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Word Count: 706
Ethan Frome is the main character of Edith Whartons tragic novel Ethan lives the bitterness of his youths lost opportunities and dissatisfaction with his joyless life and empty marriage Throughout the story Ethan is trapped by social limits and obligations to his wife He lives an unhappy life with many responsibilities and little freedom Ethan Frome studied science in college for a year and probably would have succeeded as an engineer or physicist had he not been summoned home to run the family farm and mill Ethan quickly ended his schooling and went to run the family farm and mill because he feels it is his responsibility He marries Zeena after the death of his mother in an unsuccessful attempt to escape silence isolation and loneliness Ethan also feels the responsibility to marry Zeena as a way to compensate her for giving up part of her life to nurse his mother After marring Zeena he forgets his hope of every continuing his education and he is now forced to remain married to someone he does not truly love Several Years after their marriage cousin Mattie Silver is asked to relieve Zeena who is constantly ill of her house hold duties Ethan finds himself falling in love with Mattie drawn to her youthful energy as The pure air and the long summer hours in the open gave life and elasticity to Mattie Ethan is attracted to Mattie because she is the opposite of Zeena while Mattie is young happy healthy and beautiful like the summer Zeena is seven years older than Ethan bitter ugly and sickly cold like the winter Zeenas strong dominating personality undermines Ethan while Matties feminine lively youth makes Ethan fell like a real man Ethan and Mattie finally express their feeling for each other while Zeena is visiting the doctor and are forced to face the painful reality that their dreams of being together can not come true
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