Symbol of Love
Cheating is a choice, not a mistake. In the story “Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton. Ethan is committed himself already to one woman named Zeena, however, Ethan does start to fall in love with another lady named Mattie, who also happens to be the cousin of Zeena. In the story, there is a scene where Mattie and Ethan were cooking and about to have dinner, when the cat knocks over Zeena 's pickle dish, all these events are very key in the symbol of the story. The braking of the dish resembles how fragile a marriage could be.
First the scene, the dish is knocked over by the cat,. The dish symbolizes the relationship between Ethan and his wife Zeena. The dish is important to the
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”(Wharton 3). Because of his loneliness, he asked Zeena to marry him without thinking it through. He had no feelings for her and desperately hoped it would make him feel better. While being married to Zeena, his unhappiness peaked and caused him to fall in love with another girl who was the Fromes’ maid, Mattie Silver. Romance was in the air and most definitely not between Zeena and Ethan.
Novels and plays that rely on symbolism express the meaning of their work through certain motifs that carry the purpose of the work. In the work Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, symbolism is used to enhance the work and its purpose. Edith Wharton utilizes the symbols of Mattie's red scarf and bow, the cat knocking over the pickle's, and the sled rides/accident to advance the purpose of the work. To begin, Ethan Frome is a man who is married to a sick woman named Zeena. When Zeena's cousin Mattie arrives to tend to her, Ethan falls in love with her beauty and spends his time attempting to catch her attention.
The reader first sees this when Ethan agrees to go back home to care for both his mother and his father, "put[ting] a premature end to [his] studies", and deserting his only chance at a job outside of his family farm (Wharton 26). Ethan, rather than make a better life for himself and his future family, decides to put his troubles aside, and give up his life for the intentions of others. At many parts of the novella, such as when Ethan tells a friend that he "'used to'" be interested in science, the reader understands that Ethan cannot help but regret his previous decisions (Wharton 16). Continuing, another example of Ethan's blind resolutions is when he marries Zeena, despite knowing it is not what he wants; it seems that he marries her as a favor, for she helped his mother when his mother needed it most. Ethan once again acknowledges that he made this decision "before he knew what he was doing", ultimately proving to the reader that he gradually begins to understand his own flaw,
The dish was a wedding present given to the married couple. The shattering of the dish symbolizes the death of their marriage. In relation to the theme, the dish shatters during a romantic dinner between Ethan and Mattie, this ties in with morals. Ethan Frome obviously wasn't preoccupied with his crumbling marriage. To Zeena, the shattering of the dish meant the end of their marriage “[Zeena] picked up the bits of broken glass she went out of the room as of she carried a dead body.”
After the narrator appeared shocked at Harmon’s assertion that Ethan Frome could live to be a hundred years old due to his already aged appearance, Harmon suggested that this is so because “...he’s been in Starkfield too many winters” (Wharton on 5). There is a harsh, cold in the world outside for six months each year and Ethan had been subjected to its brutality for his entire life. But relief from the elements cannot be found in the Frome household for the cold within their home is just as brutal. Wharton makes it quite clear to her readers that Ethan does not love his wife, for he harbors a secret affection for Zeena’s cousin, Mattie.
In the prologue of Edith Wharton’s novella Ethan Frome, Wharton's style aids the characterization of Ethan Frome. The mood is dark and dreary the setting of Starkfield, Massachusetts during the winter. The sentences are long and leisurely which emphasizes the length of the New England winters. Due to the setting being in Massachusetts, Ethan Frome’s personality is reserved and reticent and he does not feel the need to have constant conversations with the narrator as he escorts him to his destinations. There is also a distinct dialect; for example, Harmon Gow, the “village orator,” pronounces “first” as “fust” and “worth” as “wust.”
Both Zeena and Ethan have varying responses, however both showing some commitment to repair their union. In Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton utilizes a broken pickle dish, to represent the views of espousement, and the representation of their varied human actions. Ethan and Zeena Frome’s marriage represents a union based on obligation rather that love. Throughout the story, Ethan is a weak and submissive husband under the control of a domineering wife.
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.
Melissa Palacios English 3A Feb. 21 2017 The novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton is about a tragic hero, Ethan who is not in love with his wife, but another person named Mattie. An important symbol in this novel is a pickle dish. This dish symbolizes Ethan’s relationship with his wife. The pickle dish first appears in chapter 4 of the novel.
In the book Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton multiple objects are used to represent big moments in the book and is heavily used. There are many objects that clearly relate to people and relationships between people. The first emblem that represents love between Mattie and Ethan is Mattie's red scarf and ribbon in her hair. The first symbol is the pickle dish representing Ethans and Zeena’s relationship. The final commodity is the cat which represents Zeena.
It made it clear to people that something was not right when the pickle dish was brought down from the shelf. In a way Mattie symbolized the cat when the pickle dish was destroyed. The cat knocked over the pickle dish, which symbolised the destruction of their marriage. This shows that when the cat destroyed the pickle dish, Mattie also destroyed Ethan and Zeena’s
In Edith Wharton's famous book Ethan Frome, main character, Ethan Frome’s story is a personal tragedy. His own decisions he makes are his own fault. But what is his tragedy? Well, to a certain understanding, his tragedy is that in the present day, he is always dreary and not as happy as he could have turned out; in other words, one could say that his tragedy is that he is unsuccessful in happiness. Although one may argue that the tragedy wasn’t all Ethans fault, and that the weather of new england caused it, that certainly isn’t true.
Shyanne Lewis Cp English III Mrs. Hejazifar April 28, 2016 Symbolism of Color Analysis In Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, the symbolism of color plays a big role in the novel. There’s one color expressed throughout the novel. The color being red, symbolize different things for each red object. The color reveals a lot about the characters.
That looks on tempests and is never shaken” (Lines 1-7). In Edith Wharton’s classic, Ethan Frome, this theme is present for protagonist Ethan Frome, who falls in love with his maid, Mattie, and forsakes his wife, Zeena. Ethan and Mattie’s flirtation with infidelity sets a catastrophic series of events into play: Zeena is jilted by the lovers’ betrayal, Mattie asks for the irrational way out of her situation, and all three characters make destructive decisions. Ethan’s indifference toward his wife and lack of compassion for her illnesses clearly demonstrates Ethan and Zeena’s loveless relationship.
Imagery and Symbolism Edith Wharton creates the novel with a high percentage of imagery and symbolism in one. Some ways she combines both imagery and symbolism together is by a flower. Wharton states, “He had never seen any as sun-golden before, and his first impulse was to send them to May instead of the lilies. But they did not look like her - there was something too rich, too strong, in their fiery beauty”(Wharton).