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.
Neither Ethan nor Mattie, the ones actually enacting the transgression, were the ones to break the dish. It was the cat, by-proxy Zeena, who broke the dish; she, it, saw that her marriage to Ethan may as well be over. The broken pickle dish symbolizes both Ethan and Zeena’s broken marriage and their broken trust. Their relationship will never be the same again, and Zeena now has physical confirmation of the feeling she's had for years: Ethan has moved on from here. However, Zeena hasn't done much to keep him
A long time resident of Starkfield, the protagonist Ethan Frome shows he is considerate by caring for and helping others. He first shows this trait when he gives up his desire to live in a city to support his ill mother. Though he has a strong wish to leave Starkfield, he respects his duty and cares for his mother. Ethan also shows this attribute to Zeena, by looking after her and contributing to her medicine while she also falls ill. Zeena is again thought of by Ethan when the pickle dish breaks. Ethan, who knows how much the dish means to her, attempts to glue it back together to please her, unsuccessfully.
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. Throughout the book ethan and Mattie have a growing relationship and their love is shown by Mattie's apparel.
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. Ethan’s bad choices of leaving school, feeling lonely and marrying Zeena and then also being avoidant when he wants to leave her. Obviously, Ethan Frome’s tragedy is all caused by his personal decisions.
It was a dish hardly used, that was only brought down in the spring time for cleaning. The dish was a wedding gift, which has significant meaning in the story. The fact that it was red and that it was a pickle dish adds to the sexual meaning that it possess as a symbolic object. The red pickle dish shows Mattie as an intruder who would reintroduce sexuality into Ethan's life. The color of the dish is a representation of Mattie and meaning of red in the story. Her red scarf, lips, and ribbon all connected her to the symbolic object, the pickle dish. The pickle dish is first showed as Zeena's and Ethan's physical meaning of their marriage. Once Mattie comes into Ethan's sight of love, her presence destroys it. The way it happens in the story is that as Ethan and Mattie prepare for dinner the cat jumps onto the table and breaks the red pickle
Ethan Frome is a classic novel, written in 1911 by author Edith Wharton. She based the accident that occurred in her novel on the historical “Fatal Coasting Accident.” In Ethan Frome, the simplicity of the accident is similar to that of the “Fatal Coasting Accident”, but the details overall are very different. Edith knew one of the victims personally, which made her change some aspects out of respect, but she also changed them to make the story her own. Ethan Frome is different from “Fatal Coasting Accident” because Edith changed the storyline and technicalities, the reasons behind the accident, and the aftermath of the accident, which dramatized her novel and made it fictional.
In Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome, Ethan Frome’s past contributes to the story more than any other character’s. The other main characters’ past may have been more difficult or life changing, but Ethan’s past definitely builds the story more. Ethan’s past builds his character more and dictates almost everything he does. This cannot be said for the other main characters in the story.
He abruptly chose not to go back to school after his father died, which was one of his biggest mistakes. He stayed in Starkfield even though he had the opportunity to go back to school and study his main interest, science. Because of this, he spent most of his days cooped up in his house. “But one phrase stuck in my memory…Guess he’s been in Starkfield too many winters.”(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. Ethan flirted with Mattie and would try his hardest to impress her, for example, he began shaving his face everyday which he never used to do for Zeena. These inappropriate actions caused chaos within the household. Ethan began to lust over Mattie, wanting to spend as much
In Edith Wharton’s novel, Ethan Frome, setting plays an important role. The novel takes place in the fictional town of Starkfield, Massachusetts, in the winter and most likely during the early 1900s, a time better known as the Progressive Era. The Progressive Era brought about change and innovation in many areas, such as education and transportation. This change doesn’t really occur in Starkfield, however. Due to poor transportation, the residents of Starkfield become stuck during the harsh winter, and the majority of the rest of the year in this isolated town. The limited opportunities and lack of choice in Starkfield also hold the characters back, particularly Ethan. Setting influences both the characters attitude and decisions, as well as limiting their lives and the choices they make.
This is like Ethan and Zeena’s marriage, kept so that nobody can touch it, although Mattie eventually does. When Zeena found out about the pickle dish, she did not want Mattie staying with them anymore. This shows that when Zeena found out about the pickle dish, she realized something was not right. Mattie brought down the pickle dish and this showed the problems and issues with Ethan and Zeena’s marriage. One issue being how fragile their marriage was and that it was all based upon the pickle dish. 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
Ethan’s initial response is to attempt to simply piece back the pickle dish with glue. The use of glue or “the easy route” to fix the broken pickle dish so Zeena won’t discover the accident, symbolizes Ethan’s thought process to try repairing their loveless relationship. Furthermore, Ethan is afraid to even tell Zeena that the dish has broken which shows the lack of communication and understanding in their relationship. Zeena’s response is much more dramatic, by intensely accusing Mattie of not only breaking her most prized possession, but also threatening her husband and their marriage. Zeena’s anger and resentment over the broken pickle dish actually illustrates her sorrow over her broken and unfulfilling marriage. Both Zeena and Ethan have varying responses, however both showing some commitment to repair their union.
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.” Like the narrator, I am fascinated with Ethan Frome and I am curious about what the “smash-up” is; I have no idea
People live all their lives trying to chase dreams. Most people do and those are the risk takers they ones who aren 't afraid to try even if the future is uncertain. The ones who don 't try often look imagine how their life could have been if they had taken that risk. In the book Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton we see the main protagonist Ethan lack the courage to chase his dream and in the end pays the price for it.
Ethan’s indifference toward his wife and lack of compassion for her illnesses clearly demonstrates Ethan and Zeena’s loveless relationship. The nature of the Frome’s marriage was made transparent when Ethan fell in love with another woman. When the novel begins, Frome demonstrates his cowardice when confesses that he