Ethan Frome Quotes

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Ethan Frome Quotes

Quote 1: The narrator recognizes "something bleak and unapproachable" in his face. Introduction, pg. 3 - 4

Quote 2: As Harmon says, "it's always Ethan done the caring." Introduction, pg. 7

Quote 3: The narrator begins to realize the significance of Harmon's words, "Guess he's been in Starkfield too many winters." Introduction, pg. 7

Quote 4: To the narrator, Ethan "seemed a part of the mute melancholy landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm and sentient in him fast bound below the surface...[living] in a depth of moral isolation too remote for casual access." Introduction, pg. 14 - 15

Quote 5: To the narrator, the "diminished dwelling [is] the image of his own shrunken body." Introduction, pg. 21

Quote 6: Ethan then asks her if she wants to leave, to which Mattie replies, "Where'd I go, if I did?" Chapter 2, pg. 49

Quote 7: Ethan usually believes that the spirits of the graveyard seem to call out to him, "We never got away - how should you?" Chapter 2, pg. 50

Quote 8: He regrets not kissing her the night before. He can still recall the day he first met her, when she had come to Starkfield, how she had been such a "colourless slip of a thing." Chapter 3, pg. 57

Quote 9: She would hardly talk to him, either because the hard farm life had taken its toll or because "Ethan never listened." Chapter 4, pg. 72

Quote 10: Ethan believes that she looks "taller, fuller, more womanly in shape and motion." Chapter 4, pg. 82

Quote 11: Zeena's response to Ethan's protests is, "She's a pauper that's hung onto us all after her father'd done his best to ruin us. I've kept her here a whole year: it's somebody else's turn now." Chapter 7, pg. 115

Quote 12: For the first time in his life he sees her in a new light: he sees her as "no longer the listless creature who had lived at his side in a state of sullen self-absorption, but a mysterious alien presence, an evil energy secreted from the long years of silent brooding...All the long misery of his baffled past, of his youth of failure, hardship and vain effort, rose up in his soul in bitterness and seemed to take shape before him in the woman who at every turn had barred his way. She had taken everything else from him; and now she meant to take the one thing that made up for all the others." Chapter 7, pg. 117 - 118

Quote 13: Ethan feels conflicted by so many confused motions in his head. "He was too young, too strong, too full of the sap of living, to submit so easily to the destruction of his hopes. Must he wear out all his years at the side of a bitter querulous woman?" Chapter 8, pg. 130-1

Quote 14: He feels as if he is a "prisoner for life, and now his one ray of light was to be extinguished." Chapter 8, pg. 134

Quote 15: "I always tell Mr. Hale I don't know what [Zeena'd] 'a' done if she hadn't 'a' had you to look after her; and I used to say the same thing 'bout your mother. You've had an awful mean time, Ethan Frome." Chapter 8, pg. 142

Quote 16: An equally miserable Ethan tells her, "I want to put my hand out and touch you. I want to do for you and care for you. I want to be there when you're sick and when you're lonesome." Chapter 9, pg. 158 - 159

Quote 17: Hiding in the shade of the spruces, Ethan imagines that death would feel like that, as he thinks, "[I've] might have been in [our] coffins underground." Chapter 9, pg. 167

Quote 18: "There was nowhere else for [Mattie] to go," Mrs. Hale says of Mattie, "and then Ethan's face'd break your heart....When I see that, I think it's him that suffers most." Perilogue, pg. 179 - 180

Quote 19: Mrs. Hale speaks sadly that it might have been better if Mattie had died - for, "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' 'cept that down there they're all quiet, and the women have got to hold their tongues." Perilogue, pg. 181

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