by Edith Wharton
Ethan Frome Manipulation Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Zenobia's fault-finding was of the silent kind, but not the less penetrating for that. (3.6)
This passage speaks for itself, and there is ample evidence of it in the novel. Like the way she lets Mattie wait on her and then complains that the food gave her heartburn.
"The doctor says it'll be my death if I go on slaving the way I've had to. He doesn't understand how I've stood it as long as I have." (7.35)
We don't know for sure how many of Zeena's health problems are real. Her recovery after the elm tree accident suggests that at least some of her illness is faked. But we do know that she hasn't been slaving. However you look at it, this is a good example of manipulative speech.
There had never been anything in her that one could appeal to; but as long as he could ignore and command he had remained indifferent. Now she had mastered him and he abhorred her. (7.73)
Ethan sure feels manipulated, and that's what makes him want to get away from Zeena. This passage also points to the fact that Ethan has dehumanized Zeena, and that he doesn't really consider her when he acts.