy marriage, who has nothing and no one, and, finally, a man whose dreams, by virtue of circumstances, went to pieces and he could not get out of this pool.
Ethan Frome in the Essays