Ethan Frome Symbolism Analysis

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Ethan Frome is a novel published in 1911 written by Edith Wharton. In this novel a man named Ethan Frome, who is married to Zenobia Frome, falls in love with another woman named Mattie Silver. Mattie is a bright light in Ethan’s dark life. Wharton utilizes symbolism to create emotion and meaning throughout the story. She uses objects, numbers, and the setting to shed light on the various elements of the story that she deems important. The objects around the Frome’s home are very symbolic. The missing piece of Ethan and Zeena’s house symbolizes the missing link in the relationship between Ethan and Zeena. Ethan tells the narrator that he had to take out “L” of his house. The “L” connects the house to the barn. The connection is gone. Not only is the physical connection of their house gone, but the romantic connection is also gone between Ethan and Zeena. The Frome’s cat is symbolic. The cat represents Zeena. When Ethan and Mattie are alone together, the cat continuously reminds them that it is there watching them. After Zeena leaves the house, Mattie and Ethan sit at the dinner table. The cat “...jumped between them into…show more content…
The narrator is saying that he thought Ethan’s loneliness was caused from his personal problems and or difficulties. He was wrong. Ethan’s loneliness originates from the Starkfield winters. “He had often thought since that it would not have happened if his mother had died in spring instead of winter…” (29). Ethan married Zeena because he did not want to be lonely in the winter. He is saying here that if his mother had died in spring instead of winter he might not have married Zeena. The wintery setting plays an immense role in this
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