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Word Count: 536
A disabled man his wife and his mistress living alone at the top of a hill in a small New England town these elements seem to belong in the beginning of a cryptic murder mystery Instead it is the outcome of Edith Whartons novel Ethan Frome Ethan the protagonist is affected by many circumstances surrounding him Events spanning from the death of his mother to a tragic tobogganing accident have taken a toll on Ethans mental and physical condition The protagonist of Edith Whartons novel Ethan Frome is highly influenced by the situations and circumstances he encounters The most obvious circumstance affecting Ethans life is the women that live with him His wife Zeena is really a distant cousin that came to live with Ethan to care for his sick mother Once his mother died Zeena planned on moving back with her family Suddenly she got sick and needed Ethan to take care of her so they married and Zeena stayed in Ethans house With all of Zeenas sudden ailments they needed a girl to help around the house Zeenas second cousins daughter Mattie then came to live with the Fromes Zeena continues to fake illness in order to get Ethan to pay attention to her For instance when Zeena and Ethan would fight and he said something to offend her she would launch into a coughing fit distracting Ethan from the argument and forcing him to pity her On the other hand there was the young girl Mattie She was Zeenas absolute opposite Where Zeena was quick-witted and smart Mattie was absentminded but she was the obvious beauty when compared to Zeena To Ethan Mattie was everything Zeena couldnt give him Ethan was overcome with lust for this young girl She used her positive qualities to influence Ethan and get him to do whatever she wanted Just before Ethan takes Mattie to the train station they decide to go tobogganing Mattie tried to convince
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