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Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome

by Edith Wharton

Love Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

When the door of her room had closed on her he remembered that he had not even touched her hand. (5.41)

We think this line is mostly here to make sure we understand that Ethan and Mattie haven't had sex. Though Ethan has been emotionally unfaithful to Zeena, he hasn't been physically unfaithful.

Quote #5

"You're a bad girl, Mattie Silver, and I always known it. It's the way your father begun, and I was warned of it when I took you, and I tried to keep my things where you couldn't get at 'em-and now you've took from me the one I cared for most of all-" (7.127)

If Zeena hadn't seen, felt, and noticed the attraction that Ethan believes is invisible to every one, the broken dish might not seem like the end of her marriage. But bringing up Mattie's father is harsh. However, using the pickle-dish was harsh, too. It was cruel of Mattie to play out a fantasy of taking Zeena's place.

Quote #6

"I used to think of it sometimes, summer nights, when the moon was so bright I couldn't sleep." (9.81)

We know that it's February, and so that means Mattie has spent months imagining what has just now occurred to Ethan. Mattie's early love surprises Ethan.

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