What is the symbolism in Ethan Frome?
The bleak and snowy landscape of Starkfield in New England, the references to being trapped or tied up, and the numerous images of darkness and blackness all represent the emotional repression of the main character, Ethan Frome, who wishes for a life of passion and love but cannot escape from his loveless marriage to …
Why had Ethan planted geraniums during the summer?
The sun slanted through the south window on the girl’s moving figure, on the cat dozing in a chair, and on the geraniums brought in from the door-way, where Ethan had planted them in the summer to “make a garden” for Mattie.
What does the sawmill represent in Ethan Frome?
The sawmill, a machine that processes wood for a variety of uses, stands in stark opposition to the natural beauty around it. Ethan, with his deep love for nature seems an unlikely mill operator, which is probably a factor in his lack of success with it.
What does winter symbolize in Ethan Frome?
Winter is also symbolic of the isolation, loneliness, and immobility that Ethan experiences. The image of the butterfly, which has defied the cold and death of winter symbolizes freedom; freedom that Ethan is unable to attain because he is trapped in a loveless marriage.
Why did Ethan marry Zeena?
Ethan married Zeena because he was afraid of silence, just as his mother was. The Fromes appear to suffer from a fear of loneliness, which causes them to make poor decisions.
How is the ending of Ethan Frome ironic?
The most obvious examples are found within the ending of the novel. It is great situational irony that Ethan intends to commit suicide with Mattie, but ends up merely crippling both of them. This seems worse than death, especially considering the ironic change in Mattie’s behavior.
Does Ethan Frome kiss Mattie?
Yes, Ethan kisses Mattie near the end of the novel. He is supposed to be transporting her to the train station, but he takes a side route so they can…
Does Mattie really love Ethan?
Mattie in Love As a young woman, Mattie seems to be truly in love with Ethan. Everything from turning down Denis Eady to declaring her love indicates that her affection for Ethan is sincere.
Does Ethan Frome die?
There are two endings in Ethan Frome. The first is right after Mattie and Ethan crash into the elm tree, at the end of Chapter 9. The second ending happens at the end of the Epilogue, 24 years later. It is this second ending that makes the story brilliant, but also earns it a high rating on our creepy-meter.
Are Ethan and Zeena cousins?
Yes, Ethan and Zeena are cousins. They first met when Zeena came to Starkfield to help look after Ethan’s sickly mother.
Is Zeena sick?
She is asthmatic and “sickly.” She speaks in a plaintive, whiny drawl. Zeena is seven years older than Ethan. Over the years Zeena becomes adept at using her illnesses to control everyone and everything in her environment. Her illness is the reason why Mattie must go and a hired housekeeper must come to take her place.
Do Mattie and Ethan end up together?
At the time of the Epilogue, she has lived with the Fromes and been cared for by Zeena for over twenty years. Mattie has become querulous, whining, and petulant. The beautiful, sensitive, and loving girl that Ethan fell in love with, in a sense, did die the night of the smash-up.
Why does Ethan regret lying to Zeena?
Because he didn’t want to drive Zeena to the Junction, he lied to her, saying he needed to pick up money from Andrew Hale but that Jotham Powell would drive her. After Zeena leaves, Ethan leaves the house also to take his load of lumber to Andrew Hale.
Did Ethan die at the end of Ethan Frome?
Instead of finding escape in suicide, he and Mattie have ended up in a state of living death, in which all Mattie’s vitality has been leeched away, and she has transformed into a carbon copy of her former opposite, Zeena.
How old is Zeena Frome?
35 years old
Did Ethan Ever Love Zeena?
There we understand that Zeena does love Ethan (though she doesn’t know how to show it) and does want to be his wife. At this moment we can see clearly just how broken her dreams are, just how badly things have gone for her.
What is Zeena’s full name?
What kind of woman is Zeena?
Zenobia Frome (Zeena) Ethan’s wife and Mattie’s cousin. She is a hypochondriac, constantly suffering from a variety of physical ailments. She is a cold, unhappy, domineering woman who whines and complains incessantly. After Ethan and Mattie’s sledding accident, she cares for them and runs the household.
How does Zeena treat Mattie?
Zeena treated Mattie well but kept on wanting to find faults in her work. “Zenobia, though doubtful of the girl’s efficiency, was tempted by the freedom to find fault without much risk of losing her; and so Mattie came to Starkfield.”6.)
What does Ethan lie about?
At the last minute, in order to buy more time with Mattie, Ethan lies to Zeena—he says he needs to collect payment for the delivery of lumber from his mill to Andrew Hale, a builder in Starkfield, and that therefore Jotham Powell, the hired man, will have to take Zeena to the train.