Ethan Frome Critical Analysis

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Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, tells the story of a love triangle between Ethan Frome, Zeena Frome, and Mattie Silver. The book was set in the imaginary town of Starkfield, Massachusetts. The story starts with a flashback from an unknown narrator who is friends with Ethan Frome; he tells the readers that Zeena’s cousin, Mattie, is coming to the Frome household to care for the house while Zeena is sick. When Zeena leaves town for a visit to the doctor, Mattie and Ethan are home alone and begin to get to know each other better. Zeena becomes suspicious of the two and wants Mattie to leave their house, and get a replacement maid that was recommended by the doctor. The ending of the story ends in an unpredicted way; Ethan and Mattie try to commit suicide by running themselves into an elm tree while coasting. The attempt was a failure and Zeena was stuck caring for the two instead of her being the sick one. Wharton portrays the disastrous fate of the characters fairly in Ethan Frome because Ethan regrets marrying his wife after meeting…show more content…
Mattie came to their house with the intentions of caring for the house and for sick Zeena, who happens to be Mattie’s cousin. Mattie wasn’t very good at her housekeeping job, Zeena still felt the need to do some things around the house. Mattie got on Zeena’s last nerve when Zeena saw Ethan and Mattie going out together when she was about to go to sleep. Once Zeena left town, it gave Mattie and Ethan a chance to spend time together. Though Mattie was a quiet person, it was clear that she liked Ethan. Mattie’s began to feel more comfortable around Ethan; while coasting close to the elm tree on her “last” day in Starkfield, she said “I told you I was never scared with you [Ethan]”. This quote shows that Mattie enjoys being in Ethan’s company and really trusts
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