Symbolism In Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

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In Edith Wharton’s novel, Ethan Frome, the author uses symbolism to add depth to the story. Throughout the novel the cat embodies Zeena presence even if she is not in the room. The pickle-dish and the breaking of it symbolizes Ethan and Zeena’s marriage. Many different emotions and feeling are represented by the color red. Edith Wharton uses symbolism to add to the story. The cat symbolizes Zeena when she is not there. Edith Wharton used the Fromes’s cat to embody Zeena’s presence. The cat is usually there to come between Ethan and Mattie just like Zeena does. One day when Ethan and Mattie were eating together the cat had “jumped between them into Zeena’s empty chair” (73) to separate the two. This shows the cat and Zeena being alike…show more content…
When Ethan takes Mattie home from the church her vivid red scarf is the only point of color describes and tell a lot about Mattie. After coming into the warm house Mattie unwraps the “cherry scarf in her fresh lips and cheeks” (48). The red describes symbolizes Mattie liveliness and Ethan lover for her. Mettie also wears a red ribbon witch bring out passion and love. The “crimson ribbon … transformed and glorified her” (71) and made her appeal to Ethan. Ethan is drawn to Mattie and her red ribbon that symbolizes Ethan passion and love for Mattie. The pickle-Dish which was a symbol of Ethan and Zeena’s marriage was also red. The pickle dish represented their marriage was “a dish of gay red glass” (72). The dish is red because it is a symbol of marriage and marriage is held together by love and that is what the red represents. The color red is important to the story because it shows emotion and especially love. Edith Wharton used several symbol to add to the story. In Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, the author uses symbolism to add depth and importance to the story. The Cat reflects and fills zeena personality when she is not present. The pickle-dish is a symbol of Ethan and Zeena’s breaking apart marriage. Many emotions especially love is symbolized by the color red. The uses of symbolism add depth and is extremely important to the novel
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