Create New Alice is planning something that will hurt Bob in some way. Even though she feels bad about it, she's decided to keep this a secret from Bob.
Plot[ edit ] The novel is framed by the literary device of an extended flashback. The prologue, which is neither named as such nor numbered, opens with an unnamed male narrator spending a winter in Starkfield while in the area on business.
He spots a limping, quiet man around the village, who is somehow compelling in his demeanor and carriage.
This is Ethan Frome, who is a local fixture of the community, having been a lifelong resident. Frome is described as "the most striking figure in Starkfield", "the ruin of a man" with a "careless powerful look…in spite of a lameness checking each step like the jerk of a chain". Curious, the narrator sets out to learn about him.
Chance circumstances arise that allow the narrator to hire Frome as his driver for a week. A severe snowstorm during one of their journeys forces Frome to allow the narrator to shelter at his home one night.
We then embark on the "first" chapter Chapter Iwhich takes place twenty-four years prior. The narration switches from the first-person narrator of the prologue to a limited third-person narrator.
Mattie is given the occasional night off to entertain herself in town as partial recompense for helping care for the Fromes, and Ethan has the duty of walking her home.
It is quickly clear that Ethan has deep feelings for Mattie. When Zeena leaves for an overnight visit to seek treatment for her various complaints and symptoms in a neighboring town, Ethan is excited to have an evening alone with Mattie.
During this evening, the narrator reveals small actions that show that they each have feelings for the other, including a lingering of touching hands on the milk jug, although neither openly declares their love. Ethan then goes into town to buy glue for the broken pickle dish, and upon his return finds that Zeena has also come home.
Zeena retreats upstairs, proclaiming her illness, and refusing supper because she is not hungry. There, she informs Ethan that she plans to send Mattie away and has already hired another girl to replace her, claiming that she needs someone more efficient because her health is failing more rapidly than ever.
Ethan is angry and frustrated to the point of panic by the thought of losing Mattie, and he is also worried for Mattie, who has no other place to go and no way to support herself in the world. Mattie reacts with shock but rapid acceptance, trying to calm Ethan, while Ethan becomes more agitated and begins to insist that he will not let her go.
Moments later, they are interrupted by Zeena, who has decided that she is hungry after all. After supper, Zeena discovers the broken pickle dish and is heartbroken and enraged; this betrayal cements her determination to send Mattie away.
Ethan, miserable at the thought of losing Mattie and worried sick about her fate, considers running away with Mattie, but he lacks the money to do so. He feels that he cannot abandon Zeena because he knows that she would neither be able to run the farm nor sell it the poor quality of the place has been discussed at several points in the story already.
Every plan he thinks of is impossible to carry out, and he remains in despair and frantically trying to think of a way to change this one more turn of events against his ability to have a happy life. The next morning, Zeena describes her specific and imminent plans for sending Mattie on her way.
Panicked, Ethan rushes into town to try to get a cash advance from a customer for a load of lumber in order to have the money with which to abscond with Mattie. Ethan returns to the farm and picks up Mattie to take her to the train station.
They stop at a hill upon which they had once planned to go sledding and decide to sled together as a way of delaying their sad parting, after which they anticipate never seeing each other again.
After their first run, Mattie suggests a suicide pact: Ethan regains consciousness after the accident but Mattie lies beside him, "cheeping" in pain like a small wounded animal.
Ethan is also injured, and the reader is left to understand that this was the "smash-up" that left Ethan with a permanent limp. The final chapter or epilogue again unnumbered like the prologueswitches back to the first-person narrator point of view of the prologue, as Frome and his visitor, the narrator, enter the Frome household two decades later.
The narrator hears a complaining female voice, and it is easy to assume that it belongs to the never-happy Zeena, but in the final twist of the story, it emerges that it is in fact Mattie, who now lives with the Fromes due to having been paralyzed in the accident.
Her misery over her plight and dependence has embittered and "soured" her, and, with roles reversed, Zeena is now forced to care for her as well as Ethan.In Edith Wharton’s powerful work Ethan Frome, she introduces two leading female characters and instantly creates a comparison of the two within the reader’s eyes.
This, not coincidentally, is the same comparison the protagonist Ethan constantly faces and struggles with throughout the novel.
A Comparison of Mattie and Zeena in Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton PAGES 1. WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: ethan frome, edith wharton, mattie and zeena. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University.
Exactly what I needed. ethan frome, edith wharton, mattie and zeena. Not sure what I'd. Ethan Frome In the novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome marries a woman who he is not completely in love with.
As life goes on, as a result, he falls in love with Mattie, Zeena’s cousin, when she comes to care for Zeena in her days of sickness. Essay A Comparison of the Women of Wharton and Deledda Two writers, both women, both from different backgrounds.
Edith Wharton was high society. Grazia Deledda was a commoner from another country. Though both wrote almost exclusively to their won regions, their portrayal of women was quite similar. In Wharton"s Ethan Frome she has two women, both distinct from one another. Set amidst the bleakness and desolation of a long New England winter, this dramatic tragedy is based on a novel by Edith Wharton and is set in the aptly named town of Starkwell during the 19th.
Compare & Contrast Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton Edith Wharton This Study Guide consists of approximately 60 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ethan Frome.