Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton Essay

1037 Words Feb 5th, 2015 5 Pages
Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton is a tragic novella following Ethan Frome as he attempts to express his feelings for the one he truly loves, Mattie Silver. Ethan, however, is already married and feels obligated to care for his wife, Zeena. Over their 7 year marriage, Zeena has fallen perpetually ill and requires more aid than Ethan can give. In order to provide her the help she needs, they hire Mattie Silver, Zeena’s cousin. Zeena’s illness harks back to Ethan’s mother’s illness, from which Zeena was hired to help. Upon Zeena caring for Ethan’s mother, Ethan felt indebted to her and therefore married her. Because of this obligation, Ethan fails to convey his affections to Mattie multiple times. With each failure, however, Ethan’s feelings for Mattie appear to grow stronger, as well as her’s for him. Zeena, however, begins to realize their feelings for one another and subsequently fires Mattie. While bringing Mattie to the train, after departing from home for the final time, Ethan sees a sled beneath a tree. Ethan, inspired by the passion of the moment, decides to take Mattie sledding down a nearby hill. However, Upon reaching the bottom, Ethan and Mattie are “struck” by the reality of no longer being together and decide to do something both drastic and unnecessary, commit suicide by sledding into a tree. However, their attempted suicide fails, leaving both Ethan and Mattie severely crippled. On account of this, Ethan is forced to live out the rest of his days caring for both…

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