Ethan Frome Essay, Research PaperIn Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, Ethan, a reserved immature adult male was torn between two adult females. He was married to Zenobia Frome, but his true love was his married woman s cousin, Mattie Silver. Zeena and Mattie were different in all facets. Mattie was a lovingness, loving, beautiful immature miss, while Zeena was a sallow, nagging adult female aged good beyond her old ages. Ethan was continuously drawn to Mattie throughout the novel, as she was much more attractive and amicable than Zeena.
In the novel visible radiation was an of import motive. When visible radiation was shed on Zeena it drew out of the darkness her puckered pharynx and deepened fabulously the hollows and prominences of her high-boned face under its ring of pinching pins ( pg. 38 ) . The writer used visible radiation in order to stress Zeena s austere and worn face exemplifying her cold personality.
When visible radiation was shed on Mattie it drew out with the same sharpness her slender immature pharynx and it threw a bright bit on her lips, edged her eyes with velvet shadiness, and laid a milklike whiteness above the black curve of her foreheads ( pg. 59 ) . Mattie looked beaming and full of beauty beneath the visible radiation under which Zeena had appeared horrid. It is clear that Mattie would look more attractive to Ethan.The writer besides referred to the hair of Zeena and Mattie rather frequently. Zeena had merely thin strands of hair ( pg. 45 ) , and she wore a difficult perpendicular bonnet ( pg. 45 ) above her caput.
The sight imprinted in the reader s head is non a pleasant 1. Zeena appears to be austere and stiff. On the contrary when Mattie s hair was described, it is more appealing. Ethan remembers her smoothened hair and a thread at her cervix ( pg. 58 ) . A thread is more appealing to the reader than a difficult, perpendicular bonnet. Mattie s hair was besides described as looking like a impetus of mist on the Moon ( pg.
70 ) . Unlike Zeena s uninviting hairdo, Mattie s hair had a soft and satiny quality to it. Mattie seemed to walk about the house with a aura of light environing her, about like an angel. The conflicting hairdos of the two adult females represented an overall difference in personalities. Mattiewas a feminine immature miss, while Zeena was an old beldam who made no effort to better her visual aspect.
In add-on to visual aspect, the two adult females have highly different relationships with Ethan. In order to portray each adult female s relationship with Ethan, the writer uses the motive of silence. Ethan and Zenobia lived in an uncomfortable lull. After get marrieding Ethan Zeena had deteriorated into a stoic province of wordlessness. She and Ethan seldom communicated and life around the house was highly only. Even in their sleeping room, Ethan and Zeena rarely communicated ; He and Zeena had non exchanged a word She had lain down with her face turned off. Ethan hastily blew out the visible radiation so that he should non see her when he took his topographic point at her side ( pg. 41 ) .
Even in their sleeping room Ethan and Zeena did non interact with each other.When Mattie entered Ethan s life, she was a individual to speak to ; a individual who would listen. Mattie was Ethan s merely connexion to the outside universe, and in some ways Ethan s merely hope for saneness. She was an mercantile establishment for Ethan to pour all of his emotions and phantasies into.
She was his lone redemption his lone hope for a joyful life. As clip went on Ethan became more, and more attracted to Mattie because of the crisp contrast between her and Zeena ; the lone two adult females he saw daily.Even when Ethan and Mattie shared silence it was non the Stoic silence Ethan and Zeena shared. As Ethan was about to see Mattie off, Deep silence had fallen with the starless dark ( pg.
118 ) . The silence shared by Ethan and Mattie was highly placid. They were delighted to be together, and their silence was a peaceable one, opposed to an uneasy one.By the terminal of the novel Ethan and Mattie were profoundly in love, yet the lone manner for them to be together was through decease. In a bungled double self-destruction effort Ethan s right side was paralyzed, and Mattie was maimed for life. Mattie ended up populating with the Fromes, and was even more delicate than Zeena.
Tragically Ethan s destiny was non to pass the remainder of his life populating with one sallow adult female, but bearing the load of caring for two frail adult females.