Moments later, they are interrupted by Zeena, who has decided that she is hungry after all. And the fact that he was stuck there used to make him depressed, but now that Mattie is living with them he is content to spend the rest of his days in Starkfield, as long as she is with him. Wharton likely based the story of Ethan and Mattie's sledding experience on an accident that she had heard about in 1904 in. Ethan makes an excuse - getting cash for the lumber they have - not to drive Zeena to the train station. Ethan goes to see Andrew Hale to see if Hale can give him money for the lumber, but Hale refuses. They decide to go sledding, something they had planned on but had never gotten around to.
She began writing Ethan Frome in the early 1900s when she was still married. During this evening, the narrator reveals small actions that show that they each have feelings for the other, including a lingering of touching hands on the milk jug, although neither openly declares their love. 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. They both agree that their lives are not worth living if they are separated. GradeSaver, 26 November 2000 Web.
By nature grave and inarticulate, he admired recklessness and gaiety in others and was warmed to the marrow by friendly human intercourse. This thought of not knowing haunts Ethan and is why he can never bring himself to say these things. If the product is purchased by linking through, Literary Ladies Guide receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing! These significant quotes spoken by Ruth Hale, the character in the book that knows the Fromes better than anyone else in Starkfield, sheds light the Fromes fate. He can still love her and not have a physical relationship. Ethan is furious, and in this quote the reader can see years of built up anger, frustration, and resentment suddenly pour out.
Mattie suggests that they throw themselves in the path of the elm tree. Then he understood that it must be in pain: pain so excruciating that he seemed, mysteriously, to feel it shooting through his own body. Archived from on May 19, 2011. Mattie and Ethan wish to remain loyal to Zeena, and not give into their own wishes. Ethan is even more attracted to Mattie, whose appearance is heightened by the red ribbon in her hair. At times, looking at Zeena's shut face, he felt the chill of such forebodings.
The closest town to the plant is Starksfield, and there the narrator gets a taste of life in rural New England. Other possibilities had been in him, possibilities sacrificed, one by one, to Zeena's narrow-mindedness and ignorance. Not many people go to the Frome farm anymore; Mrs. That night, Ethan kisses Mattie for the first time. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. His son seemed likely to follow in his steps, and was meanwhile applying the same arts to the conquest of the Starkfield maidenhood. Now she had mastered him and he abhorred her.
After about a week of riding with Frome, a terrible blizzard makes the trek all the way back to the narrator's home impossible. Their walks together are some of Ethan's happiest moments, but he has never really considered acting on his feelings. For years that quiet company had mocked his restlessness, his desire for change and freedom. But the suicide attempt is unsuccessful. Then when his wife became more and more sickly, it became out of the question for Ethan to ever get away for Starkfield.
Zeena helped to brighten up Ethan's life during the winter his mother passed away. Ethan then goes into town to buy glue for the broken pickle dish, and upon his return finds that Zeena has also come home. They hit the elm tree with an unexpected result: they are both severely injured, but survive the crash. With no education or job skills, Mattie is forced to rely on the charity of her relatives, performing menial work in return for room and board. He looked at her hair and longed to touch it again, and to tell her that is smelt of the woods; but he had never learned to say such things. She has already hired a new girl to come and help with the housework, and she plans to send Mattie packing.
His mother was ill, and his cousin Zeena came to care for her. I simply felt that he lived in a depth of moral isolation too remote for casual access, and I had the sense that his loneliness was not merely the result of his personal plight, tragic as I guessed that to be, but had in it, as Harmon Gow had hinted, the profound accumulated cold of many Starkfield winters. Ethan and Mattie are both horribly crippled and Zeena is stuck taking care of them. On the way down, a vision of Zeena's face startles Ethan into swerving a bit, but he corrects their course, and they crash headlong and at high speed into the elm tree. But Zeena is adamant, and her decision is final. But, Ethan's misfortune with Starkfield winters began the very year when he asked Zeena to stay. He was planning to take advantage of the Hales' sympathy to obtain money from them on false pretences.