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Ethan FromeHidden Meanings

Ethan Frome: Hidden meanings Ethan Frome is the story of a family caught in a deep-rooted domestic struggle. Ethan Frome is married to his first love Zeena, who becomes chronically ill over their long marriage. Due to his wife’s condition, they took the services of Zeena’s cousin, Mattie Silver. Mattie seems to be everything that Zeena is not, youthful, energetic, and healthy. Over time Ethan believes that he loves Mattie and wants to leave his wife for her. He struggles with his obligations toward Zeena and his growing love for Mattie. After Zeena discovers their feelings toward each other, she tries to send Mattie away. In an effort to stay together, Ethan and Mattie try to kill themselves by crashing into the elm that they talked about so many times. Instead, Mattie becomes severely injured and paralyzed. The woman that was everything that Zeena was not became the exactly the same as her. In Ethan Frome, the author communicates meanings in this story through various symbols. One of the most significant symbols used in this story is the very setting itself.A symbol is a person, object, or event that suggests more than its literal meaning. Symbols can be very useful in shedding light on a story, clarifying meaning that can’t be expressed with words. It may be hard to notice symbols at first, but while reflecting on the story or reading it a second time, the symbol is like a key that fits perfectly into a lock. The reason that symbols work so well is that we can associate something with a particular object. For example, a red rose symbolizes love and passion, and if there were red roses in a story we may associate that part of the story with love. Although many symbols can have simple meanings, such as a red rose, many have more complex meanings and require a careful reading to figure out its meaning.The first symbol that I noticed in Ethan Frome is the setting. It plays an important role in this story. The author sp...

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