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Word Count: 1,071
Ethan Frome is a story of ill-fated love set during the winter in the rural New England town of Starkfield Ethan is a farmer who is married to a sickly woman named Zeena The two live in trapped unspoken resentment on Ethans isolated and failing farm Ethan has been caring for his wife for six years now Due to Zeenas numerous ailments they employ her cousin the animated Mattie Silver to help in the house With Matties youthful presence and attitude in the house Ethans bitterness of his youths lost opportunities and the dissatisfaction with his life and empty marriage are reawaken This resentment leads to Ethan and Mattie in turn falling in love However they never follow their love due to Ethans morals and the respect he has for his marriage to Zeena Ethan eagerly awaits the nights when he is able to walk Mattie home from the town dances He cherishes the ground she walks on and would do anything for herAfter a visit to the doctor Zeena is told that she needs more appreciable hired help Thus she decides to send her incompetent cousin away and hire a new one Ethan and Mattie are desperate to stay together However Ethans lack of financial means and Zeenas health are the deciding factors that will never allow him to leave Starkfield to be with his love When the two are unable to find any plausible solutions to this issue Ethan and Mattie decide to commit suicide by sledding into a tree They figure it is the only way they can be together The attempt fails and the two are left paralyzed Now Ethans wife must care for the two for the rest of their lives There were many themes found in Ethan Frome but the greatest of them all is loneliness and isolation In college Ethan acquired the nickname Old Stiff because he rarely went out with the boys Once he returned to
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