It was a dish hardly used, that was only brought down in the spring time for cleaning. The dish was a wedding gift, which has significant meaning in the story. The fact that it was red and that it was a pickle dish adds to the sexual meaning that it possess as a symbolic object. The red pickle dish shows Mattie as an intruder who would reintroduce sexuality into Ethan's life. The color of the dish is a representation of Mattie and meaning of red in the story. Her red scarf, lips, and ribbon all connected her to the symbolic object, the pickle dish. The pickle dish is first showed as Zeena's and Ethan's physical meaning of their marriage. Once Mattie comes into Ethan's sight of love, her presence destroys it. The way it happens in the story is that as Ethan and Mattie prepare for dinner the cat jumps onto the table and breaks the red pickle
Edith Wharton’s uses Mattie Silver as a literary foil to Zeena Frome in ways which help highlight the differences between these two characters. As shown, Edith portrays Mattie as a warmer and brighter character, while Zeena is portrayed as a sick and cold character. For instance, Edith Wharton stated “All the way down to the village he continued to think of his return to Mattie. The kitchen was a poor place, not “spruce” and shining as his mother had kept it in his boyhood; but it was surprising what a home-like look the mere fact of Zeena's absence gave it.” This quote shows that Zeena’s presence in the house gives the setting a dark sense and when she’s not present and Mattie is the only one in the house, Ethan Frome sees the home as a
Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always is about a young boy who takes for granted the time hes is given. He is whisked away to a place that is built upon time, and learns to not waste time, and love what he has by defeating the House itself.The role of Mrs. Griffin’s three cats are overlooked on the first reading of The Thief of Always, as they look just like three normal pets, but they have much more inside them than most cats.
In a final scene from Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton draws a timeline leading up to the main character, Ethan Frome, and his love interest, Mattie Silver deciding to take their lives rather than letting the rules implied by the society of Starkfield force them to part, their decision in turn contributing to the theme that confinement from pressure from society can drive citizens to their torment. Contributing to the novel as a whole, this scene also highlights Ethan’s built up misery by displaying his willingness to die in order to escape his unwanted marriage to his ailing wife, Zeena. To begin with, as a resident in Starkfield, a town whose residents, obviously unadjusted divorce, consider seven year of marriage as “not so long”, Ethan feels
Ethan loses everything he sought. He lost his Mattie but also managed to not lose her at the same time. Literally he lost Mattie as her original personality was lost by the accident. In another sense he managed to keep her from leaving their household which was the whole ignition to Ethan’s plan. In the end, Ethan sacrifices everything to abandon his old life of a boring, sickly Zeena to end up being with a boring, sickly Mattie Silver. The infinite limbo and the consequence of trying to stay with both ends of the stick.
A long time resident of Starkfield, the protagonist Ethan Frome shows he is considerate by caring for and helping others. He first shows this trait when he gives up his desire to live in a city to support his ill mother. Though he has a strong wish to leave Starkfield, he respects his duty and cares for his mother. Ethan also shows this attribute to Zeena, by looking after her and contributing to her medicine while she also falls ill. Zeena is again thought of by Ethan when the pickle dish breaks. Ethan, who knows how much the dish means to her, attempts to glue it back together to please her, unsuccessfully.
Ethan’s initial response is to attempt to simply piece back the pickle dish with glue. The use of glue or “the easy route” to fix the broken pickle dish so Zeena won’t discover the accident, symbolizes Ethan’s thought process to try repairing their loveless relationship. Furthermore, Ethan is afraid to even tell Zeena that the dish has broken which shows the lack of communication and understanding in their relationship. Zeena’s response is much more dramatic, by intensely accusing Mattie of not only breaking her most prized possession, but also threatening her husband and their marriage. Zeena’s anger and resentment over the broken pickle dish actually illustrates her sorrow over her broken and unfulfilling marriage. Both Zeena and Ethan have varying responses, however both showing some commitment to repair their union.
Before Mattie used the dish, it was in the china closet never being used. This could symbolize Ethan and Zeena’s relationship before Mattie. It wasn’t really love that got them married. They never showed their love for each other in the story. The dish symbolizes how their relationship was never really ‘used.’ In chapter 4, when the dish is being used, it breaks. The dish does not break by itself. In the story, the cat knocked it over. The cat could be a symbol for Mattie. “The cat, unnoticed, had crept up on muffled paws from Zeena's seat to the table…The cat… tried to effect an unnoticed retreat, and in doing so backed into the pickle-dish, which fell to the floor with a crash” (Wharton, chap 4). When Mattie moves in and her relationship with Ethan grows, she begins to break Zeena and Ethan’s marriage. Mattie moving in could be represented by the cat getting on the table. When the cat knocks over the dish, it breaks. This symbolizes that when Mattie got too close, Ethan’s marriage broke apart. Right after the dish breaks, Ethan said that Zeena would have to blame it on the cat. In chapter 7, Ethan blames the cat which caused Zeena to “turn her eyes to Mattie” (Wharton, chap 7). This could also mean that Zeena blames Mattie for breaking the dish and relationship. In chapter 6, Ethan gets the glue to fix the dish. Symbolically it could mean that he found a plan or a way to fix his relationship. However, this ‘glue’ is never applied to the dish. This could mean that he never applied the plan. In chapter 7, Zeena’s reaction to the plate being broken could also be a reaction to her marriage being broken too. “’If I'd 'a' listened to folks, you'd(Mattie) 'a' gone before now, and this wouldn't 'a' happened," she said; and gathering up the bits of broken glass she went out of the room as if she carried a dead body...” (Wharton, chap 7). This shows that Zeena believes that if Mattie had
In the novel Ethan Frome, written by Edith Wharton, Ethan, the main protagonist, encounters numerous challenges relating to his love life, social life, and personal life. Ethan’s actions could be analyzed through his decision-making process and used to display him as a self-reliant man. Self-reliance can be defined using criteria laid out by Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American transcendentalist philosopher, in his essay, “Self-Reliance”. Emerson writes about a checklist containing four primary attributes of a self-reliant person. The first necessary characteristic of a self-reliant person is the ability to exclusively fight for causes which s/he believes in. Secondly, one cannot be self-reliant if s/he is afraid of contradicting her/himself. Additionally,
He abruptly chose not to go back to school after his father died, which was one of his biggest mistakes. He stayed in Starkfield even though he had the opportunity to go back to school and study his main interest, science. Because of this, he spent most of his days cooped up in his house. “But one phrase stuck in my memory…Guess he’s been in Starkfield too many winters.”(Wharton 3). Because of his loneliness, he asked Zeena to marry him without thinking it through. He had no feelings for her and desperately hoped it would make him feel better. While being married to Zeena, his unhappiness peaked and caused him to fall in love with another girl who was the Fromes’ maid, Mattie Silver. Romance was in the air and most definitely not between Zeena and Ethan. Ethan flirted with Mattie and would try his hardest to impress her, for example, he began shaving his face everyday which he never used to do for Zeena. These inappropriate actions caused chaos within the household. Ethan began to lust over Mattie, wanting to spend as much
Ethan Frome, who has to face multiple conflicts throughout the book with his nonstop dream to be an engineer which is crushed due to the illness of, Zeena, his cousin, but who also happens to be his wife. Also a love begins to grow mid way through the book between a girl named Mattie and Ethan, even though he is still married to Zeena which ultimately leads to the distance between their love. In the book Ethan Frome, the feeling of isolation in Ethan and Zeena becomes more prominent, while anger grows between Ethan and Mattie from having denying their love, which contributes to the many mistakes and downfalls Ethan has to face throughout the book.
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
In Edith Wharton's famous book Ethan Frome, main character, Ethan Frome’s story is a personal tragedy. His own decisions he makes are his own fault. But what is his tragedy? Well, to a certain understanding, his tragedy is that in the present day, he is always dreary and not as happy as he could have turned out; in other words, one could say that his tragedy is that he is unsuccessful in happiness. Although one may argue that the tragedy wasn’t all Ethans fault, and that the weather of new england caused it, that certainly isn’t true. Ethan’s bad choices of leaving school, feeling lonely and marrying Zeena and then also being avoidant when he wants to leave her. Obviously, Ethan Frome’s tragedy is all caused by his personal decisions.
Ethan chooses his duty to Zeena over his dream with mattie he would receive when proposed with the option of moving to the West, he decides against it because of what he owes to Zeena. He doesn 't knows if she would not be able to support herself and that clouded future is why he doesn 't agreed to leave. Again, Ethan chooses between duty to Zeena and seeking his personal dream when he and Mattie were going to take their lives so they would not have to live without each other. Throughout his time with Zeena, he was forced to choose between duty to his family and his dreams. He could have left and continued his dream of being an engineer but instead he married her do to a sense of payment for what she had done for his mother. He cast away his dream because he did not know whether he would have an opportunity like this
“When the Doctors came they said she had died of heart disease - - of the joy that kills.” (Chopin 4). The Story of an Hour is a short story published by Kate Chopin that consists of a woman who was diagnosed with a heart disease and appears to present a rather complex relationship with her husband who was presumed to be killed in a work-based accident.