The Signs Of Love In Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

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The works of Edith Wharton have endured for years because of her ability to write themes that can relate to actual experiences by humans. While her novel is a depressing one, it is realistic enough that it can still happen in this day in age. One theme is love, it is seen well throughout the story. The main character, a lonely and isolated man, portrays many signs of love. In Ethan Frome, the theme of love is seen through the main character’s secrecy, craving for attention, and irrational actions. As the main character, Ethan Frome, spends time on his farm surrounded by no one, he has time to think. He discovers he is unhappy with his life and his wife Zeena. When Ethan starts talking to Zeena’s cousin, Mattie, he secretly learns to like her more than his own spouse. “You 're a bad girl, Mattie Silver, and I always known it. It 's the way your father begun, and I was warned of it when I took you, and I tried to keep my things where you couldn 't get at 'em-and now you 've took from me the one I cared for most of all-” (Wharton 65). Mattie played out a fantasy of her taking Zeena’s place as Ethan’s wife. When Mattie broke the pickle-dish, Ethan kept it a secret so his love wouldn’t get in trouble. “You can’t put her out of the house like a thief- a poor girl without friends or money. She’s done her best for you and she’s got no place to go to” (67). When Zeena found out, she was furious. She felt like Mattie purposely destroyed something she deeply cared about. After a

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