by Edith Wharton
Ethan Frome Freedom and Confinement Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
A moment ago he had wondered what he and Mattie were to live on when they reached the West; now he saw that he had not even the money to take her there. (8.9)
Ethan lets a combination of poverty and morality stop him from following his dreams. Everywhere he turns he sees obstacles.
"I want you should stay here this afternoon, Ethan," his wife said. "Jotham can drive Mattie over." (9.29)
Ethan isn't about to be pushed down this time. He flatly defies Zeena here. We feel as surge of freedom when he does, but we still have a feeling that it will all end in doom and destruction.
"Yes, it's pretty bad, seeing all three of them there together." (Epilogue.18)
The ultimate scene of repression, isolation, and confinement. Unless Zeena is somehow enjoying having Mattie and Ethan under her control, or unless Mattie and Ethan are still in love and are just happy to be together, then the hopes and dreams and desires of all involved are being totally ruined.