Ethan Frome is a tragic love story. Every romantic moment is fraught with tension and anxiety. Why? Because the characters are stuck in a bitter love triangle from which escape is impossible. Edith Wharton's fresh take on this timeless theme puts love on an unreachable pedestal. It shows how a lack of love can twist and warp human beings almost beyond recognition. In the four days leading up to a suicide pact between Ethan and Mattie Silver, his would-be lover, these two lonely characters get a glimpse of love, friendship, and companionship. And then it all falls apart. Yet, they remain together (with Ethan's wife Zeena) even 24 years later. Do you think any spark of their former love remains?
The most loving thing Ethan could have done was run away with Mattie; by failing to carry out this loving act, he betrays everyone.
By taking care of Mattie after her accident, Zeena shows that she loves her.