This book is a good one to read if you live with someone who has also read it. Wow! 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. Summary Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and Analysis. When I was a teen I sure as hell didn't let my parents see what I was reading. Where did this come from? Just when you think that it's safe to kiss someone you're not married to, just then, disaster lurks barely a sledge ride away! The connection between land and people is very much a part of naturalism; the environment is a powerful shaper of man's fate, and the novel dwells insistently on the cruelty of Starkfield's winters. Zeena, not a beauty, likes nursing sick people, the capable woman knows what to do, unlike the hapless Frome, but soon develops a strange illness herself, while idle, seeing many doctors, they tell her what she wants to hear, given some pills, advice and then off to another one. A severe snowstorm during one of their journeys forces Frome to allow the narrator to shelter at his home one night. Ethan Frome takes place against a backdrop of the cold, gray, bleakness of a New England winter. Moments later, they are interrupted by Zeena, who has decided that she is hungry after all. It is quickly clear that Ethan has deep feelings for Mattie. I somehow always feel I must assign many types of superlatives to the magnificent & spectacular Edith Wharton! The narrator hears a complaining female voice, and it is easy to assume that it belongs to the never-happy Zeena, but in the final twist of the story, it emerges that it is in fact Mattie, who now lives with the Fromes due to having been paralyzed in the accident. “I want to put my hand out and touch you. Wharton was always careful to label Ethan Frome as a tale rather than a novel. The unhappy marriage and subsequent love affair mirrored Wharton's own life. The framing story concerns an unnamed male narrator spending a winter in Starkfield while in the area on business. She is that great. Kate Spencer suffered from a hip injury in the accident and also had facial injuries. Why was "Ethan Frome" chosen as assigned reading? I adore this slim tom. & it has the type of invigorating force that compels the reader to do his one job and do it good. When I was a teen I sure as hell didn. I hope things have changed since.  Trilling wrote that the ending is "terrible to contemplate," but that "the mind can do nothing with it, can only endure it. Welcome back. Ethan returns to the farm and picks up Mattie to take her to the train station. " Edith Wharton was able to write an appealing book and separate it from her other works, where her characters in Ethan Frome are not of the elite upper class. He begins to daydream, neglects his not prosperous farm and negligible mill, thinking about pleasant thoughts, their few walks and rides together... bliss. Wharton cripples Mattie, says Lilburn, but has her survive in order to demonstrate the cruelty of the culture surrounding women in that period. In the morning Ethan's hopes for more private time with Mattie are foiled by the presence of his hired man. It seems like every other popular novel on goodreads has someone asking this question about it. Ethan Frome is an isolated farmer trying to scrape out a meager living while also tending to his frigid, demanding and ungrateful wife, Zeena. It is likely that the accident in the story is based on a real life incident that occurred in Lenox, Massachusetts in 1904 when five children were killed when they crashed into a lamppost while sliding down Courthouse Hill.
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