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A Zenobic Paradox There is a well-known expression that states There are two sides to every coin This is no different when it comes to Mrs Frome She is either Zeena a mean cruel hag or Zenobia a munificent compassionate woman In the book Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton Zeena is described as thin and hard While in the short story Zenobia by Gina Berrault Zenobia is described as slender and gentle There are two different Zenobias depicted and they are very paradoxical Each author has used her own tools to illustrate this character In the short story Zenobia herself is talking and she admonishes Edith Wharton for the grievous act she committed in the novelette Edith has written a story in which the viewpoint is quite biased Ethan seems like the only one suffering despite the fact that Zenobia herself is also tormented Zenobia had come to assist her dear distant cousin Ethan Frome by taking care of his ailing mother After the mother died Ethan afraid of being alone asked her to stay on with him Was it Zenobias fault that shortly after they were married she became sick After all she had spent most of her life taking care of others who were sick wasnt it time for someone to take of her Edith Wharton portrays Zeena as one of the most unappealing people imaginable She rarely opens her mouth except to complain or criticize She does not need words to tell one what she thinks because on her face is a constant disapproval Zeena is mean and heartless as Ethan felt the day Zeena told him that Mattie was to go He looked at her with loathing She was no longer the listless creature who had lived at his side in a state of sullen self-absorption but a mysterious alien presence an evil energy secreted from the long years of silent brooding On the other hand all
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