Ethan Frome1




Shalayne Manibusan
November 3, 2000
World Literature
Book Report #1

“Ethan Frome”
A man has been through much drama in his life. In Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome it shows how Ethan’s parents fall ill and die, he then marries an older cousin, Zenobia, because he did not want to be lonely and she was the only one available it is an unhappy marriage right from the start. But a young cousin of Zenobia comes to live at the farm and that’s when the whole love triangle starts. At the very end, Ethan and Mattie decide that the only way they can be together is if they commit suicide going down the hill on the sled aiming for a tree. But they end up surviving it. Mattie is paralyzed from the accident and ends up staying in Starkfield, while Ethan becomes depressed and lives in anger and hate. Zeena, Ethan’s wife takes care of Mattie. So the three all live in agony and are miserable.
To understand this story, you must think of the situation that they were in. First of all, Ethan was involved in a marriage, which was unhappy. His wife was stubborn and very blunt. On the other hand, there was her cousin that was living with them and she was everything that the wife wasn’t. Now Mattie, Zeena’s cousin, and Ethan develop great feelings for each other over the year of her stay, which can not be explained. The only way out of the situation was for Mattie and Ethan to commit suicide. Ethan was stuck. He couldn’t possibly leave his wife for Mattie because he had no money and she was sick. So they, Mattie and Ethan, decided to sled down the hill and aim for the tree. They did. But it was only tragedy. They both ended up surviving. In the book, the writer said that it would’ve been better if Mattie did not survive. It only made matters worst. The three lived together in the household, which you can only imagine being miserable. Ethan was full of pity, Zeena was full of hate, and Mattie was not the sweet, happy girl she use to be, she too became miserable. Mrs. Hale finally got to see everything that had happened and understood why Mr. Frome was the way he acts.
So therefore, this book was romantic but miserable. Living the life Ethan Frome lived in to me would be agonizing. It’s tormenting just to live in that household in which the three are.




Bibliography: