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 POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome

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maxr409



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Registration date : 2006-09-14

PostSubject: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:07 pm

I thought that this story started out fairly slowly and I thought that I was not going to like this book. But as I kept reading I became increasingly interested in the story and I began to feel sorry for the predicament that Ethan was facing. It must have been unbearable for him to live with his disgruntled wife while he had someone he loved under the same roof. I liked the ironic twist at the end where Mattie had become the bitter sickly old woman and Zeena was left to care for her.
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hannahc



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PostSubject: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:10 pm

The novel is really gloomy and depressing, and it gives off a repressive pressure thatís hard to escape. The ending is the most memorable scene in the book. It seems like Ethane can never escape from the imprisonment of Zeena and the responsibilities followed by her ďillnessĒ, even Ethanís attempted suicide was interrupted by Zeenaís face. His last chance for freedom and the afterlife with Mattie was ruined. The film is pretty good, but lacks some details that the book provided. I liked the music accompanying the final sliding down of the mountain, itís like the calmness before a big storm.
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JeffAlmario



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:13 pm

In my opinion, Wharton did a great job describing the scenes. It really added to the gloomy and eerie mood of the novel. If these types of descriptions were left out, the novel would not be as powerful as it is. In addition to this, I was shocked to find out about Ethan and Mattie's attempted suicide. I thought it was an important piece of information that was left out of the movie.
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LeighAnne



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:22 pm

I liked and disliked this book for various reasons. I liked how creepy and spooky it was throughout the entire novel, everyone wondering about what happened to Ethan's leg. However it was depressing when it turned out that Zeena and Mattie's characters ended up switching places after the incident. I liked Mattie a lot and to look at her at the end being gross and scary it just was unfair, which is one moral i learned from the book. It was a strange and interesting book but i liked it well enough.
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Eric



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:45 pm

The scenery and the setting were perfect for this particular atmosphere and mood. The author really sets up the novel nicely with the description of the snow and weather. The coldness and darkness really gives the reader a sense of the gloominess and sadness of the entire novel. The film also does this nicely.
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knina



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:27 pm

Wharton uses a lot of detail when it comes to writing which made it fun to read. The description she uses makes us feel like we are facing the same weather/predicament. The ending was unexpected at all. I was wondering what happened to his leg but i didnt know that he had anything to do with it. It was ironic that Zeena was sick and being looked after in the beginning but the roles changed and she had to take care of Ethan and Mattie.
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andrewh



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:34 pm

The ending of the novel seemed to tie everything together. At the end of the novel I was in sort of disarray, because of my initial anticipation of the ending of the novel was different from the actual ending. The novel seemed to start off slow at first despite the shortness of the novel. I felt that the film seemed more interesting than the novel and it really brought out the characters. The acting in the film was well played out.
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Jess.M.Period1



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:22 am

I thought the ending was very ironic. The fact that they not only did Mattie and Ethan have the courage to ride into a tree but to live and have Zeena help take care of them. Thats embarassing!
What I really liked was the endless gloomy feel to the story which is in part due to the flashback. The story starts with the same colorless snow fields with leafless trees which is constant throughout the flashback.
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I.Phillips



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:14 am

I felt that in the book Ethan's wife always tried to take advatage of her sickness to aquire pity from others. She used it as an excuse and mananged to manipulate others. I think the movie did an exellent job of portaying this. And like in the book the harder she pushed the more her husband gets pushed away from here. Untill heno longer can stand her at all.
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GabyA

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:42 am

I thought the ending of Ethan Frome was very ironic in the sense the Mattie and Zeena sort of switched roles. After the sledding "accident" Zeena was the stronger of the two women and helped to nurse the wounded and frail Mattie. Mattie took the image of a helpless, sick, dreary woman that had been Zeena's image at one time, and Zeena became the able and capable woman. I was shocked at the ending and the fact that Mattie and Ethan did not die, but had to live together in their crippled states.
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AnnaL



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:12 pm

I never really liked Zeena to begin with because she was always uptight about everything and used her illness as an excuse for others to pity her. I thought it was rude how she always treated Mattie like dirt when she just wanted to help her. It was very ironic how both characters end up switching roles after the sledding incident. Zeena's attitude towards Mattie completely changes, and she dedicates all her time towards caring for her. Mattie, who was always able to care for herself, even if she was a little clumsy, ends up incapable of caring for herself or Zeena, and is the one in a more hopeless situation.
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JhuynhEr



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:15 pm

I enjoyed this novel, but I think it was because we watched the film as we read it. When I read then saw the film there were moments where I saw it differently but i thought the director did a great job on the film. I think that this novel was a tad depressing but the characters did bring it upon themsleves. None of the events that happend should've happend at all, but then again there would be no story if the events had not occured.
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LeN

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:00 pm

I hate the ending of the story. It was so ironic and tragic.
Mattie and Zeena switch place. Mattie becomes the handicapped and Zeena have to take care of her. Now each of them can understand how each other feels in their previous times together.
Ethan loves Mattie partly because she was a healthy girl, completely different from his sickly wife. After the accident however, she becomes even worse than his wife. One can't help but wonder how Ethan might feels. The thing that he admired the most, one that attracts him and gives him hopes, has been descecrated and taken up all the characteristics that he hated and despite. Yet he can't blame anyone, but himself. His regret and grief must be overwhelming, to the point that he day by day with no thought of future, with indifference to everything, just live because he has to.
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christinaJ

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:46 pm

I felt that this novel was extremely slow paced. The story and characters made me feel very depressed and upset, although I did enjoy the way Wharton described the setting. Whartonís amazing descriptions really helped me to picture the winter season and I almost actually felt a bit chilly as I was reading it. My favorite part was the ironic ending of the novel. It was shocking because I hadnít anticipated the ending. Mattie, a very genuine character, ended up suffering in the end which I felt she didnít deserve. The way the roles of Mattie and Zeena were switched made for a great ending. It was depressing like the rest of the novel, yet very effective. The movie was also very effective, especially when I saw Ethanís walk at the beginning of the film. It was a lot easier watching the movie rather than reading the book.
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abdi4



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PostSubject: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:22 pm

The book was alot easier than some of the other books we read this year. I wouldn't think that after all that had happened ethanand mattie would end up crippled and zenobia would get better. The author put it like that because she knew the reader would never expect it, and it was a creative ending.Winter was also the perfect season for this to take place because summer or spring would feel to weird. The flashback also worked really well, how you went from present day back in time to explain what happened to ethan.
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JanaeNae



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:05 pm

I greatly enjoyed the manner in which the author presents both the characters and their interweaving lives. Without being heavy-handed in the message, Wharton skillfully implements the inner conflicts and eventul resolutions that comprise the basis of the story. Adding more to this effect were the characters themselves, who were both well constructed and maintained my interest. I also appreciated the mirroring of the novel's setting to the events of the story; gloomy, and mysterious. Watching the movie while finishing the book also made the experience more enjoyable, as I was better able to create an image of the events unfolding.
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Celia

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PostSubject: Carpe Diem versus Sledding   Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:36 pm

I think this novel is another depressing yet realistic view on marraige as entraptment. Social conceptions and a guilty conscience kept Ethan from doing what he truly wanted to do with his life and his love, while the rest of the characters are perhaps to ignorant/naive to understand what is truly happening.

His wife was too self involved to really every learn to love and her character does not change at all, while Maddie is naive to what love really is in the first place. Ethan is living proof that depite an age where wisdom is key there are still people who put "passion" before the practicalities of life. Not that I'm saying he should not be in love with Maddie, more like if he wanted to run off he should have just done it already instead of dilly dallying around waiting for something to change. Take action, seize the day, don't play the victim to societal rules that can easily be disregaurded. But if you're going to do it at least have the cahones to go all or nothing. I disliked the novel because to me the characters all seemed weak. Weak minded, inconsiderate, childish and additinally the movie just made me hate it more. Bad actors who can't cry on demand, or even portray a convincing "passionate involvement."

What i liked most about the authors style was the way he used similies to better explain characters and situations. It was by far the most agreeable part of the entire novel besides of course how Wharton portrays the characters in such a way that evokes sympathy, anger, and immense displeasure from readers in large doses.
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kjohnson



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PostSubject: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:36 pm

Ethan Frome was a very interesting book. I loved how the novel started in the present and then went back into the past to explain Ethanís crippled leg. This made me really curious and I wanted to read more. I liked how descriptive the setting was; I feel as if the cold of the winter illustrated the depression of Ethanís life. I really enjoyed the ending; I did not expect Zeena and Mattie to switch roles.
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cmahlberg4



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:44 pm

The ending of Ethan Frome was shocking and made up for the boring story. If more of the book was about Ethan, Mattie and Zeena living together, I think it would be much more interesting. I was just left wondering how Zeena reacted to the accident and what the three of them did with all that time alone. Ethan Frome was easy to get through and had a nice twist at the end.
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cathyP



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:20 pm

The ending came as a surprise to me. I didnt expect Mattie and Zeena to switch roles creating the unexpected irony. By the end of the book, i had expected that Mattie would have left the Fromes and Ethan would have ended up taking care of Zeena until her death. The unhappy ending left me feeling a bit sad for the characters in the novel since they had to live under such harsh consequences.
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lheying



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:53 pm

I was shocked by the ending of the novel. I thought it showed such irony, with the reversal of rolls between Zenobia and Mattie. Zenobia was so pitiful and lifeless in the beginning and i rooted for Ethan and Mattie's little love affair, but then in the end when Mattie ended up worse off than Zenobia, it left me bitter and annoyed. afro
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elanafink1

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PostSubject: Appologies for how long it took me to post   Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:42 pm

I think what made the book Ethan Frome most appealing to me is the setting. I'm aware that this is all done on purpose and is probably the least important thing to point out due to how obvious it is, yet I've noticed a trend in which books have appealed to me so far this year. All books which take place in cold, snowy, wintery settings have this sort of morbid tone and in this case unfortunately it leads to the ending and explanation of how Ethan Frome had become crippled. If Zena had been a kinder wife, not that she meant any harm but she did happen to place quite a burden on everyone, the incident with Ethan and Mattie at the tree and the accident with the sled could maybe be construed as an act of karma. Ethan and Mattie never had a physical affair but emotionally they indulged eachother and left Zena out of the picture. But of course it's complicated and situations are never black and white.
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julie_m1



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:00 am

I definitely enjoyed this book, especially the imagery of the area. I felt like I could really see how the landscape was at the time the book was written. What I liked the most was how the characteristics of the landscape (cold, gray, barren, impersonal) were reflected in the inhabitants of the town.

Despite enjoying the description, though, I really felt little connection with the characters, especially Ethan. Part of this probably stems from the fact that at the present moment in time, having affairs and leaving spouses is tolerated, if not approved of. Obviously during the nineteenth century falling in love with a young girl and leaving your wife would be not only unheard of, but unfathomable. My lack of ability to really overcome this viewpoint disparity prevented me from being totally involved with the story.
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mhandf12



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:00 am

The setting is what really makes the book a worthwhile read. The cold snowy New England winter gives everythig a sense of mystery. The fact that it is in New England also adds depth to the character because most seem sort of bitter like their life is such a struggle. I enjoyed the dramatic turn ofevents after the sledding accident. There was almost a reversal of roles as Zeena now became the caretaker of the two. Wharton does a great job of piecing together the story through the eyes of an observer. It makes it all the more interesting when we hear the story through the mouth of a narrator rather than the author.
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BrianG.

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Final Reaction to Ethan Frome   Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:11 pm

I have to agree with Matt, the setting is really what did "it" for me. Edith Wharton did an excelent job creating a mood and feeling that blended perfectly with what was going on in the novel. Like everyone else already mentioned the ending was suprising, and pretty ironic. I'm still...not so sure what was going on when Ethan and Zeena were sleding down the hill at the end. I thought they were trying to kill themselves because Zeena said she wouldnt leave the mountain without Ethan. I think getting in a terrible sleigh accident is a lowsy way to try and commit suicide...not very dependable. Hahahah oh well.
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