Zeena In Ethan Frome Essay

721 words - 3 pages

Ethan Frome

In the novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, Ethan’s wife Zeena plays an important role in the novel. Zeena changes Ethan through their marriage, and her illness. It is interesting when we find out that Zeena is actually Ethan’s cousin. It is questionable whether Zeena is sick or not. She often appears to be a hypochondriac. In the novel the narrator states that “Zeena, she’s always been the greatest hand at doctoring in the county” (5). If Zeena had the greatest hand at doctoring, she would be able to help take care of herself and at the same time help others.
In the beginning of the novel we learn how Ethan found Zeena.
“It was only when she drew toward her last illness, and his cousin Zenobia Pierce came over from the next valley to help him nurse her, that human speech was heard again in the house. After the mortal silence of his long imprisonment Zeena’s volubility was music in his ears. He felt that he might have “gone like his mother” if the sound of a new voice had not come to steady him” (29).
Zeena brought Ethan color to his life. She made him more sociable. “Zeena seemed to understand his case at a glance. She laughed at him for not knowing the simplest sick-bed duties and told him to “go right along out” and leave her to see to things” (29). Zeena was taking care of Ethan’s mother and he fell “in love” with her while she was taking care of his mother. It is said that “Her efficiency shamed and dazzled him. She seemed to posses by instinct all the household wisdom that his long apprenticeship had not instilled in him” (29). Ethan proposed to Zeena because he didn’t want to be alone, it is said in the novel that “He was seized with an unreasoning dread of being left alone on the farm, and before he knew what he was doing he had asked her to stay there with him” (29). It is unclear whether Zeena possessed a love for Ethan as Ethan claimed to of have for her. In the end of...

Find Another Essay On Zeena in Ethan Frome

Codependency in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

1182 words - 5 pages his consistent submission to Zeena and by his inability to take control of events that are occurring in his life.       Zeena Frome, the second of the three important characters, is often unable to take direct action without receiving confirmation from other characters.  In one conversation with Ethan, Zeena says "He wanted I should speak to you about a girl"(19) and then later, Wharton adds to this feeling of dependence in the

Poverty in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

689 words - 3 pages to live with and help them. He then falls in love with her, but remains miserable because he knows that he cannot be with her. Happiness is definitely a wanting object in Ethan's life. Mrs. Hale is quoted as saying, " You've had a mean time, Ethan Frome." Ethan's wife, Zeena, displays another area of the poverty of Ethan's life. Her particular poverty is the lack of feeling. She is a cold, decrepit individual, who is convinced that she

Examples of Naturalism in Ethan Frome Characters, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.

978 words - 4 pages “Naturalism is commonly understood as an extension or intensification of realism. The intensification involves the introduction of characters of a kind…” (Baym, 1999) A perfect example of Naturalist work is Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Ethan, one of the main characters in the book, is a old, deformed man who is in love with his wife’s cousin. Zeena is Ethan’s wife who occasionally has psychological illnesses. Mattie is

The Responsibility of Ethan Frome for His Own Tragedy in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

3698 words - 15 pages The Responsibility of Ethan Frome for His Own Tragedy in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome A: Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome, published in 1911, was a departure from her other works that were primarily concerned with the privileged New York Society and its hypocrisy. Critics have agreed that Ethan Frome was probably one of the most autobiographical of Wharton's works because it talked about an illicit affair while Wharton herself

Symbols used in "Ethan Frome" by Edith Warton

633 words - 3 pages Edith Warton's work, Ethan Frome, is an ironic book with naturalist ideas. Ethan Frome, the protagonist, has a secret love affair with Mattie, his wife's cousin. Mattie has come to assist the Frome family with their domestic affairs. Zeena, Ethan's hypochondriac wife, detects Ethan's love for Mattie. She decides to send Mattie away in exchange for a hired servant that will attend to Zeena's sickness. On the day of Mattie's department, Ethan

The Witch Wins in Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

1352 words - 5 pages , Edith Wharton portrays a twisted fairy tale similar to the story of Snow White with the traditional characters, but without a happy ending to show that in a bleak and stark reality, the beautiful and enchanting maiden could become the witch. Ethan Frome contains three main characters that parallel those of traditional fairy tales. Firstly, Zeena represents the witch, or evil stepmother. Everything about her resembles a witch, from “her puckered

Literary Elements and Time Setting in Ethan Frome

503 words - 2 pages the novel, "Ethan Frome", a man named Ethan is married to a woman named Zeena (Zenobia) . A problem arises when he finds himself falling in love with Zeena's cousin, Mattie. During the novel, Zeena falls ill and the doctor recommends for her to stay in bed and to hire a housekeeper. Zeena decides to kick Mattie out of the house to make room for the new maid. Ethan, desperate to remain with Mattie, resolves to run away with Mattie into the west

Ethan Frome and The Great Gatsby: The Progression of Lust and Desire in Early Twentieth Century American Literature

1514 words - 6 pages Ethan Frome and The Great Gatsby: The Progression of Lust and Desire in Early Twentieth Century American LiteratureIntroductionThough the twentieth century can hardly lay an original claim to the use of lust and desire as major themes in literature-these are major driving forces behind human attitudes and behaviors, after all, and this has been reflected in art and literature since man first painted on cave walls-these topics did develop a

How far do you agree with the view that the tragedies in ‘Ethan Frome’ and ‘A View from the Bridge’ are brought about by individual characters rather

2216 words - 9 pages that they have within his downfall. Ethan Frome is trapped not only in his town but also within his marriage to Zeena. His lack of action and passive nature act as a tragic flaw of his character. He has a passive role in his own descent. His devotion and desire to be with Mattie causes an inevititable tragedy. As a result of this out of desperation he ends up becoming more trapped than before as both him and Mattie lead the rest of their


585 words - 2 pages The Destruction of Ethan Frome In this classic tale of Ethan Frome, written by Edith Wharton is set in a small town in Massachusetts, a farmer with no love for his dreary wife is given his forsaken fate. Ethan is married to Zeena, a nagging hypochondriac, and Mattie, a girl of relation to Zeena who does some housework and is very beautiful. The combination of Mattie and Zeena are Ethan Frome's downfall. His destruction was caused by his

a minor character serves as foil to major character

659 words - 3 pages mindset. In Ethan Frome, Ethan faces many disappointments throughout the novel. In the novel, Ethan is an orphan since both parents have passed. His wife Zeena who is also his cousin has become the dominant one in the relationship taking over full control. While living in Starkfield, Zeena has suddenly become “sick” and is forced to bring in her cousin Mattie for help around the house. Zeena is depicted as a bitter prematurely old woman who is

Similar Essays

Juxtaposition Between Mattie And Zeena In Ethan Frome

1258 words - 5 pages According to the Microsoft Word Encarta Dictionary, juxtaposition is to place two or more things, side by side, in order to emphasize contrasts and similarities between them. Edith Wharton deliberately places the characters of Mattie Silver and Zeena Frome together in the novel Ethan Frome to compare and contrast them. Although Mattie has only recently been exposed to Starkfield, Zeena's has lived in there for seven despondent years. Wharton's

Contrast Of Zeena And Mattie In "Ethan Frome"

1256 words - 5 pages Some decisions have an everlasting effect on one's life. Ethan Frome, the protagonist in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome, is tormented by his passionate love for Mattie Silver, but is morally shackled to Zeena by the sacred bonds of marriage. After years of harsh life with his wife in the dreary town of Starkefield, Ethan comes to believe that his greatest chance at a happy life is with Mattie Silver, a cousin of Zeena, who has come to live with him

Literary Realism In Ethan Frome Essay

553 words - 2 pages Literary Realism in Ethan FromeThe history of literary realism dates back to the nineteenth century movement in America and European literature. Literary realism accurately represents situations, in an everyday world.In the book Ethan Frome, you can tell that Edith Wharton portrays realistic points of view. She does this by describing the town of Starkfield, its specific shops, and the people who inhabit the town. She also describes the

Trapped In Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton

1002 words - 4 pages Many people oppose society due to the surroundings that they face and the obstacles that they encounter. Set in the bleak winter landscape of New England, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton is the story of a poor, lonely man, his wife Zeena, and her cousin Mattie Silver. Ethan the protagonist in this novel, faces many challenges and fights to be with the one he really loves. Frome was trapped from the beginning ever since Mattie Silver came to live