Essay on Ethan Frome

Submitted By annielsanchez17
Words: 998
Pages: 4

Love? Many love but many hate. The setting in Ethan Frome affects the narrative of the story. Edith Wharton in Ethan Frome has the mood of being happy and angry, it affects the character Zeena, which makes love become the irony of the story. The setting that is put throughout the story of Ethan Frome is the season of winter that makes the mood become sad and angry. Zeena is always angry throughout the story. Throughout the story Zeena is angry because she knows that the only person she has is falling in love with her own cousin, as Ethan grows distance from her she starts to notice that her husband is growing closer to her own cousin Mattie Silver. Zeena begins to become angrier as the winter goes she is angry at the fact that she could be spending a nice day but instead she has to be home because she is sick and has to be watched by someone. Zeena does begin to obsess on what Ethan does when he is out with Mattie, she became so paranoid that he was going to do something to Mattie that he couldn’t do when she was around, so when Ethan and Mattie went out and came back home Zeena had locked them out she would always leave a key underneath the mat that was outside of the door and this time she did not leave it under there just to see what Ethan would do since the door was locked but little did she know that Ethan saw her shadow underneath the door. “Their arms had slipped apart and they stood motionless, each seeking to distinguish the others faces”(Wharton42) As the winter progresses Zeena becomes more depressed as Ethan doesn’t talk to her because he pays more attention to Mattie then he does to her. In some way Zeenas rage towards Mattie causes her to tell Ethan that the new doctor that she had went to go see recommended that she needs someone to help her with things around the house and to take care of her, Ethan refuses because he knows that he loves Mattie and he cannot let her go easily “He whispered, as though even the dead, lovers once, must conspire with him to keep her; and brushing the graves he thought: ‘We’ll always go on living here together, and some day she’ll lie there beside me’(Wharton45) The way that characters are set to say things changes the way that everything is told as discretion. Zeena is the one that is always affected by what Ethan does throughout the story. Zeena is sick and she hopes that she can be taken care of by Ethan because she feels as if he needs to pay her back in a way because she was the one that took care of his mother while she was still alive.

At the end of the story Zeena is affect by the way that they both try and commit suicide because that’s the only way that they could actually be together head stone by head stone, and if they lived they knew that they couldn’t have a chance of being together, after everything they got into a sled accident and they did not die they were both injured and after Zeena needing someone to take care of her she ended up taking care of both Mattie and Ethan because they were both hurt, Zeena took in Mattie when the doctors said it was okay for her to be moved locations “If it was good enough for Mattie I guss it’s good enough for a hired girl”(Wharton129)

Love becomes the irony in the story. Love is the irony because winter is cold and frail as of summer that is full of warmth and happiness, love should be in the