Professor Steven Cooke
1 June 2014
The Dark and Ruined Life of Ethan Frome
Ethan Frome guided us through many obstacles that one can go through in one 's life, which is a part of the American spirit. Ethan seems like a very sincere person, who doesn 't want to hurt anyone. Throughout his life he has had many ups and downs that relate to personal issues, decisions on life, romance, death, and life. Ethan had morals that would haunt him forever which kept him from his happiness. Ethan was a man that was trapped by his own doing. He was seen as a "ruin of a man". (11) The American spirit in all of us, some of those characteristics can be bright and fun-filled, however sometimes it is dark, dramatic, and sad. …show more content…
Mattie was not a great housekeeper or cook. Ethan begged Zeena to let Mattie stay, however as always he lost the battle. Ethan had a thought at this time in the book at this point about Zeena thinking she was his hold up. His thought was, " All the long misery of his baffled past, of his youth of failure, hardship and vain effort, rose up in his soul in bitterness and seemed to take shape before him in the woman at every turn had barred his way". (95) He at this time had so much resentment towards Zeena at this point and time. He later said he would take Mattie to the train station.
On the way to the train station Mattie and Ethan stopped at shadow pond. Ethan wants badly to run away with Mattie however does not have the money and realizes that Zeena will not get any money from the farm or the mill and so he must stay. After sledding, Ethan saw suicide as the only escape and the only way Mattie and Ethan would be together. The attempt failed for both of them, they both survived. Mattie is paralyzed and makes sounds just as Zeena does due to her illness and Ethan has smashed up his leg. Zeena, now cares for both of them at the farm …show more content…
Once they were married and Zeena became ill they became very distant. Mattie was like a bright light when she came to live with them. Mattie and Ethan would talk and Ethan could enjoy life without the nagging and sickness of Zeena. He would always remember that he married Zeena out of his own self pittypity of not wanting to be alone. From that moment he has not been happy since until he met Mattie. Ethan lied, and became deceitful hiding things from Zeena such as the red pickle dish just to protect Mattie. Once Zeena decided that Mattie was a threat and decided she needed to leave, Ethan had no recourse. Once again, he had no say so and would never be able to change Zeena 's mind. Ethan wanted so bad to run away with Mattie, but knew that there was no way he could leave Zeena with no money in Sparkfield on an already starving farm. Ethan was not one that could hurt anyone, he would rather live forever unhappy then hurt anyone. Ethan decided death was the solution, the only true way he was ever going to get out of Sparkfield, get away from Zeena, and be with Mattie was if they both died in a tragic accident so they both could be together forever after life. He was willing to die since he couldn 't be with Mattie. This shows true unhappiness but also Ethan 's commitment to his wife. Comment by Prof Marc: