Pickle Dish Symbolism In Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton

733 Words3 Pages
Andrew Comer
Mrs. Metzker
English IIIA
16 February 2017
Symbolism in Literature Can you recognize symbolism when you see it and understand the meaning and purpose behind it? In Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, written in 1911, the pickle dish symbolizes Ethan and Zeena’s marriage. There are three reasons that this dish symbolizes marriage: 1. The pickle dish is kept up high on the shelf and is not supposed to be touched, 2. Mattie is panicked and worried when the pickle dish is knocked over and destroyed by the cat, and 3. Ethan is trying to figure a way out to repair or get a new pickle dish. Each of these represent different parts of Ethan and Zeena’s marriage and the relationship between the three characters. In Ethan Frome, the pickle dish is kept up high on the shelf so that nobody can get to it. This is like Ethan and Zeena’s marriage, kept so that nobody can touch it, although Mattie eventually does. When Zeena found out about the pickle dish, she did not want Mattie
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This is like Ethan and Zeena’s marriage, kept so that nobody can touch it, although Mattie eventually does. When Zeena found out about the pickle dish, she did not want Mattie staying with them anymore. This shows that when Zeena found out about the pickle dish, she realized something was not right. Mattie brought down the pickle dish and this showed the problems and issues with Ethan and Zeena’s marriage. One issue being how fragile their marriage was and that it was all based upon the pickle dish. It made it clear to people that something was not right when the pickle dish was brought down from the shelf. In a way Mattie symbolized the cat when the pickle dish was destroyed. The cat knocked over the pickle dish, which symbolised the destruction of their marriage. This shows that when the cat destroyed the pickle dish, Mattie also destroyed Ethan and Zeena’s

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