The writing in the novel, Ethan Frome is fantastic. The love of Ethan Frome is crystal clear. Ethan and Mattie are both believably in love and Ethan’s desperation grips the reader. Zeena, I think, is the most well described of them all. She is reality itself–beyond love, beyond fate, and it is she who outlasts them all. Although I think I fell in love with both Mattie and Ethan in this story and was feeling that intense love and pain of impending separation in their last moments together, the realist in me loved the ending! Zeena, the old witch, the nagging and cunning negative hag, is the one who is the rock in the moving stream. It’s so 20th century. There is something black about the ending that you have to like.
I like the way Zeena’s image keeps popping up for Ethan:
Zeena’s empty rocking-chair stood facing him. Mattie rose obediently, and seated herself in it. As her young brown head detached itself against the patch-work cushion that habitually framed his wife’s gaunt countenance, Ethan had a momentary shock. It was almost as if the other face, the face of the superseded woman, had obliterated that of the intruder.
And as he’s trying to enter into eternity with his beloved . . .
But suddenly his wife’s face, with twisted monstrous lineaments, thrust itself between him and his goal, and he made an instinctive movement to brush it aside.
Here are some example of the accurate description that I love in this story:
Through the obscurity which hid their faces their thoughts seemed to dart at each other like serpents shooting venom. Ethan was seized with horror of the scene and shame at his own share in it. It was as senseless and savage as a physical fight between two enemies in the darkness.
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. For a moment such a flame of hate rose in him that it ran down his arm and clenched his fist against her.
The Ghost in Shakespeare’s Hamlet
The Ghost in Hamlet
In the Shakespearean time period people believed in ghosts and reported them, so it makes sense that Shakespeare would write about a ghost appearing in the play. There is plenty of evidence in the play to prove that the ghost is real.
In the first act the ghost appears to two soldiers Marcellus, and Barnardo, as well as to Hamlet’s friend Horatio, who is a very credible and intelligent person. The same ghost appeared to Hamlet several times through out the play also. These facts eliminate the chance of this ghost being a figment of people’s imagination because too many people saw the same thing. In act 1 scene 1 it is revealed that the ghost appeared twice wearing the same armor King Hamlet wore when he fought the ambitious old Fortinbras, King of Norway, and also when he defeated the Poles. Young Fortinbras is determined to get back the land his father lost. This fact brings more in depth evidence to the ghost being real. The reason the guards are there on watch is a direct relationship to an attack from Fortinbras and the ghost is wearing the armor of the event that started this whole thing.When the ghost asks Hamlet to avenge his death, he reveals a true fact involving the death of King Hamlet:Ghost. I find thee apt; and duller shouldst thou the fat weed that roots itself in ease on lethe wharf wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear. ‘tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard, a serpent stung me. So the whole ear of Denmark in by a forged process of my death rankly abused. But know, thou noble youth, the serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown.Hamlet. O, my prophetic soul! My uncle! (1.3. 38-48) Later in the play is revealed that Claudius murdered King Hamlet in order to achieve the crown himself. This fact proves the reality of the ghost. Claudius admits to killing King Hamlet in a prayer: “…since I am still possessed of those effects for which I did the murder: My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen…”(3.3 57-59) The ghost told Hamlet about that fact before Claudias ever admits it.