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They say that if you give a man the necessary tools and supplies he will build himself a trap This trap is made unconsciously therefore it cannot be escaped the solution cannot be found The only solution that suffices is to live with this trap sadly for life But is it the only solution In Edith Whartons romantic yet tragic novel Ethan Frome the need for affection causes Ethan Frome to gradually shed his taciturnity and bring his emotions to life Early in the novel Ethans passiveness and lack of self-confidence allow his wife Zeena to emasculate him as well as make him emotionally inarticulate toward Mattie Once Mattie Silvers enters Ethans life she awakens in Ethan the bitterness of his youths lost opportunities and a dissatisfaction with his joyless life and empty marriage Gradually Ethan strengthens and gathers the courage to defy Zeena and confess his love for Mattie At the start of his journey Ethan surrenders himself to the forces of isolation silence and his depleted life Soon his desire for love in a situation where only abject coldness exists transforms him into an emotional and confident man Because of his emotional weakness Ethan loses opportunities to reveal his passion to Mattie and also acquiesces to his wifes demands while shunning out his own needs After suffering so long with the sickly Zeena Ethan fears unveiling his passionate feelings to Mattie for he is bound as a husband and tradition to Zeena Years earlier as a younger and more hale man Ethan felt trapped in his hometown Starkfield Mistakenly he marries Zeena a gaunt sallow nagging hag as compensation for her nursing Ethans sick mother Ethan and his morose invalid wife Zeena live in a trapped unspoken resentment on Ethans isolated and failing farm Driven by a perverted need for attention Zeena claims to have numerous ailments and employs her destitute cousin to help with the chores Over the course of the
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