Describe several events from Ethan Frome that demonstrate the positive and negative aspects of the lack of communication. For example: Ethan gets confronted by Zeena for shaving on a daily basis...

Describe several events from Ethan Frome that demonstrate the positive and negative aspects of the lack of communication.

For example: Ethan gets confronted by Zeena for shaving on a daily basis ever since Mattie's arrival.

Ethan Frome comments that people are saying Mattie is going to leave them, rather than telling her that Zeena is displeased with her work.

Ethan and Mattie's night alone together.

Jotham Powell refuses to stay for dinner - realizing that there is tension between Ethan, Mattie and Zeena.

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The lack of communication is a major motif in the novel. Wharton explores it in terms of both literal physical communication and the more subtle aspects of emotional communication between and among the characters. The severe winter storms break communication among those of Starkfield and the outlying rural areas; people are isolated by geography and nature. When the primary characters are in each other's physical presence, however, they often talk without really communicating. Truth remains buried or unspoken; many conversations exist on two levels simultaneously--what is said and what is truly felt.  One major theme developed in the...

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