Symbolism In Ethan Frome By Edith Wharton

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Edith Wharton’s novel “Ethan Frome” is a story filled with symbolism. Every part of the story has a purpose and reasoning behind it. Edith wrote the story with the intention of her readers having to think about what they are reading and dig deeper into the meaning of the story. The order of events of the story was carefully decided by Wharton to entertain and create suspense for the audience. Symbolism is strongly placed in the story, things like the color red, the setting of the story, the cat, and the pickle dish are some of the most obvious symbols. In “Ethan Frome”, the color red is mentioned many times. Sometimes it is reflecting Ethan’s love for his wife Zeena while others it is representing his love for young Mattie. When referring to Mattie, an example of the symbolism is her red scarf that is mentioned in the first few chapters. “Frome’s heart was beating fast. He had been straining for a glimpse of the dark head under the cherry-coloured scarf” (22). His love for Zeena is represented by …show more content…

The author tells us that Starkfield is cold, wintery, and miserable for six to seven months out of the year. The story happens to be written in the time of this terrible season. The town is not lively because of the dangerous season they are in, just like the main character of the story Ethan Frome. Ethan is living his life taking care of his sickly wife and working all that he can. He does not get out much, if he does it is a trip to the post office going after Zeena's medicine. “At intervals, however, the postmaster would hand him an envelope addressed to Mrs. Zenobia--or Mrs. Zeena Frome, and usually bearing conspicuously in the upper left-hand corner the address of some manufacturer of patient medicine and the name of his specific” (8). Ethan is struggling mentally, physically, and financially. Frome is miserable because of his lifestyle and predicament and is trying to find new peace and

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