Marriage In Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

410 Words2 Pages
The image is depressing: In the middle of the winter under a dove grey sky the colors of Starkfield, each hue darker and more depressing than before.The chilly weather running through the house in and out of the room like a quiet ghost silently coming and silently going. The path is dull and the coldness delineates the marriage of the couple start to descending leading to one of them to have an emotional affair with another woman. Just like the weather in Starkfield, frigid and bleak. Just like their marriage. While one tries to fix their marriage, one destroys it. In Ethan Frome, author Edith Wharton describes the Frome’s marriage as loveless, melancholy, and oppressive that bounds to shatter. Throughout the novel, Wharton creates a sorrow…show more content…
Whenever Wharton relates anything toward the Frome’s marriage, she always compares it to weather that likely to foreshadow the trouble that the couple is going through. As the “thick snowfall” from the previous night symbolizing the problem within the marriage will increase.Wharton uses diction for “snowfall” and “white waves massed” that emphasize the size of the Frome’s trouble with their marriage. In addition, the “garden fence” is a juxtaposition since “garden” signifies hopes and dreams, but in reality, the “fence” represents restriction, just like Zeena restrict Ethan from becoming an engineer. Due to Zeena illness, she has to travel to “Springfield to seek the advice of some new doctor” (Wharton 32). When Zeena travel to “Springfield”, it symbolizes she gets to escape the trouble that she faces the reality. For example, Zeena would “always come back laden with expensive remedies,” and paying “twenty dollars” for an “electric battery” that she never uses. Over time that Ethan has live with Zeena, Ethan had “often thought that the [marriage] would not ha[s] happened if his mother died in [the] spring instead of winter” (Wharton 36). Ethan’s thoughts that if he didn’t marry Zeena, he would be lonely and hoping that Zeena would give him hope and dreams, but fails to do so. As Wharton depicts the juxtaposition between “spring” and “winter” of how their marriage should have been bright and colorful, instead the marriage is dull and
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