"Ethan Frome" by Edith Wharton.

Essay by HungryHippos01High School, 11th gradeA+, October 2003

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The romantic tragedy, Ethan Frome was written by Edith Wharton. The novel takes place in the small town of Starkfield, Massachusetts in the early 1900s. Ethan Frome is the main character in the novel and is married to his wife Zeena. They live in an old farmhouse along with Mattie Silver, who came to live with them to be of assistance to Zeena around the house. Ethan is caught in a love triangle with his spouse Zeena and secret lover Mattie. Zeena and Mattie have completely diverse personalities and aspects about them. However, there are a few things that make them similar.

In the opening of the novel, Zeena proves to be an excellent caregiver and a hard working housekeeper. When Ethan's mother passed away, Ethan felt as if he should marry Zeena so he would not experience the loneliness around the house. As years go by, Zeena is seldom happy and becomes a hypochondriac, believing she is sick all the time.

Therefore, Zeena spends a great deal of her time at the doctors and spends masses of money on new medication. With a sharp tongue, she is exceptionally controlling. However, for the most part she keeps to herself and is quiet. Zeena is not too attractive and dreadfully troublesome. Also, Zeena does not show much love towards Mattie and demands for her to leave the house and for a hired girl to come in.

Mattie Silver is an all around fun girl that is constantly grinning and giggling. Nonetheless, she is not tied down to anyone and remains single. Mattie is a pleasure to have around and loves to have a discussion with Ethan. She has an awesome sense of humor that always seems to make Ethan smile and laugh. Mattie, however, is not the finest housekeeper, and...