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Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome

by Edith Wharton

Manipulation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"You'd have found me right off if you hadn't gone back to have that last reel with Denis," he brought out awkwardly. (2.38)

Ethan is constantly resorting to this kind of manipulation to find out how Mattie feels. It's his plan to pretend he isn't in love with her, but he really wants to know how Mattie feels about him.

Quote #2

"We never got away – how should you?" seemed to be written on every headstone […]. (2.55)

Somehow, Ethan has been manipulated into thinking, or has manipulated himself into thinking, he is doomed to remain in Starkfield, and that his own ancestors are part of the plot.

Quote #3

"Guess you forgot about us, Zeena," Ethan joked, stamping the snow from his boots. (1.69)

"No. I just felt so mean I couldn't sleep." (2.70)

Again we see Ethan acting manipulatively through false speech. Zeena is blunt about her displeasure, and is probably frustrated that nobody seems to get her meaning. She is also acting in a manipulative way by controlling Ethan and Mattie's access to the home (by removing the house key).

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