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Symbolism in Ethan Frome The novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton uses symbolism to reveal hidden ideas and gives a deeper meaning to the novel Symbolism is an object sign or image that is used to stand for something else The symbol has both literal significance and additional abstract meaning Throughout the novel Ethan Frome the main character suffers from isolation and loneliness He is a man who is trapped in Starkfield because of his responsibility to his family and his marriage to Zeena the woman who nursed his mother Zeena is emotionless depressed passive and manipulative Ethan marriage to Zeena occurs because he does not want to be lonely after his mothers death Ethans life began to brighten up after Mattie Silver Zeenas cousin moves in with them Mattie is a fun energetic and sociable woman Many symbolisms are used to describe these characters The outdoors the kitchen and the red pickle dish are symbols presented in the novel Ethan Frome The outdoors in Starkfield symbolizes the emotional and physical isolation cold darkness and death that surround Ethan Free Essays He seemed a part of the mute melancholy landscape an incarnation of its frozen woe with all that was warm and sentient in him fast bound below the surface but there was nothing unfriendly in his silence Wharton 8 The description of the winter gives a sense of silence desolation and despair felt by each of the characters As the narrator explains I had a sense that his loneliness was not merely the result of his personal plight tragic as I guessed that to be but had in it the profound accumulated cold of many winters Wharton 8 This description sets the mood for the novel The symbolism of the outdoors describes the darkness and isolation shown in the novel Ethan Frome The kitchen represents another symbolism in the novel The kitchen symbolizes the nightmare and liveliness of the
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