Symbolism In Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton

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Each object that surrounds us encapsulates a certain meaning that we can interpret in many divergent ways. Even of the smallest items and tiniest actions normal conventions can be seen as something of great significance. Additionally, what may seem meaningless certainly can be the opposite. In Edith Wharton’s novel “Ethan Frome”, the author contemplates a pickle dish to symbolize not only the use of a kitchen utensil but the effect of Zeena’s attitude, the collapse of Ethan’s marriage, and the heartbreak of Mattie’s emotions. Certainly, Zeena’s attitude isn’t of the most merry of personalities. When the pickle dish shatters, this can stand to represent Zeena’s bitter personality. Nonetheless, “...Zeena’s face stood grimly” (Wharton), relates …show more content…

Clearly, it’s reasonable to conclude Mattie shares a deep passion for Ethan, but that does not mean Mattie is pleased with her responsibility for the problems she has caused. Zeena and Ethan are bestowed with many complications and difficult circumstances that mostly relate to Mattie. The pickle plate cracking into pieces manifests Mattie’s realization that she’s a reason for the death of a marriage...and like most people, no one wants to place them self in that kind of circumstance. When Mattie witnesses arguments Zeena and Ethan discreetly undergo, she loses a sense of pride that she once shared within herself. Furthermore, the fragmented dish symbolizes Mattie’s saddening awareness that Zeena does not fancy her. Mattie senses she is disliked by Zeena, especially with all of “Zenobia’s fault finding..” (Wharton) with her work. Knowing that a relative wants nothing to do with her establishes a certain feeling she would rather discard. Mattie hopes for nothing more then peace and tranquility but falling for Zeena’s husband deposits an obstacle between her and Zeena that simply can’t be resolved. The rupture of the pickle dish signifies the rupture of Mattie’s

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