In the Concluding Comments of Ethan Frome, who is the woman who gets up when the Narrator enters the house?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This final chapter is a continuation of the opening chapter, so the narrator is entering the Frome home in the present day to see Zeena, who stands when he enters, but only to "set about preparing the meal which Frome's absence had delayed."  At the start of the next paragraph we learn that "the other woman was much smaller and slighter.  She sat huddled in an armchair near the stove...her body kept its limp immobility, and her dark eyes had the bright witch-like stare that disease of the spine sometimes gives."  This MUST be a description of Mattie in her broken body after the accident.  There is no one else in this house, so these two people have to be Mattie and Zeena.  Zeena is the bitter care-taker of Ethan and Mattie and that is established by her behavior. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial