The Color Red In Ethan Frome
Throughout Ethan Frome, author Edith Wharton uses red as a symbol of the passion Ethan longs for but never receives. Red is the color of blood, ruddiness, good health, and liveliness. Zeena, Ethan?s wife, has none of these qualities, yet Mattie Silver, Zeena?s cousin, has all of them. In the harsh white landscape of Starkfield, red stands out just as Mattie stands out in the harsh landscape of Ethans life.
Ethan looks on as ??a girl who had already wound a cherry-coloured ?fascinator? about her head, and, leading her up to the end of the floor, whirled her down its length to the bounding tune of a Virginia reel?(16). The cherry-colored fascinator symbolizes the exhilarating time these young people who are dancing are having as Ethan stares on in his sad, grey world. He wants to go out there and dance, but his life is different from theirs. ?Frome?s heart was beating fast. He had been straining for a glimpse of the dark head under the cherry-coloured-scarf and it vexed another eye should have been quicker than his?(16). Here we see the scarf as a wall between these two people. The mere
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