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Ethan Frome Plot Summary A labor negotiator who serves as the narrator of this story is working in sleepy, slow-paced Starkfield, Massachusetts, a small town that seems to be perpetually

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Alt 22.01.10, 21:25
ghostgirl - ait kullanıcı resmi (Avatar)
Genel Yönetici
 
Üyelik tarihi: Jan 2008
Nereden: Mersin
İletiler: 13.530
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Standart Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome

Plot Summary

A labor negotiator who serves as the narrator of this story is working in sleepy, slow-paced Starkfield, Massachusetts, a small town that seems to be perpetually buried under two feet of snow. An intelligent, educated man who is interested in science and engineering, he is also fascinated by one of the town's citizens, Ethan Frome, a silent, introspective man whose once-powerful frame seems to have been worn down over time by the bitter cold and utter loneliness of living through countless Starkfield winters. After asking some of the townspeople about Ethan, he discovers that Ethan's parents had died and left him a dilapidated farm, which he has struggled to maintain after surviving a near-fatal sledding accident over twenty years before. Ethan offers to take the narrator to work every day on his sled, and although he finds it hard to break down Ethan's guard, he slowly finds out more and more about him. They both share an interest in science and engineering, and Ethan even shows him his decrepit farm. One day, a particularly bad snowstorm hits Starkfield, and Ethan offers the narrator a night in his home. As they enter the home, they both hear a querulous, whiny voice coming from inside the kitchen.
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The story flashes back to over twenty years before the narrator meets Ethan. Ethan is 28 years old and has come to the town hall to pick up his wife's cousin from a dance. Ethan's wife, Zeena, is a hypochondriac who had taken care of his parents when they had been ill. When they had died, Zeena, who had once been a healthy, efficient, and skilled caregiver, became ill herself, and Ethan then had to take care of the farm and of his sickly, complaining wife. Ethan's life of misery dramatically changes when Mattie Silver, Zeena's second cousin, comes to live with them and to take care of her. Mattie, an orphan whose father had wronged his family members, has no place else to go, and even though she eagerly wants to help Zeena, she cannot because she has little knowledge of household management skills.
Ethan falls in love with Mattie and feels inspired and charged by her vitality, curiosity, and enthusiasm. In contrast to the cynical, caustic Zeena, Mattie is fascinated by everything in the world and rejuvenates Ethan, whose own spirit and energy had been eroded by the bareness of a long life in Starkfield. Ethan, however, keeps his feelings hidden because he is afraid of both Zeena and of the town's reaction, and he does not even know if Mattie returns those feelings for him. As he watches her dancing inside the town hall with Denis Eady, the young man whom many speculate will soon propose to her, jealousy erupts inside him. He remains hidden while Mattie leaves the dance and watches in delight as she refuses a ride home from Denis Eady in his father's cutter. When he surprises Mattie by suddenly falling into step with her, he is secretly pleased and excited by her gratitude and happiness. During their slow, intimate walk home together through a clear, cold Starkfield night, the two grow closer together, and Ethan falls even more deeply in love with her spunk and her wit.
One day, Zeena decides to travel to another town in order to see a doctor, and Ethan and Mattie are left alone for the night. Mattie has fixed a special dinner for the two of them and has put a scarlet ribbon, the color associated with her, in her hair. With a few moments of awkwardness and tension brought about by reminders of Zeena's presence, Ethan and Mattie enjoy an intimate, comfortable evening together that creates an even more dramatic contrast in Ethan's eyes between Mattie and Zeena.
During their dinner, the cat accidentally breaks a red pickle-dish that Zeena had treasured and hidden. Mattie is distraught because she had taken the dish out of hiding in order to make their dinner more special, but Ethan reassures her that he will be able to fix it with glue the next day and puts the plate back on its secret shelf, putting the broken shards together so that no one would be able to tell from a distance that it is broken. Their night together ends, and as Ethan goes to bed, he realizes that he is extremely happy even though he had not even touched her hand.
The next day, Ethan tries to find glue to repair the dish before Zeena returns, but it takes him too long to find the glue. By the time that he gets back to the farm, Zeena has already come home and announces to him that the doctor had ordered her to employ a hired girl so that Zeena would not have to lift a finger around the house. When Ethan protests, telling her that they couldn't possibly afford to hire someone, she tells him that since Mattie will be leaving the house, there will be one less mouth to feed. Ethan, who is furious that Zeena would send Mattie away, remains silent because he has never been able to stand up to Zeena. He goes downstairs and passionately tells Mattie that he will not let her go, and Mattie bursts into tears, realizing that Zeena means to send her away.
At supper that night, Zeena decides to go to her secret hiding place in order to find an old medicine of hers, and she discovers that her pickle-dish has been broken. Mattie confesses to breaking the dish the night before, and Zeena explodes and tells her that she knew that she should have never taken her in and that people had advised her not to. Ethan, upset by this exchange between the two, retreats to his private parlor and tries to devise a plan so that he and Mattie could stay together. He concocts a wild idea to elope with Mattie to the West and leave Zeena with the farm, and he even begins to write a "Dear John" letter to Zeena, telling her that he is sorry that he and Mattie have gone away together. But he then realizes that they could never even find enough money to go to the West and that Zeena could certainly not take care of the farm by herself. Completely hopeless, he realizes that there is no way out of the situation and that he must go along with what Zeena has commanded.
The next day, Ethan rebels against Zeena's desires and announces that he, and not his hired man, Jotham Powell, will take Mattie to the train station. On the way to the station, Ethan wants to tell her how he feels but is too unsure of her feelings for him that he checks himself from confessing. They drive past Shadow Pond, where there had once been a church picnic that Mattie had invited Ethan to, but he had refused to come. In the end, though, Ethan came to the picnic and surprised her, and as they travel slowly and sadly to the train station, they recall that picnic. Mattie, overcome with emotion, reveals the letter that he had begun to write to Zeena and asks him what he had intended to do. They confess their love for each other, and Ethan impulsively decides to take her on the sled ride that he had always promised to take her on. They safely make it through a first run, and Mattie suddenly proposes that they make another sled run - with the exception that this time, they purposely hit the big elm at the bottom of the slope so that they will not have to leave each other and will spend the rest of eternity together. They do, indeed, hit the elm, but they both survive.
The story flashes ahead to the decrepit, shabby Frome kitchen, where the middle-aged Ethan and the narrator are standing. In the story's big surprise ending, it turns out that the whiny, querulous woman who had been speaking when they had come in is Mattie Silver, who had been left handicapped by the accident, and the tall woman who is tending to her is Zeena. Ethan introduces the two to the narrator, who realizes the utter misery and loneliness that must oppress the three of them, who will be sitting together in a cold, dark kitchen for the rest of their lives. Ethan even seems embarrassed about his threadbare kitchen, and gives an apologetic look to the narrator, who begins to piece together the details of Ethan's tragic life.
The narrator returns to his temporary home the next day and tells Mrs. Hale, with whom he is lodging, and he tells her about his overnight stay at the Frome farm. Mrs. Hale reveals her own account of the smash-up and tells him that she and Mattie had actually been close friends before the accident and that immediately after it happened, Zeena became healthy again and had taken care of both Ethan and Mattie. She reveals to the fascinated narrator that after the accident, Ethan had recuperated over time and had struggled and persevered for years to keep the farm afloat so that the three of them could survive. She pities all three of them but feels the most badly for Ethan because of all the suffering that he has undergone. She even speculates that it might have been better for them if they had not survived the accident because of the endless misery that they now had to endure, waiting expectantly for death to pull one of them out of that cold, lonely kitchen.
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Konu ghostgirl tarafından (22.01.10 saat 21:29 ) değiştirilmiştir..
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  #2  
Alt 22.01.10, 21:31
ghostgirl - ait kullanıcı resmi (Avatar)
Genel Yönetici
 
Üyelik tarihi: Jan 2008
Nereden: Mersin
İletiler: 13.530
ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!ghostgirl öyle bir şöhrete sahip ki kendinden önce namı yürüyor!
Standart Ethan Frome

Main Characters

Ethan Frome

The protagonist of the story, Ethan is a silent, brooding man who has kept his emotional and psychological sorrow and suffering hidden from the public eye for years. At the story's start, Ethan is 52 years old, and the narrator of the story is fascinated by both the power and lameness of Ethan's tall, sturdy frame. Though the townspeople generally think of him as an amiable but quiet farmer who has simply suffered through financial troubles after his parents' death, Ethan is, in fact, an intellectual who shares with the narrator an interest in scientific research. After generously driving him to work each day in his sled, Ethan welcomes him into his home for a night, where the narrator finally becomes acquainted with the details of Ethan's tragic life.
When Ethan was 27 years old, he fell in love with his sickly wife Zeena's young cousin, Mattie Silver. Ethan feels too indebted to Zeena for caring for his own dying mother that he does not act upon his feelings for her cousin, but when Zeena sends Mattie away, Ethan finally confesses to Mattie his suppressed love for her and takes her on a suicidal sled ride so that neither of them will have to live without the other. However, the story, along with the sled, takes a nasty turn on that fateful suicide ride, for both Ethan and Mattie survive the tragic "smash-up," and even though both live, some of the townspeople wonder whether it might have been better for them to die. After the accident, Ethan continues to live on the dilapidated Frome farm with Zeena and Mattie for what Wharton suggests will be a lifetime of stagnancy and despondency.

The Narrator

Nameless for the entirety of the novella, the narrator parallels the role of the curious reader and attempts to piece together the fascinating story of Ethan Frome's life. At the beginning of the story, he asks Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Varnum about Ethan's past and is intrigued by their vague memories of the smash-up. A labor negotiator who is stuck in Starkfield for the winter, the narrator gladly accepts rides from Ethan on his sled to and from work, and he spends a night at the Frome farm after a night of particularly bad weather. After meeting Zeena and Mattie in Ethan's depressing home, he recounts his night to Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Varnum, who are both surprised to hear that Ethan had welcomed him into his home.

Zenobia Frome

Ethan's querulous, bitter, cynical, and suspicious wife, Zeena seems to be, from the outset, the story's antagonist. The annoying little roadblock to Ethan and Mattie's road to happiness, Zeena is a hypochondriac who uses the little money that Ethan squeezes from the Frome farm for expensive medical remedies to cure the nonexistent illnesses that ail her. The jealous Zeena, who is seven years older than her husband, suspects that Ethan has fallen in love with Mattie and consistently makes snide comments about Ethan's change in appearance and manners (i.e. his newly acquired daily habit of shaving) since Mattie's arrival on the farm. Never afraid to speak her mind, Zeena always reminds Ethan of his debt to her because she had nursed his dying mother, and she belittles the young Mattie and emphasizes her domestic incompetence. Ethan had initially married her because of her efficiency; although she later becomes a hypochondriac during their marriage, she had been a wonderfully skilled nurse for his mother, and he had been so terrified of the prospect of remaining alone after his parents' death that he had proposed to her.
After marrying Ethan, however, Zeena's hypochondriac nature emerges, and she refuses to lift a finger around the house while Ethan slaves to keep the farm afloat and his finances solvent enough to take care of her many demands. In fact, at a doctor's suggestion, she sends away Mattie, her own cousin, because she wishes to employ a hired girl who will help her to improve her health by making sure that Zeena does absolutely no housework. After Ethan and Mattie's tragic crash, however, Zeena undergoes a complete character transformation that formulates the dramatic plot twist at the end of the novel: Mattie, badly injured after the smash-up, has assumed Zeena's position of querulous complaining, and Zeena has taken on the role of nursing both Mattie and Ethan.

Mattie Silver

Mattie is the object of Ethan's hidden passion and seems to be the youthful antithesis to Zeena's cynicism and sarcasm. The daughter of Zeena's cousin, a man who made a living out of crime and used his relatives' money for illegal purposes, Mattie has struggled to stay afloat after her parents' death. With no other relatives to turn to, Mattie comes to live with Zeena and Ethan to serve as their housekeeper so that the sickly Zeena will not have to work in the house.
The young, optimistic Mattie quickly catches Ethan's eye with her beauty and energy, and even though her domestic incompetence is the constant object of Zeena's stinging criticism, she dutifully strives throughout the entire book to please her and improve her housekeeping habits. When Mattie attends dances in the town, Ethan walks her back to the farm, and Ethan is mesmerized by her vitality and is struck by the contrast between the vibrant, talkative Mattie and the silent, sarcastic Zeena. Perhaps realizing the growing intimacy between Ethan and Mattie, Zeena mentions to Ethan the possibility of Mattie's marriage to the ambitious young Denis Eady and eventually employs a hired girl to replace Mattie. As Ethan drives Mattie to the station to say good-bye, the two confess their long-suppressed love for each other, and Mattie suggests a suicidal sled ride that will guarantee that they will not have to leave each other and live separate lives of loneliness and separation. However, the suicide attempt fails, and Mattie falls into the same role of the sickly, complaining invalid that Zeena had played.
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