© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome


by Edith Wharton

Ethan Frome Chapter 6 Summary

  • Jotham has breakfast with Mattie and Ethan, and Ethan tries to hide his joy at being in love by pretending to ignore Mattie.
  • They'd had no physical contact, but a newer, fresher kind of life is now imaginable.
  • In the light of day, Ethan is glad things didn't move to the physical level.
  • He plans his heavy work day, and asks Jotham to pick up Zeena after the noon meal.
  • A few precious moments are left for Mattie and Ethan to have some alone-time.
  • Mattie is steamy from doing dishes.
  • This might be there last time they are ever alone together Ethan wants to tell her.
  • Instead he puts some chewing tobacco in his mouth.
  • He'll try to be home for lunch.
  • On his way out he hears that her whistle while she works.
  • Everything goes wrong for Ethan during the day, and he doesn't have time to get the glue.
  • After a quick bite with Jotham and Mattie (with no alone-time), Ethan sets off for the glue.
  • With difficulty he finds the only tube of glue in town and races back home to glue the dish.
  • Through the sleet he races, trying to get home before Zeena.
  • The horse is still absent from the stable when Ethan arrives on the scene. He enters the kitchen, finds Mattie alone, and excitedly presents her with the glue.
  • Mattie gives him the horrible news.
  • Zeena is already home.
  • Jotham had driven the horse to another location, which is why it's absent from the barn.
  • Mattie doesn't know how Zeena is because she didn't talk to her. Zeena is now in her room
  • Ethan tries to soothe her, promising to fix the dish on the sly in the night.
  • Soon Jotham shows up.
  • Ethan invites him to dinner but he declines.
  • Maybe Zeena was unhappy about something and had abused him on the ride.
  • Back in the kitchen the scene is similar to the way it was last night: the fire, the sleeping cat, the doughnuts are all there as they were before.
  • As last night, Mattie suggests that they eat.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...