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    responsibility. He marries Zeena after the death of his mother, in an unsuccessful attempt to escape silence, isolation, and loneliness. Ethan also feels the responsibility to marry Zeena as a way to compensate her for giving up part of her life to nurse his mother. After marring Zeena he forgets his hope of every continuing his education and he is now forced to remain married to someone he does not truly love. Several Years after their marriage, cousin Mattie Silver is asked to relieve Zeena, who is constantly

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    The Passive and Pitiful Ethan Frome

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    Ethan Frome Ethan Frome is a man torn between what he wants to do, and what he should do.  Life in a rural town can be tough, but when faced with complications, it can be almost unbearable.  When Ethan decides to marry his distant cousin, Zeena, his life turns down a long and lonesome road.  Ethan's lack of assertiveness and decisive action only worsens his already lonesome and stressful life. Though too intelligent for rural life, Ethan finds himself stuck in an average man's

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    of life in Starksville. When his mother died leaving Zeena without a place to go, Ethan, being the kind man he was, offered to marry her because he felt obligated to do so. This decision however shut out his hopes for a better life. In order for Ethan to get an education he must have money. In order for Ethan to get money he must sell the farm. And with a new wife to take care of he could not possibly manage it. Ethan's decision to marry Zeena had fettered his social mobility and had brought about

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    Ethan Frome: A Zenobic Paradox There is a well-known expression that states, “There are two sides to every coin.“ This is no different when it comes to Mrs. Frome. She is either Zeena, a mean, cruel hag or Zenobia, a munificent, compassionate woman. In the book Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, Zeena is described as thin and hard. While in the short story Zenobia by Gina Berrault, Zenobia is described as slender, and gentle. There are two different “Zenobias” depicted and they are very paradoxical

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    Zeena Quotes

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    mother” (Wharton 46). This section of the book fixed my perception of Zeena. As I begun reading I thought Zeena was just simply an ill wife, with her hard-working husband. While Ethan battles his feelings for Mattie, I was angry. This is based on how I was raised, I was angry that Ethan liked another while his own wife struggled with her own health. I thought he could do more to help his wife. The quote shocked me, I didn’t think of Zeena like this. I thought of her as a sickly, caring wife. I was wrong

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    Zeena and Mattie

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    comparison the protagonist Ethan constantly faces and struggles with throughout the novel. On one hand, Zenobia, commonly called Zeena, Frome has been a long-standing part of Ethan’s life. Years of marriage, although not always happy, combined with her always declining health, cause Ethan to feel indebted and sympathetic towards her. While, on the other, Mattie Silver, a relative of Zeena walks into the life of the Frome’s, and with her brings a new feeling of life and vitality to which Ethan has never experienced

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    Isolation in Ethan Frome Ethan Frome is a story of ill-fated love, set during the winter in the rural New England town of Starkfield. Ethan is a farmer who is married to a sickly woman named Zeena. The two live in trapped, unspoken resentment on Ethan's isolated and failing farm. Ethan has been caring for his wife for six years now. Due to Zeena's numerous complications they employ her cousin to help in the house, the animated Mattie Silver. With Mattie's youthful presence in the house, Ethan

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    story behind the enigmatic man. What he discovers is a tragic tale of human suffering, an excellent example of tragic irony. Ethan was married to a cold complaining woman named Zenobia, nicknamed Zeena. His only joy in life was Zeena's younger cousin Mattie Silver, who stays with them as help for Zeena in her illness. Ethan grows to love Mattie. When Mattie is forced to leave by Zenobia, Ethan discovers that Mattie shares his love. However the two cannot find a way to escape the town they live in

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    seclusion. Twenty-eight year old Ethan feels trapped in his hometown of Starkfield, Massachusetts.  He marries thirty-four year old Zeena after the death of his mother, "in an unsuccessful attempt to escape the silence, isolation, and loneliness of life" (Lawson 71). Several years after their marriage, cousin Mattie Silver is asked to relieve Zeena, a gaunt and sallow hypochondriac, of her household duties.  Ethan finds himself falling in love with Mattie, drawn to her youthful energy

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    Mattie are both believably in love and Ethan's desperation grips the reader. Zeena, I think, is the most well described of them all. She is reality itself--beyond love, beyond fate, and it is she who outlasts them all. Although I think I fell in love with both Mattie and Ethan in this story and was feeling that intense love and pain of impending separation in their last moments together, the realist in me loved the ending! Zeena, the old witch, the nagging and cunning negative hag, is the one who is the

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    life. Early in the novel, Ethan's passiveness and lack of self-confidence, allow his wife Zeena to emasculate him, as well as make him emotionally inarticulate toward Mattie. Once Mattie Silvers enters Ethan's life, she awakens in Ethan the bitterness of his youth's lost opportunities, and a dissatisfaction with his joyless life and empty marriage. Gradually, Ethan strengthens and gathers the courage to defy Zeena and confess his love for Mattie. At the start of his journey, Ethan surrenders himself

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    Codependency in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

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    describes Ethan's actions as follows: "Lowered head he went up in his wife's wake"(28).  Ethan's own words show his dependence on Zeena and on his reliance on her to make all the decisions in the house. His constant pattern of yielding to her is a telltale sign of his inability to run his life.  Another example of Ethan's dependence is how he only fights Zeena over one issue, Mattie.  However, in this instance ... ... middle of paper ... ...ever, illustrate the possible consequences of

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    all, Ethan’s wife, Zeena, has become a burden on Ethan psychologically and finacially.  Zeena seems to have a form of paranoia that makes her think she is much sicker than she actually is.  This problem has gotten to Ethan at many points in the book.  She has also become a finacial burden on Ethan because of her almost monthy commutes to Bettsbridge, where she sees a doctor about her failing health.  In Ethan Frome, Zeena seems to be the one that is always oppressing Ethan.  Zeena never lets Ethan

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    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

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    field. Ethan was also sad that he had to come home every night to a woman who didn’t love him. Zeena was a self-absorbed woman whose only happiness came from other’s grief. The moment she left town every minute of Ethan’s life became better. The thought of Zeena even made him jump as shown in this quotation: “Ethan, a moment earlier, had felt himself on the brink of eloquence; but the mention of Zeena had paralyzed him” (84). Ethan was also sad because he couldn’t run away with Mattie and live in

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    the harshness and despair of winter, first brought up in the prologue, is present in every aspect of this book. Winter describes the character of Zeena as well as the character of Ethan after the "smash up" which contrasts that of Mattie, Ethan's true love. It is also used to illustrate the themes of silence and isolation, and darkness and despair. Zeena is a character often portrayed using harsh winter imagery. She is characterized as controlling, insensitive, and rather unattractive. This is evident

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    Wharton, Gaines and Hawthorne all use various language devices to accentuate the gain of dignity and respect through moral struggle. In Ethan Frome, Wharton uses symbols and archetypes to create Ethan’s anguish to his moral obligation to his wife Zeena which keeps him from his true love, Mattie. His moral prison is established with the headstone of another Ethan Frome and his wife that bores that they “dwelled together in peace for fifty years,” which interests Ethan (Frome 66). Later on, his own

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    Poverty in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome Poverty is defined as deficiency, or inadequacy. It can be used to represent more than just the lack of money. Poverty is constant throughout the novel, Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton. Poverty is evident in almost every area of Ethan's life. First of all, obviously, Ethan lacked money. His farm squeezed out just enough money to keep him and his household going. On page 133, Ethan is thinking of selling his property, but then he remembers its condition

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    Ethan Frome - Realism

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    is not much in the town that is of interest or anything extravagant to be known for. In addition, literature from Romanticism focused on hopes, while Realistic literature illustrated skepticism and doubt. The narrator describes the scene where Zeena declares to Ethan that her sickness is getting serious, saying, "She continued to gaze at him ...

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    but after, with Ethan only able to do a little work, they were poorer than ever. Never a social man, Ethan cut off the few relationships that he had maintained so his old friends would not see his poverty. The townspeople speak of Ethan, Mattie, and Zeena in the past tense, just like they refer to dead people. When Mrs. Ned Hale talks about Ethan and Mattie she said, "Yes, I knew them both ... it was awful.." Ethan even talks about himself in the past tense. When asked if science interested him he replied

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