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 POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome

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Registration date : 2006-09-06

PostSubject: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:05 pm

Share with us a great line from Ethan Frome--one that reveals character, builds mood, foreshadows plot, or highlights a key image. Give us the line and the page number, and then write a short, focused paragraph that reveals your thoughts about the quote.

I look forward to reading your ideas.
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kjones4



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PostSubject: quote from Ethan Frome   Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:12 pm

"The small ray of Frome's lantern was soon lost in this smothering medium, in which even his sense of direction, and the bay's homing instinct, finally ceased to serve us. Two or three times some ghostly landmark sprang up to warn us that we were astray, and then was sucked back into the mist;" (I'm not quite sure what page it's on, but it is in the intro)

The words that Wharton used to describe the appearance and disappearance of the "ghostly landmarks" intrigued me, as did the whole eerie mood of the paragraph. I came to believe that the landmarks also served as a warning to the narrator who must have known that he was going to have to stay with the Fromes which began his journey into their past.
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phNguyen

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PostSubject: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:09 am

"Sacred to the memory of Ethan Frome and Endurance his wife, who dwelled together in peace for fifty years." (p. 69 in the enriched classic edition)

I thought this quote foreshadows the ending. The fact that the quote was written on a grave hints that the Fromes would be either dead in the end or would have been in a state that being dead is better off.
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Sophiachow

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Dec 25, 2006 1:52 pm

“He was still kneeling when his eyes, on a level with the lower panel of the door, caught a faint ray beneath it. Who could be stirring in that silent house? He heard a step on the stairs, and again for an instant the thought of tramps tore through him. Then the door opened and he saw his wife” (p. 49).

I think the situational irony Edith Wharton uses is very effective. Zeena is watching over Ethan and observing his every move in detail. Even though Zeena is ill, she is still able to have control over the things around her. The mood shifts with so little words from cheerful and lively with Ethan and Mattie to being hazy, and pressured when Zeena comes into the picture. The imagery of the scene efficiently describes the tension between Ethan and Zeena. At that instance, the air almost solidified, and everything just slowed down.
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I.Phillips



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:42 pm

"But look here-where are you taking me, then?"
"Staight to the junction, by the shortest way," he answered, pointing up School House Hill with his whip.
"To the Juntion-in this storm?" Why, it's a good ten miles!"
"the bay'll do it if you give him time. You said you had some business there this afternooon. I'll see you get there."
He said it so quietly that i could only answer"You're doing me the biggest kind of a favor"(pg.21)

_- I liked this scene because it gave us our first interaction with Frome. Up through the novel so far all we hear of is what a great man Frome really is and as we see hear he does seem to hold up to the rumors. It builds favoral character and depth for Frome
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gargigodbole

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:47 am

"If you Starkfield, Massachusetts...of all the families on his line" (9-10).

This paragraph actually introduces the character of Ethan Frome to the reader and the narrator. When I was reading this passage, I realized that if I were the narrator I would be be behaving the same way as him: asking around how Ethan Frome became this way and making assumptions. This passage basically put me to the edge of my seat and let me ponder a lot more, giving me the full impact I am assuming the author wants us to have.
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brittanyS1



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PostSubject: key quote from Ethan Frome   Thu Dec 28, 2006 4:21 pm

"After the funeral...he was seized with an unreasoning dread of being left alone on the farm; and before he knew what he was doing he had asked her to stay there with him. He had often thought since that it would not have happened if his mother had died in spring instead of winter..."
(page 29 bottom of paragraph 2.)

This quote gives some insight on Ethan's true feelings for his wife Zeena, none at all. It describes how he had only asked her to marry him out of fear of being alone, not our of love. We see that Ethan's actions are based on what he feels at the moment without putting thought into the consequenses. We see this also when he lies to Zeena later on in the story about getting an advance in payment from Andrew Hale just so he can stay with Mattie. The last part of the quote also shows that Ethan is highly affected by the gloom and sadness that winter brings.
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Marielle66

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Sat Dec 30, 2006 6:46 pm

Surprisingly, the first paragraph of the novel hit me:

"I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story"


I thought Edith Wharton did an awesome job in starting the novel. In just reading this one paragraph, many questions quickly come to readers' minds and that is the perfect technique to make a person want to keep on reading the novel. I immediately started wondering...what was the story...who were the people the narrator got the story from...who was the narrator...what were those cases...what were all the different stories...
I wanted to know the answer to all these questions, I wanted to keep on reading. The author did a really great job on opening the story and definitely on the whole novel.
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mrose



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:50 pm

"The dancers were going faster and faster, and the musicians, to keep up with them, belaboured their instruments like jockeys lashing their mounts on the home-stretch; yet it seemed to the young man at the window that the reel would never end..." (line 6, pg 31)

Here I thought Edith Wharton effectively created a mood causing the reader to understand Ethan's inability to control his life. This quote through the use of phrases like "faster and faster," "keep up," and "never end" sheds light on Ethan's insecurity involving his relationship with Mattie Silver. It also foreshadows the crazy aspects of Ethan and Mattie's doomed relationship.
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nfait



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:49 pm

"When I had been there a little longer, and had seen this phase of crystal clearness followed by long stretches of sunless cold; when the storms of February had pitched their white tents about the devoted village and the wild cavalry of March winds had charged down to their support; I began to understand why Starkfield emerged from its six months' siege like a starved farrison capitulating without quarter" (pg 3).

This quote in the opening, sets the scene for the rest of the novel and the harsh winters. The metaphor of the storm and winds as cavalry at war for six months against Starkfield gives a startling image of the town and what Ethan must be like after being there for so many years.
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JohnN

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:32 pm

Quote :
Frome's heart was beating fast. He had been straining for a glimpse of the dark head under the cherry-coloured scarf and it vexed him that another eye should have been quicker than his. The leader of the reel, who looked as if he had Irish blood in his veins, danced well, and his partner caught his fire. As she passed down the line, her light figure swinging from hand to hand in circles of increasing swiftness, the scarf flew off her head and stood out behind her shoulders, and Frome, at each turn, caught sight of her laughing panting lips, the cloud of dark hair about her forehead, and the dark eyes which seemed the only fixed points in a maze of flying lines. (pg. 30 of enriched classic version)

This quote is when Ethan is still young and before any mention of his wife, so I thought it showed how interested he was in Mattie. He comes to pick her up and finds himself mesmerized by her. The line that really got me was "eyes which seemed the only fixed points in a maze ", which definately show his infatuation with her. After reading this passage then realizing that he has a wife, it was easy to see that there was definately going to be some type of trouble. Not only did it reveal more about the mysterious Ethan, but it also presents Wharton's beautiful writing style.
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Sullivan4



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:46 pm

"He hung back, and she came out alone and paused within a few yards of him." (40)

I thought this quote really showed the differences between Mattie and Ethan. Ethan hides in the darkness while Mattie is in open light. It also showed how Ethan is forced to watch Mattie from afar, and is unable to do so openly. They are so close to one another, yet unable to pursue each other.
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Monika

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:35 pm

"Just as they started he heard...I know we can fetch it." pg. 139
This passage explains everything, for me at least. It is the point at which everything made sense, and I thought I knew how everything was going to end, well, mostly. It was very well written and got me into the whole delirious mood that the characters were feeling at the time. The whole passage seems so frantic and filled with their pain. Everything just works and it was magical and sad.
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ANunn1



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:57 pm

"...And I say, if she'd ha' died, Ethan might ha' lived; and the way they are now, I don't see's there's much difference between the Fromes up at the farm and the Fromes down in the graveyard..." (77)

This was a great way to end the story and reinforce the unique mood of Ethan Frome . This passage leaves the reader thinking about just what might have happened to the Fromes if one of even both of them had died. It also speaks to the broader message of the story that revolves around how a single event can change the rest of a person's life or even the lives of everyone in a family. Regarding the mood, it furthers the feeling of hopeless desire present throughout the novel. The most prominent desire is obviously Ethan's for Mattie's love. This desire consumes Ethan just as the desire for Mattie to have died seems to have consumed Mrs. Hale to a point at which she would declare her desire for Mattie's death to a minister.
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Gina44



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:39 pm

"I had been told that Frome was poor, and that the saw-mill and the arid acres of his farm yielded scarcely enough to keep his household through the winter; but I had not supposed him to be in such want as Harmon's words implied, and I expressed my wonder." (pg 17)

This quote emphasizes the fact that many people offer their opinion of Ethan Frome and it creates this image of him that is not entirely true. It also builds up the curiosity in people as to if he is really that way, because no one can be too sure.
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bri fej

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:29 pm

"Against the dark background of the kitchen she stood up tall and angular, one hand drawing a quilted counterpane to her flat breast, while the other held a lamp. The light, on a level with her chin, drew out of the darkness her puckered throat and the projecting wrist of the hand that clutched the quilt, an deepened fantastically the hollows and prominences of ther high-boned face under its ring of crimping-pins. To Ethan, still in the rosy haze of his hour with Mattie, the sight came with the intense precision of the last dream before waking. He felt as if he had never before known what his wife looked like." (22)

This quote makes Zeena looks like hell. It shows her in a demonic light and one can only imagine the kind of wrath she's going to release on anyone in her path. This passage illuminates Zeena's illness and withered state.
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nicklake



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:12 pm

"Ethan tried to say something befitting of the occasion, but there wasonly one thought in his mind: the fact that, for the first time since Matie had come to live with them, Zeena was to be away for a night. He wondered if the girl were thinking of it too..."(58).

I thought this quote was important because it is one of the first times that Ethan's attraction for Mattie is shown. Up until then, all Ethan had expressed toward Mattie was an inner wish to kiss her when he had a chance. Here it is clear that he might want a little more than just a kiss... It is this thought that started the affair that ended in the downfall of the whole family.
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cathycal8



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:40 pm

"Then, with a sudden dart of irony, he wondered if, when their turn came, the same epitaph would be written over him and Zeena." (page 33)

I though this quote was kind of eary and creepy because when I read it I could picture this man walk by a cemetary covered in snow and it just made me feel weird that someone would think about what would be written on his gravestone and his wife's gravestone. It's just a scary thought. I think it would also be weird to see your own name on a gravestone. How freaky.
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Tsprague6



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:54 pm

"Frome had been driving me over to the Flats for about a week when one morning I looked out of my window into a think snow-fall. The height of the white waves massed against the garden-fence and along the wall of the church showed that the strom must have been going on all night and that the drifts were likely to be heavy in the open." pg. 20

I chose this quote not necessarily because I feel that it was really important to the story, but for another reason. Like I mentioned in another response to Ethan Frome, I feel that the description of the surroundings were done so well. The way the snow is described (for example, the white waves) really does it for me. There were a lot of other really interesting descriptions of the cold and the snow.
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mar89

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:55 pm

"I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story."

A lot of people are probably going to choose this quote, but I think it is one of the most important quotes that appears at the beginning of both the novel and the film. Ethan is introduced as a very eerie and mysterious character that no one else in his town knows much about, which is basically the epitome of this quote. Everyone knows Ethan is an amazing, accomplished man, but they are frightened by his appearance and don't take time to find out his life story on their own. Because of his isolated lifestyle and the townspeople's curiosity, Ethan Frome becomes a lengendary figure that remains a mystery to all of his onlookers.
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hannahc



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PostSubject: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:30 pm

“The cat, unnoticed, had crept up on muffled paws from Zeena’s seat to the table, and was stealthily elongating its body in the direction of the milk-jug, which stood between Ethan and Mattie.” (p.72)

This is the first time that Zeena is absent from the house for a very long time, and Ethan and Mattie pretended to live as a happily married couple. With the feelings of sudden excitement and happiness, the thought of Zeena constantly paralyzed the air. It’s a significant scene because it’s as if Zeena took the form of a cat, reminding them of her existence. The cat sat on Zeena’s chair and also broke the pickle dish. These symbolic actions kept on interrupting the happy mood in the house, leading the readers to believe that Ethan and Mattie’s relationship will not work in the future, and that their happiness cannot be long-lasting.
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BCallison



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:47 pm

"Under her shapeless dress her body kept its limp immobility, and her dark eyes had the bright witch-like stare that disease of the spine sometimes gives."

I chose this line because this is just one example of the description Wharton uses throughout the novel. The words she used to describe everything in the novel practically brought it to life. I constantly found myself picturing things in my head. When I read this line I immediatly pictured a dead person just laying there staring directly at me.
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melissac1

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:16 pm

"His wife's retort was like a knife-cut across the sinews and he felt suddenly weak and powerless. He had meant to humble himself, to argue that Mattie's
keep didn't cost much, after all, that he could make out to buy a
stove and fix up a place in the attic for the hired girl-but Zeena's
words revealed the peril of such pleadings."

Zeena, in spite of her ailment, still dominates her husband. She can't control his thoughts but she keeps him from expressing them from guilt and fear. He pities her condition and avoids offending her to a point where he suffers himself. The "knife-cut retort" is his own inability to speak up.
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JeffAlmario



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:24 pm

"For the first time he stole his arm about her, and she did not resist. They walked on as if they were floating on a summer stream." - pg 21

This passage shows the passion and love Ethan and Mattie shared. They feel happy and complete, unlike the relationship Ethan has with his wife. The diction Wharton uses, such as summer stream, adds to the joyful feeling these two characters are feeling. When I first read this passage, I realized that the love between them would go deep into the novel.
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LeighAnne



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Key Quote from Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:42 pm

"She was there,then, close to him...instead of making his presence known to her." (17)

I think this paragraph shows how intense Ethan and Mattie's relationship was and how fast it started. As soon as he sees her the words start reading faster, with little phrases and shortened sentences which rises the antipatiction. It shows how passionate they are as soon as they see each other and I thought it was shown well.
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