The Significance Of The Devastated Marriage In Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

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The Devastated Marriage A man sees in the world by what he carries in his heart. In the book Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, Frome sees his marriage was disintegrating and has grown a passion for Mattie Silver. For example, in the story, Frome, a poor farmer from Starkfields, Massachusetts, has a disintegrating marriage because of his passion for Mattie Silver. The shattered marriage is a representation of the red pickle dish, that is broken in the house by the cat which takes the role of Zeena’s presence when she is not around. Wharton demonstrates the relationship between the cat and the red pickle dish to Zeena’s marriage and society. As matter of fact, the Red Pickle Dish has much more meaning than we might think. When broken down the red pickle dish was a Gift from Zeena and Ethan's wedding, usually stored up high, safe and never used one of Zeena's most prized possessions. “As he reach the door he met Zeena coming back into the room, her lips twitching with anger, a flush of excitemnet on her swallow face. the shawl had slipped from her shoulder…show more content…
Society does not accept Frome’s passion for Mattie, causing the cat to break the dish to disturb their temptation. Both Zeena and the cat are silent observers,while the cat sits in Zeena's chair, and breaks the dish right before an intimate moment between Ethan and Mattie, Zeena knows of their feelings and tries to separate them from afar. In this qoute Zeena is present at the moment, the narrator say,” the cat who had been a puzzled observer of these unusual movements jumped into Zeena’s chair,rolled itself into ball, and lay watching them with narrowed eyes”(Wharton, pg 56 ). The cat symbolize society rejecting their passion for each other. The cat would represent Zeena regular tactics, as if she was presence, while they were together tempting an adulterous affair with each
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