February 13 2017

With the sudden perception of the point to which his madness had carried him, the madness fell and he saw his life before him as it was.

Winter is heating up in Starkfield!  In the continuing spirit of our class discussions yesterday and today, I am not providing you with a specific topic to discuss.  Instead, please pursue your own ideas and theories about Chapters 6, 7, and 8 of Ethan Frome here.  Be sure to include many specific text-based details in your commentary.  Be sure also to reply to your classmates as the discussion evolves over the course of the evening.

Remember also, that a part of your homework tonight is to annotate the text (use lots of post-its to mark interesting, surprising, or confusing passages – and mark on the post-its what your thoughts are).  Also, write at least 2 (two) EXCELLENT discussion questions to spark tomorrow’s conversations.

Ethan Frome blog #4


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Posted February 13, 2017 by equinson in category Ethan Frome

39 thoughts on “With the sudden perception of the point to which his madness had carried him, the madness fell and he saw his life before him as it was.

  1. cameronl3

    After re-reading chapters three, four, and five, I was very interested in how Zeena Frome in a way represents Ethan’s dreams being rendered. This is shown in many cases, for example when she helps Ethan in assisting to nurse his mother, he ends up marrying her. As a result, he was unable to follow is dreams, and move to a nicer, larger household. In addition, once he fell in love with Mattie, it was practically impossible for him to replace his wife, Zeena. This leads to many problems and dissatisfaction for Ethan, as there are many possibilities for what he can do. Almost all of his time after the night of the play is spent on what, why, and how he is going to manage his immense love for Mattie, and his fading love for Zeena. Also, with Zeena being very sick, she becomes very high-maitnance and bothers Ethan to cooperate with her needs. She also gets very upset by lots of the actions that Mattie commits, such as the pickle dish, that Mattie did not even break. This leads to Zeena wanting a new mistress. This also breaks Ethan’s desiring heart, for he truly loves Mattie.

  2. caias1

    Part of the discussion my group did today involved the theme of trust. In addition to the key, I think Zeena’s pickle glass could also represent trust. When Mattie takes it down, she is removing Zeena’s faith in her. When it breaks, so does Zeena’s trust in Mattie. Also, when Ethan tries to put the dish back together, it is like Mattie trying to piece together Zeena’s trust. Another thing is something Ms. Quinson mentioned at the end of the period, when Ethan is marveling at “how his tone subdued her.” If you truly love someone, you do not try to hold power over them, you are equals with them. It is strange way to put his love for Mattie.

  3. ilyssal

    During today’s class period, my group had a discussion about some different illuminati conspiracies involving the connections between Zeena, Mattie and Ethan. We were questioning how they were all related and in what ways they were as well as what the bond that brought the three of them together was. If it weren’t for Zeena, Ethan would likely have never met Mattie, the woman he claims to be his love. Zeena is the bond that brought Mattie and Ethan together, because Zeena and Mattie share relatives. I find this interesting because Ethan wishes Zeena never entered his life and he want to rid the world of her. If Zeena did not exist, neither would Ethan’s relationship with Mattie.

  4. charlottes

    After rereading the chapters, I found Ethan’s altered love for Zeena very interesting. I say that it is altered for a few reasons. When Zeena tells Ethan she is leaving to see the doctor, he says he would take her there himself, but he has to pick up his paycheck. Zeena states, “I’ve got my shooting pains so bad that i’m going over to Bettsbridge to spend the night with Anne Martha Pierce and to see that new doctor.” (page 39) It is found out a few pages later that he has no paycheck to pick up. The author states, “ As soon as the words were spoken he regretted them, not only because they were untrue – there being no prospect of his receiving cash payment from Hale-” (page 41) This is obviously an excuse because he wants to stay with Mattie. In the moment, he is only thinking about how he can further his relationship with Mattie. Now they will be alone. What Ethan is neglecting to think about is Zeena and the doctor. It has been declared that Zeena isn’t really that sick. So why is she so frequently going to see her doctor? Something is definitely going on there. Finally, as he says good-bye to Zeena, he doesn’t even bother saying anything nice like “feel better” or “see you soon.” In my opinion, Ethan is kind of glad she’s gone. With Zeena out of the way, it gives him and Mattie more alone time. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 of “Ethan Frome” were very interesting and I saw a lot more as I reread.

  5. tarika1

    Something I found interesting in the recent chapters was Ethan’s denial and disinterest of his financing. When the pickle jar broke he automatically thought that he would buy a new one, and his thoughts were flooded with Mattie. Then, when Zeena started to say that she was going to send Mattie away, Ethan thought about moving to the west with Mattie and abandoning his wife. His sense then came to him when he thought about his farm and how much he has neglected it, his bank loans, and how it would be almost impossible to leave to the west without complications. Ethan’s life problems cloud his thoughts and he starts to put other things aside such as reasoning and financing.

  6. faithw

    After re-reading the chapters, I was intrigued by the use of symbolism in chapter 4. During Mattie and Ethan’s dinner together, Mattie brings out Zeena’s pickle dish that she received as a gift for her wedding. Zeena stored it on the highest shelf of her cabinet in order to protect it from ever being touched. However, Mattie went against Zeena’s wishes and pulled down the dish for her and Ethan’s special meal. During dinner, the family cat jumped onto the table and knocked the plate onto the ground, shattering it.

    In my opinion, the pickle dish represents Zeena and Ethan’s marriage. The wedding present was preserved for years until Mattie pulled it off its shelf where it broke into many pieces. Ethan tried to glue the pieces together so that Zeena does not realize that her beloved dish broke. This pretense symbolizes that Ethan’s relationship with Zeena has been shattered.

    1. Esha Pandya

      I agree. When Ethan tries to fix the dish, it shows that even though he is in love with Mattie, he doesn’t want the marriage between him and Zeena to fall apart yet.

  7. Toa Neil

    I would like to build off the idea of colors. Zeena wears black the color of mourning and death which she seems to be, also nurses wore them in olden days and she is a doctor. Mattie wears red which is lust and blood but what circulates blood? the heart. She is the heart basically.

  8. alexo

    Thinking more about the 7 year difference, I’ve done some more light math that could have some significance.

    3+4+5 equals 12, and when you multiply that by two you get 24. That is the amount of years since the “smash-up.” Does it have any significance, or is it just a coincidence? This is something that I think should be brought up in class.

    Just like you’ve said in class, in a short book, every detail counts, and I believe that Warton has gone a step further, giving us “easter eggs” that we can find ourselves. I’m sure there are many other details that we have missed so far, that we haven’t seen simply because we haven’t looked.

  9. Tyler Newby

    I found a few interesting things in tonight’s reading. In today’s discussion, my group was questioning whether or not Ethan was using Mattie as an escape from Zeena or if he really loves Mattie. I found some evidence on page 62 that Ethan loves Mattie. The narrator said that Ethan “did not know why he was so irrationally happy, for nothing was changed in his life or hers. He had not even touched the tip of her fingers or looked her full in the eyes. But their evening together had given him a vision of what life at her side might be, and he was glad now that he had done nothing to trouble the sweetness of the picture.” If Ethan had not loved Mattie, he would not think of her in such a way and would not admire her so intensely.

    1. francescaa

      I agree with what you said. If Ethan didn’t truly love Mattie then why would he tun into a tree with her with intentions to commit suicide?

  10. sofiad1

    In these chapters, what I found interesting is Ethan’s battle between his primal desires and his logical self. He keeps almost doing things for Mattie, but then realizes how it would affect Zeena if he were to do this. I also noticed how Ethan tried to stop Zeena from getting rid of Mattie by saying they didn’t have enough funds to afford the new girl, but Zeena thought he had just gotten a $50 advance, which raised some red flags for her. He was digging a grave for himself. It’s almost like (and yes, I’m actually going to say this,) how the Illuminati is just surrounded by a circle of lies to keep it hidden.

    1. christophert3

      I agree with you on the part about Ethan digging his own grave. All these references to illuminati are getting kind of weird. Is it supposed to mean that Edith Wharton is part of the Illuminati?

      1. francescaa

        I know that it sounds childish and unusual for 9H English students to make that connection. However, if you look at the evidence the “illuminati” thing does make some sense.

  11. willowm

    In class today, my group talked about how we do not feel sorry for Ethan like we believe the author intends. He is constantly doing things that hurt his relationship with Zeena. For example, we know that Zeena is probably not sick, but he did not know that, and whenever she went to the doctor all he could think about was the expense, not how it might help his wife. That is a very pessimistic outlook on things. It is as if he saved all his care and love for Mattie. It was very selfish of Ethan to put his needs in front of Zeena’s. It is no wonder she can be bitter at times when her husband doesn’t show her any love. Also, rather than ‘spare’ her by leaving her once and for all, he continues his love affair with Mattie right under her nose. With Mattie, he ‘teased’ her with the idea of their relationship having a future. He then did not follow through because he could not leave Zeena. Because he is such a good man he can’t leave his wife who has probably figured out at he love Mattie this point anyway?

  12. maddy

    While rereading chapters six through eight of “Ethan Frome”, I further analyzed Ethan’s treatment of Zeena.

    Chapter Seven commenced with Ethan hesitantly visiting Zeena in their bedroom after she returned from her medical visit to Bettsbridge. It is evident that Ethan did not inquire all that much of Zeena’s visit, including when he learned of the possibility of her dying. Rather, Ethan questioned the Bettsbridge doctor’s credibility, expressed his disapproval of potential expenses, and showed little to no emotion regarding Zeena’s state of health. When Zeena mentioned how she intended to replace Mattie with a hired girl, however, Ethan became fully engrossed with their conversation. He became vehement with intense loathing for Zeena, and despairing of what Mattie was to do once she was replaced. Page seventy-four states, “He had meant to humble himself, to argue that Mattie’s keep didn’t cost much, after all, that he could make out to buy a stove and fix out a place in the attic for the hired girl…” Ethan was desperate for Mattie to stay, so much so that he was willing to overlook why she was leaving, and prioritize her over his wife’s well-being. Not only was Mattie not a hired girl, but she was inefficient at keeping house and caring for Zeena. Although Zeena may not have been as sick as she claimed to be, doctors said that it was best for her to hire a hired girl. Lastly, of course, it would be too expensive to house one as well as Mattie.

    The following excerpt is on page seventy-eight. It occurred during the dinner Mattie, Zeena, and Ethan were having after Ethan and Zeena’s argument.

    “Ethan sat speechless, not pretending to eat, but Mattie nibbled valiantly at her food and asked Zeena one or two questions about her visit to Bettsbridge. Zeena answered in her every-day tone, and, warming to the theme, regaled them with several vivid descriptions of intestinal disturbances among her friends and relatives. She looked straight at Mattie as she spoke, a faint smile deepening the vertical lines between her nose and chin.”

    I found this excerpt intriguing at first because Zeena is smiling. What I found even more intriguing after rereading it is the reason Zeena was smiling. It was because Mattie was inquiring of her visit to Bettsbridge. Zeena was so acquainted to Ethan paying her no mind, so acquainted to being constantly ignored. She is happy because someone is expressing care and interest for her. As someone who is married to a man who holds love for another woman, and has spent most of her life caring for others, this is not something she is used to. Analyzing Zeena furthermore has shown me why she exaggerated her illness, and was always so discontent.

  13. arihantp1

    In the recent chapters, I found Ethan’s newfound hatred of Zeena interesting. “Ethan looked at her with loathing. She was no longer the listless creature who had lived by his side in a state of sullen self-absorption, but a mysterious alien presence, an evil energy secreted from long years of silent brooding.” (pg. 74). The arrival of Mattie has changed both Ethan and Zeena. Ethan being more protective and self confident, while Zeena becoming more sickly and agitated due to Mattie. Ethan has always been silent and obeyed his wife’s orders but stood up to her in order to protect Mattie. We get a glimpse of one of Ethan’s thoughts during one of the scenes of the book, and it shows what Ethan thinks of the woman he married. However, he instantly regrets this and contemplates writing Zeena a note about him leaving, but explaining its not Zeena’s fault in the note. I found this short burst from Ethan interesting due to his overall quiet and brooding nature.

  14. briannag3

    Today in our discussion my group talked about the number seven. I looked up the meaning of the number and found that it means the denotation of perfection. And in Ethan Frome Ethan’s age is seven years older than Mattie and seven years younger than Zeena. This is symbolism for how unhealthy their relationship is. Basically it is the opposite of perfection. Ethan was considering divorcing Zeena without even consulting her, as well as wishing to cheat on her behind her back.

  15. francescaa

    After proceeding to re-read pages 62-90 the book seemed to be making more sense than it did in the beginning. After the second read I am noticing that Edith Wharton did use symbolism in her book. The dish that the cat broke was one symbol that I found to have a lot of meaning. Zeena’s pickle dish meant a lot to her; it was a wedding gift that came from Philadelphia. In my mind this bowl symbolizes the relationship of Zeena and Ethan; sour (pickles are sour). When that bowl breaks it symbolizes the downfall of their marriage. I also thought that Mattie taking responsibility for breaking the bowl had significance. She is the reason why Ethan and Zeena’s marriage is turning into turmoil. Later on the book said. “… She said; and gathering up the bits of broken glass she went out of the room as if she carried a dead body.” (p.80). That “dead body” can very well be another symbol for the crumbling relationship the two have. In addition to symbolism I found a connection between Ethan Frome and Night. Ethan finally understand that he is trapped in this relationship for life and that running away is not an option. Basically, he is a prisoner. This reminds me of Night because Eliezer Wiesel was held prisoner as well. Obviously these men were in very different circumstances but they were under the same condition. It became clear that after reading these pages that Edith Wharton was leading her readers to an important moment.

  16. christophert3

    Tonight, while reading I read a bit more into the area where Ethan first marries Zeena. I realized that, for those of us who think it was lust that made Ethan marry Zeena, that it wasn’t really lust but desperation and fear of being left alone to tend a farm in the middle of winter. As Ethan says, he probably wouldn’t have married Zeena if his mother had died in the spring and I guess that is because he wouldn’t be so panicked as the crops of his farm are growing and he has a food supply and other things that the winter, in all its treacherous ways, does not. I also think that Ethan, had he not have been panicking and married Zeena right away, would have found out about the source of her knowledge being her observance of her own condition. Then he probably wouldn’t have married her. So many “If’s” in this book that could have changed the entire plot. I also wonder what Ethan meant at the top of page 45 and how this led Zeena to be quiet and lose her identity.

  17. laurena2

    Throughout the re-reading of these chapters, I noticed the significance of the pickle dish, more importantly the family cat that broke the pickle dish. Before Mattie came into their lives, Zeena and Ethan had a perfectly connected marriage. The shelf, it’s protection, just like the town of Starkfield had protected Zeena and Ethan’s marriage. In the town, it was impossible to get in or out. Once Mattie came into their lives, Zeena and Ethan no longer had a protected marriage. Just like the pickle dish did not have a protecting shelf. The family cat took the opportunity to send the dish tumbling down to the floor into a million pieces. This cat represents Mattie, a part of the family that took the opportunity to destroy Zeena and Ethan’s marriage. Once Mattie broke apart Zeena and Ethan’s marriage, there was no way to turn back. The pieces would be scattered, some lost and never to be found.

    1. avae1

      I also thought that the pickle dish was symbolic of Zeena and Ethan’s failing marriage, and there wasn’t any way to fix it.

  18. ivanl

    Something I found interesting was the specific colors Wharton picked for each character. Zeena wears a lot of black on an everyday basis. People usually associate black with the color of death or something negative. This probably represents the unhappiness Zeena and Ethan are experiencing in their current marriage. However, Mattie, often wears red. Red usually represents things like love, and life. This is perhaps to show how Ethan feels when he is around Mattie, more alive and happy than being with Zeena. There also even studies around today that show that red makes people seem more attractive. I don’t know if this was Wharton’s intention, but this is just what I see with the colors.

  19. avae1

    While perusing “Ethan Frome” for a second time, I noticed how Ethan’s perception of his surroundings are truly based off of either Mattie or Zeena. While Zeena leaves the household for a doctors visit, Ethan uses it as an opportunity to further his relationship with Mattie. When only Mattie was tidying up in the kitchen, Ethan described it as a much more lovely place. “The kitchen was a poor place, not ‘spruce’ and shining as his mother had kept it in his boyhood; but it was surprising what a homelike look the mere fact of Zeena’s absence gave it.”(p.42) With Zeena gone, Ethan showed pride in his love for Mattie, and felt more welcomed in his own home when she wasn’t present. I feel that Ethan was treating Zeena quite unfairly, for multiple reasons. Clearly, he was being dishonest to her and breaking his commitment of marriage. In addition, it appears that he didn’t even make an attempt to show affection for Zeena. He often didn’t answer her questions or show any care for her physical state. However, when Mattie made a mistake, like breaking the pickle jar, he accepted it and immediately tried to help her. His reaction to Mattie’s actions was almost overwhelming compared to his reaction to Zeena’s actions.

  20. margauxc

    During chapter vii of Edith Wharton’s “Ethan Frome”, an intriguing quote can be found on page sixty-nine of the text- which emphasizes and supports Ethan’s growing distaste of Zenobia’s character. After discovering Zeena’s “troubles” had turned to “complications”, Ethan’s internal conflict is conveyed through the statement, “Ethan’s heart was jerking to and fro between two extremities of feeling, but for the moment compassion prevailed.” This is not only depicting Ethan distancing himself from Zeena, but it also is symbolic of the two extremities Ethan is faced with. Mattie Silver personifies passion, innocence, and youth; while Zeena embodies the essence of formality, maturity, and respect. When Wharton adds that compassion prevailed over Ethan’s darkest desires, she centers on the concept of compassion holding power over anything else. She counters this though, at the end of the novella, when describing Mattie’s fate and newfound character after the “smash-up”. By stating that, “Ethan’s heart was jerking to and fro”, it also brings to light and further focuses on the fact that Ethan’s judgement is based off feeling- not logic. His decisions after meeting Mattie are rash and irrational, which are often characteristics associated with actions driven by emotion, not thought.

  21. marinas1

    Throughout these chapters, I was intrigued by how Ethan sees Zeena as not his wife, but a criminal. This is emphasized when Edith Wharton writes, “‘You can’t put her out of the house like a thief-a poor girl without friends for money. She’s done her best for you and she’s got no place to go to. You may forget she’s your kin but everybody else’ll remember it. If you do a thing like that what do you suppose folks’ll say of you?'” (p.74) This excerpts stems from the moment when Zeena tells Ethan that Mattie needs to leave, for she is not a good enough aid to satisfy Zeena. Subsequently, Ethan begins to shout at Zeena and see her in a vile light. In this particular excerpt, Ethan blames Zeena for wanting to send Mattie away, and declares that her choice is completely wrong. However, I see where Zeena is coming from. Mattie is a mediocre aid at best, and a completely horrid one at worst. She barely helps around the house, and is not attentive enough to Zeena’s needs. If one were to be placed in Zeena’s shoes, they would also see that Mattie is (in practical terms) just a waste of space.

    Ethan then proceeds to not only blame Zeena for wanting to send Mattie away, but also blames her for his own bleak and dreary existence. Edith Wharton declares, “All the long misery of his baffled past, of his youth of failure, hardship and vain effort, rose up in his soul in bitterness and seemed to take shape before him in the woman who at every turn have bared his way. She had taken everything else from him…” (p.75). Clearly, Ethan sees Zeena as a scapegoat for nearly every one of his problems. To me, this does not quite make sense. He married Zeena and asked her to stay with him because he wanted someone to fill the void that was his life after his mother’s death. He could have let her go, and yet he was the one who asked her to stay. If he wants to blame anyone for Zeena, why not blame himself?

    In relation to the faults in Ethan’s personality, I truly saw what a coward Ethan was in Chapter 8. In this chapter, he wants to run away with Mattie, and drafts the letter he wants to leave for Zeena when he leaves. He writes, “‘Zeena, I’ve done all I could for you, and I don’t see as it’s been any use. I don’t blame you, nor I don’t blame myself. Maybe both of us will do better separate…'” (p.83). I was appalled at this letter. If he really wants to leave his wife, he should “have the guts” to say it to her face. In addition, the fact that he actually does not end up running away further emphasizes his cowardice. Not only can he not confront his own wife, but he also can not follow through on his dream.

  22. George

    In this blog i would like to investigate the significance of the cat in keeping Mattie and Ethan away from each other. When ever something is about to happen the cat intrudes. “The cat, unnoticed, had crept up on muffled paws from Zeena’s seat to the table, and was stealthily elongating its body in the direction of the milk-jug, which stood between Ethan and Mattie. The two leaned forward at the same moment and their hands met on the handle of the jug. Mattie’s hand was underneath, and Ethan kept his clasped on it a moment longer than was necessary. The cat, profiting by this unusual demonstration, tried to effect an unnoticed retreat, and in doing so backed into the pickle-dish, which fell to the floor with a crash.” The cat rises from Zeena’s side of the table. The cat is sort of like a big brother always watching. When mattie and Ethan are in the kitchen and the mood is kicking in and then the cat jumps on Zeena’s chair. It seems like whenever Ethan escapes from reality a reminder always drags him back never to let him pass that threshold.
    I would also like to bring up the names on the gravestone Endurance and Ethan Frome. This could represent that the relationship was not full of love but was endured by both sides. Maybe this infers that the Frome family has a history of very little happiness in their marriages but they were endured by both sides.

  23. Esha Pandya

    In the reading, I was interested by the events Ethan found as unexpected. While Zeena was still in Bettsbridge, he decided to get his work done in order to obtain the glue. However, snow that had fallen at night delayed these events from happening right away. “But a wet snow, melting to sleet, had fallen in the night and turned the roads to glass. In this case, the snow and sleet symbolize an event Ethan will not expect. The roads represent the paths of Ethan’s life based on how he deals with the upcoming event. As the snow turned to sleet, roads became like glass. This represents how easily his life can change paths based on a single event. In addition, the snow causes damage to Ethan’s work, just as the event can cause damage to his life.

    As we read on, the unexpected event was Ethan coming home, only to find that Zeena was already home. The result of this being a halt in his work. Should Zeena had come home the next day, the pickle-dish would be fixed, and Ethan would have time to prepare for her coming back. However, since she came earlier than he thought, he would have to deal with the situation another way. Ethan decided to have a conversation with her about what the doctor said. According to this doctor, her situation was worse than they thought, and Ethan began to comfort Zeena. This all fell apart when she mentioned the need for a hired girl, which meant getting rid of Mattie. Ethan was not ready for this news. If Mattie left, he would have even less of a chance of achieving his dream of being with her. Furthermore, having a hired girl is expensive, and he is already extremely poor.

    Zeena’s trip to Bettsbridge drastically changed Ethan’s life. He was unprepared to hear the news of firing Mattie, getting a hired girl, and of the decrease in Zeena’s health. Without this news, his life would continue on as it would have, with hope that he could still be with Mattie one day. Just as the roads became like glass, so did Ethan’s life. His current life was replaced with one that might not have Mattie. As he doesn’t want this to happen, he argues with Zeena, something he usually doesn’t do. Ethan goes further and tells Mattie that she cannot leave no matter what. On another note, the news changed Ethan’s personality as well. He became more assertive and commanding with Zeena, fighting for what he believed was right and practical for their current situation. Ethan also became more direct with Mattie. Usually, he was shy and hid his feeling from her. However, he came up front with her and told her exactly what he wanted her to do. Therefore, the unexpected return from Zeena caused Ethan’s life to take a different path.

  24. Kathrynr

    I found it interesting how in chapter 8 and 9 Ethan has such amazing expectations for his night with Mattie. As soon as Zeena said that she would be traveling away Ethan could barely contain himself. He knew that this was his chance to see If Mattie loved him as well. Ethan goes to his work but thinks about how the evening may play out. In the end the evening is not as climactic as he dreams it will be. As pointed out in yesterdays class, one of the last paragraphs says, “Completely reassured, she shone on him through tear-hung lashes, and his soul swelled with pride as he saw how his tone subdued her. She did not even ask what he had done. Except when he was steering a big log down the mountain to his mill he had never known such a thrilling sense of mastery.” Ethan wanted to love Mattie, but at the end of the night he was content because he had “mastered” her. My question is, what does Ethan want from his relationship with Mattie?

  25. alekhya

    As I reread chapters 6, 7, and 8 of Ethan Frome, I noticed a recurrence of the feeling of pleasure he has when he holds authority over Mattie. “Completely reassured, she shone on him, through tear hung lashes, and his soul swelled with pride as he saw how his tone subdued her….Except when he was steering a big log down the mountain to his mill he had never known such a thrilling sense of mastery.”(54) This occurs at first in chapter 4, when Mattie breaks the pickle dish and Ethan tells her to leave it and come to him. Later on in chapter 5, this sense of mastery reappears “He luxuriated in the sense of protection and authority which his words conveyed. to prolong and intensify the feeling he added: “I guess we’re well enough here.””(57) This sense of authority; does Ethan feel that he is her guardian or that he is her superior for her to bend to his will?

  26. adam

    There are many interesting factors in the novella from chapters 6,7 and 8. I wonder why Ethan married Zeena to begin with. As we know, his family is not comfortable with loneliness, often leading to bad choices, like Zeena. But why her? There are millions and millions of women, yet he chose her? Were they ever in love? I also found if interesting when Zeena is ill. Ethan doesn’t know whether to be like “haha, just sit there and Die while I marry Mattie” or “Oh no, Zeena! You can’t die, I need you!” He does not know whether to have compassion for her, or to think of her as a criminal and let her suffer.

  27. Rebecca F

    I found Ethan’s behavior in the past chapters to be pathetic. Ethan’s pleasure regarding his “mastery” of Mattie is something I find to be idiotic. All he told her to do was leave the pickle dish and all of a sudden, he feels superior.“Completely reassured, she shone on him, through tear hung lashes, and his soul swelled with pride as he saw how his tone subdued her,”(54). Ethan seems to think of himself as higher than Mattie, as his thoughts show, a notion I find to be unfounded and foolish.


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