Literary Foils In Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

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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
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