Ethan Frome (Spanish Edition)

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  4. Ethan Frome First Edition Edith Wharton Rare

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Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. He had always been more sensitive than the people about him to the appeal of natural beauty. His unfinished studies had given form to this sensibility and even in his unhappiest moments field and sky spoke to him with a deep and powerful persuasion. But hitherto the emotion had remained in him as a silent ache, veiling with sadness the beauty that evoked it. He did not even know whether anyone else in the world felt as he did, or whether he was the sole victim of this mournful privilege.

And there were other sensations, less definable but more exquisite, which drew them together with ashock of silent joy: the cold red of sunset behind winter hills, the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the intensely blue shadows of hemlocks on sunlit snow. As he stood in the darkness outside the church the sememories came back with the poignancy of vanished things. Watching Mattie whirl down the floor from hand to hand, he wondered how he could ever have thought that his dull talk interested her. To him, who was never gay but in her presence, her gaiety seemed plain proof of indifference.

The face she lifted to her dancers was the same which, when she saw him, always looked like a window that has caught the sunset. He even noticed two or three gestures which, in his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him: a way of throwing her head back when she was amused, as if to taste her laugh before she let it out, and a trick of sinking her lids slowly when anything charmed or moved her.

The sight made him unhappy, and his unhappiness roused his latent fears. Mattie had no natural turn for house-keeping, and her training had done nothing to remedy the defect. She was quick to learn, but forgetful and dreamy, and not disposed to take the matter seriously.

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Ethan had an idea that if she were to marry a man she was fond of the dormant instinct would wake, and her pies and biscuits become the pride of the county; but domesticity in the abstract did not interest her. At first she was so awkward that he could not help laughing at her; but she laughed with him and that made them better friends. He did his best to supplement her unskilled efforts, getting up earlier than usual to light the kitchen fire, carrying in the wood overnight, and neglecting the mill for the farm that he might help her about the house during the day. He even crept down on Saturday nights to scrub the kitchen floor after the women had gone to bed; and Zeena, one day, had surprised him at the churn and had turned away silently, with one of her queer looks.

One cold winter morning, as he dressed in the dark, his candle flickering in the draught of the ill-fitting window, he had heard her speak from the bed behind him.


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He had supposed her to be asleep, and the sound of her voice had startled him, though she was given to abrupt explosions of speech afterlong intervals of secretive silence. He turned and looked at her where she lay indistinctly outlined under the dark calico quilt, her high-boned face taking a greyish tinge from the whiteness of the pillow. Frome turned away again, and taking up his razor stooped to catch the reflection of his stretched cheek in the blotched looking-glass above the wash-stand.

Ethan, glaring at his face in the glass, threw his head back to draw the razor from ear to chin. His hand was steady, but the attitude was an excuse for not making an immediate reply. Continues… Excerpted from "Ethan Frome" by. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.

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Edith Wharton

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Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD 8. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview The setting for this piercing New England novel is the aptly named Starkfield, where, despite violently blue skies, the chill of cold and snow seems to have settled in the hearts of its inhabitants. Tethered to his farm, first by helpless parents, later by his querulous, hypochondriac wife Zeena, Ethan Frome ekes out a living.

Ethan Frome First Edition Edith Wharton Rare

And the impossible intensity in which the three exist will have devastating consequences for all. About the Author. Edith Newbold Jones was born January 24, , into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the age of eighteen she had written a novella, as well as witty reviews of it and published poetry in the Atlantic Monthly. After a failed engagement, Edith married a wealthy sportsman, Edward Wharton.

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Despite similar backgrounds and a shared taste for travel, the marriage was not a success. Many of Wharton's novels chronicle unhappy marriages, in which the demands of love and vocation often conflict with the expectations of society. Ethan tries to help by setting the dish's pieces neatly in the cupboard, presenting the false impression of wholeness if not examined closely, with plans to purchase some glue and fix it as soon as he can.

Ethan then goes into town to buy glue for the broken pickle dish, and upon his return finds that Zeena has also come home. Zeena retreats upstairs, proclaiming her illness, and refusing supper because she is not hungry. There, she informs Ethan that she plans to send Mattie away and has already hired another girl to replace her, claiming that she needs someone more efficient because her health is failing more rapidly than ever. Ethan is angry and frustrated to the point of panic by the thought of losing Mattie, and he is also worried for Mattie, who has no other place to go and no way to support herself in the world.

Mattie reacts with shock but rapid acceptance, trying to calm Ethan, while Ethan becomes more agitated and begins to insist that he will not let her go. Ethan kisses her. Moments later, they are interrupted by Zeena, who has decided that she is hungry after all. After supper, Zeena discovers the broken pickle dish and is heartbroken and enraged; this betrayal cements her determination to send Mattie away.

Ethan, miserable at the thought of losing Mattie and worried sick about her fate, considers running away with Mattie, but he lacks the money to do so. He feels that he cannot abandon Zeena because he knows that she would neither be able to run the farm nor sell it the poor quality of the place has been discussed at several points in the story already.

Every plan he thinks of is impossible to carry out, and he remains in despair and frantically trying to think of a way to change this one more turn of events against his ability to have a happy life. The next morning, Zeena describes her specific and imminent plans for sending Mattie on her way. Panicked, Ethan rushes into town to try to get a cash advance from a customer for a load of lumber in order to have the money with which to abscond with Mattie.

He realizes that, of all people, he cannot cheat this kindly woman and her husband out of money, since she is one of the few people who have ever seemed to have seen or openly acknowledged Ethan's lifelong plight, as well as his honor in fulfilling his duties. Ethan returns to the farm and picks up Mattie to take her to the train station.

They stop at a hill upon which they had once planned to go sledding and decide to sled together as a way of delaying their sad parting, after which they anticipate never seeing each other again. After their first run, Mattie suggests a suicide pact: that they go down again, and steer the sled directly into a tree, so they will never be parted and so that they may spend their last moments together.

Ethan first refuses to go through with the plan, but in his despair that mirrors Mattie's, he ultimately agrees, and they get on the sled, clutching each other. On the way down, a vision of Zeena's face startles Ethan into swerving a bit, but he corrects their course, and they crash headlong and at high speed into the elm tree. Ethan regains consciousness after the accident but Mattie lies beside him, "cheeping" in pain like a small wounded animal. Ethan is also injured, and the reader is left to understand that this was the "smash-up" that left Ethan with a permanent limp. The final chapter or epilogue again unnumbered like the prologue , switches back to the first-person narrator point of view of the prologue, as Frome and his visitor, the narrator, enter the Frome household two decades later.

The narrator hears a complaining female voice, and it is easy to assume that it belongs to the never-happy Zeena, but in the final twist of the story, it emerges that it is in fact Mattie, who now lives with the Fromes due to having been paralyzed in the accident. Her misery over her plight and dependence has embittered and "soured" her, and, with roles reversed, Zeena is now forced to care for her as well as Ethan.

Further illustrating the psychosomatic nature of most of Zeena's previous complaints, she has now found the strength through necessity to be the caregiver rather than being the invalid. In an agonizing irony, Ethan and Mattie have gotten their wish to stay together, but in mutual unhappiness and discontent, with Mattie helpless and paralyzed, and with Zeena as a constant presence between the two of them. The story of Ethan Frome had initially begun as a French-language composition that Wharton had to write while studying the language in Paris , [2] but several years later she took the story up again and transformed it into the novel it now is, basing her sense of New England culture and place on her 10 years of living at The Mount, her home in Lenox, Massachusetts.

She would read portions of her novel-in-progress each day to her good friend Walter Berry, who was an international lawyer. Wharton likely based the story of Ethan and Mattie's sledding experience on an accident that she had heard about in in Lenox, Massachusetts. They crashed into a lamppost while sledding down Courthouse Hill in Lenox.