In the end of Ethan Fome, what are Ethan's feelings of love for or imprisonment by Mattie and Zeena? I don't entirely understand how the story ends. I read the book, everything else is easily...

In the end of Ethan Fome, what are Ethan's feelings of love for or imprisonment by Mattie and Zeena?

I don't entirely understand how the story ends. I read the book, everything else is easily understood. But for some reason, I just don't understand the end of the book. Does Ethan still love Mattie? Or is he still a prisoner to Zeena and still have to pretend he doesn't have feelings for Mattie? That's what I mean in my question. Does he love Mattie? Is he a prisoner to Zeena?

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lmetcalf eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The circumstances of the three characters are so altered after the accident that Ethan's feelings for Zeena and Mattie almost don't matter.  These are the new facts of life -- Zeena is well enough to care for Mattie in her recuperation and they have lived this way for the last 20+ years.  Mattie is a changed woman after the accident, much more bitter and resentful of the pain and misery she is in.  She is no longer the light, lovely, youthful joy that Ethan fell for.  He is not only a prisoner to...

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bmadnick eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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