The Importance Of Irrational Decisions In Ethan Frome

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Throughout the novel “Ethan Frome”, many of the characters made irrational decisions. Quite a few of which impacted their daily life, for example Ethan’s decision to marry Zeena. Once Mattie moved into their home to carry out the housework Zeena was unable to complete due to her debilitating illness, Ethan developed feelings for her which only led to more chaos in their household. Their love blossomed into a greater intimacy than Ethan and Zeena’s marriage ever was. Not thinking logically, they pursued each other in the same house as Ethan’s wife. After making one climactic and final decision together, Mattie and Ethan received exactly the consequences they deserved, and gave Zeena precisely what she needed. In the Frome household, Ethan …show more content…

Once she passed, Zeena began exhibiting symptoms of some kind of illness, although she was never officially diagnosed with anything. She made frequent visits to doctors, but never returned home with any kind of medication or prescriptions. Additionally, on the back of the novel Zeena is described as a “hypochondriac” which is someone who has an obsession with a serious yet undiagnosed illness. That’s not to say Zeena’s symptoms never existed, hypochondria can cause symptoms of the perceived illness to manifest, she likely internalized the idea and began exhibiting the symptoms of her illusive illness. As a result, doctors told her to rest and not do any housework, which brought the need for someone to do it instead. However, once Mattie became paralyzed, Zeena suddenly was able to move around and tend to Mattie. Back when Zeena was taking care of Ethan’s mother, she never had issues with her health because she was preoccupied with someone else’s, she had a purpose, a reason to get up in the morning. Once she was gone, she had nothing to do in her day because Ethan was working all day. Now that Mattie needed constant attention and care, and Ethan can’t tend to her, Zeena suddenly found a purpose. Zeena didn’t necessarily “deserve” the responsibility of taking care of Mattie, but instead, it was what she

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