He is unable to express his affection in words or action. Lenox is also where Wharton had traveled extensively and had come into contact with at least one of the victims of the accident; victims of the accident are buried in graves nearby Wharton family members. How does the Narrator deal with the story now? A severe snowstorm during one of their journeys forces Frome to allow the narrator to shelter at his home one night. It is among the few works by Wharton with a rural setting. Ethan's thoughts are sometimes imprecise and irrational — they too often consist of illusions or half-truths rather than clear intuitions or reasoned conclusions. According to Ethan's perspective, Mattie is the happy opposite of the cold and complaining Zeena. How do Wharton's descriptions mirror Ethan's state of mind and foreshadow the end? Can the reader trusts what he tells us? Mattie interprets Ethan's comment about the fact that she might want to marry Eady to mean that Zeena wants her gone.
How are the two women contrasted psychologically? Is this a problem for the society as a whole, or is it, instead, simply a problem for Ethan and his family? Why can this chapter be considered the climax of the novel? What traits in Ethan's character are emphasized?. You've come to the right place. It is also ironic as Mattie seems to be his one reason to live and he is going to take her away. It appears that Zeena wields some kind of power over Ethan. He has the same thought when he cannot find the back-door key and thinks that tramps might have broken into the house. Feeling shy because of his recollections of Zeena and his reaction to Mattie's attentions to Eady, Ethan decides to test Mattie and see if she will ride home with Eady.
To describe the house, she uses the colour red a lot, especially when referring to Mattie. Is the tone celebratory, disdainful, or somewhere in between? Chance circumstances arise that allow the narrator to hire Frome as his driver for a week. In colloquial usage the words denote that she felt ill, but there is an ironic connotation of Zeena's vindictiveness intended as well. In a way this comment forebodes what is yet to come, and highlights the conflict between Ethan and Zeena, and also Ethan against himself. However, the problems that the characters endure are still consistently the same, where the protagonist has to decide whether or not to fulfill their duty or follow their heart. How is the setting itself a foreshadowing? She would read portions of her novel-in-progress each day to her good friend Walter Berry, who was an international lawyer.
Wharton learned of the accident from one of the girls who survived, Kate Spencer, when the two became friends while both worked at the. There are a number of potential assessment activities for this lesson plan. How are the characters and the setting intertwined? At this point in the novel, it is the first confrontation where Zeena plainly states that she wants to get rid of Mattie and there is a subtle connotation here that indicates that Zeena knows what is going on and is definately going to do something about it, i. Wharton probably didn't pull this love triangle business out of her hat, either. As Wharton began her career, the realist school that had so dominated American fiction since the Civil War was just beginning to give way to the rising stars of literary naturalism. The fears that Ethan forces on himself are an example of his use of self-illusion as an escape.
How is Zeena's reaction to Mattie's departure a contrast to Ethan's? She is also reliant on her cousin to allow her board and work. As the story opens, Wharton continues the imagery and symbolism of the winter setting in Starkfield. Wharton reveals important aspects of Ethan's character and introduces readers to Zeena and 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. What does the name Starkfield suggest about the setting? When Zeena opens the back door, Ethan really sees her for the first time.
He realizes that, of all people, he cannot cheat this kindly woman and her husband out of money, since she is one of the few people who have ever seemed to have seen or openly acknowledged Ethan's lifelong plight, as well as his honor in fulfilling his duties. What is the significance of the missing L structure on the farm? She is full of kindness although she manages to bring out the dominance in men. Introducing Ethan Turn to the introductory chapter of Ethan Frome and, if time allows, read it aloud with students alternatively, have them read it the night before. What will his decision to remain with Zeena do to Mattie? Glossary Dipper the Big Dipper; a dipper-shaped group of stars in the constellation Ursa Major Orion an equatorial constellation between Taurus and Lepus, containing the bright stars Rigel and Betelgeuse peristyle a row of columns forming an enclosure or supporting a roof declivity a downward slope or sloping, as of a hill vexed to give trouble to, esp. Because people seem not to wish to speak other than in vague and general terms about Frome's past, the narrator's curiosity grows, but he learns little more. 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. Romantic love, as idealized for us by our forefathers, has long ago gone into bankruptcy.
The setting itself is foreshadowing as it is often gray and bleak and only sometimes it has has a beauty that seems to juxtapose the lackluster of the village; Ethan is stuck in a prison of which he sees the beauty and wonder of the world as if its taunting him. The closest Ethan can come to telling Mattie how he feels is to pull her to him and whisper that they will always be together. What is Ethan Frome About and Why Should I Care? Also the way he sees the world changes as a result of her closeness. How has the evening without Zeena altered Ethan's perception of his daily routine? He also has a desperate need to feel loved by someone and to feel excepted. Otherwise, encourage students to pay close attention to the qualities of regionalist literature as discussed above. Think 's where things come back from the dead altered, yet gruesomely recognizable meets 's where characters are marked physically by their infidelities.
It also emphasizes how immature Ethan actually is even though. 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 Zeena's soul provider; he earns all the money, he maintains the farm, he looks after Zeena when she's ill, and he is practically the one person who is keeping her alive. Students will likely bring up issues such as free choice or lack thereof and personal agency, peer pressure, public versus private, personal versus social roles and responsibilities, and any number of others. In contrast to Zeena, Mattie has a sensitive nature and is able to communicate with Ethan and Ethan with her. They are purposely ambiguous and seem to try and forget that Ethan's story ever happened. This novella is one of Wharton's most famous stories, in part because of its extremely raw portrait of the poverty-stricken residents of the fictional town of Starkfield, Massachusetts.