Ethan Frome : The Parallels Of Ethan's Arrivals

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=1. The Parallels of Ethan's Arrivals=
In //Ethan Frome// Edith Wharton illustrates how Ethan views Zeena versus Mattie through the parallel scenes of when Ethan is greeted by Zeena/Mattie at the door of his farmhouse first coming home from the dance and second coming home from. Although both scenes play out almost identically, Wharton uses the slight differences to emphasize how Ethan sees Mattie as beautiful, submissive, and attractive compared to Zeena who he only sees as an obstacle. As Ethan comes up to the door the first time when Zeena waits for him, he is so infatuated by Mattie that Zeena has become but a hurdle for him to overcome. He even dreams about if a dead vine dangling was a"crape streamer tied to the door for a …show more content…


=2. The Parallels of Zeena and Mattie=
In //Ethan Frome// Edith Wharton uses Mattie and Zeena as foil pairs to illustrate the inevitability of isolation corrupting and embittering the victims of its hold. Mattie and Zeena both start out as kind and thoughtful individuals, but as they are forced into isolation on the farm, they inevitably end up becoming unbearable hags despite their previous energy. Both Zeena and Mattie initially arrive energetically as help for Ethan because the primary woman of the house is ill before Ethan falls in love with them. Originally, Zeena is kindly and able to "understand [Ethan's] case at a glance" (29) just as Mattie also came "without a sign of discontent escap[ing] her" (25) regardless of having to deal with the hard life. Wharton sets up Mattie and Zeena's pasts as almost identical to first establish that they both were equally thoughtful before they became trapped in Starkfield; however, Zeena realizes after marrying Ethan and becoming imprisoned on the farm that she cannot leave, but rather is now a captive of the farm's isolation. Once Zeena has married Ethan, they had originally planned on selling the farm and abandoning it, but after the farm proved to be unsalable, Zeena found "life on an isolated farm was not what she had expected" and soon afterwards "developed the 'sickliness'" that is depression from the isolation of the Starkfield farm (30). Despite Zeena's

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