What Does Zeena Symbolize In Ethan Frome

Decent Essays
“Magic Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” the Evil Queen inquiries (1). In the novella Ethan Frome, Mattie Silver (Snow White) surpasses the beauty of every living organism in Starkfield. Zenobia Frome correlates herself with the Evil Queen. Furthermore, Zeena, a hypochondriac in the eyes of Ethan Frome, is used as a foil for Mattie Silver. In the dark and gloomy tale of Ethan Frome, the story emerges as an inverted fairytale. The “fairy maiden” anthropomorphizes into a greater evil than the Evil Queen, herself. Snow White was known for her pale skin, red lips, and her beautiful voice. Alike Snow White, Edith Wharton sedulously attaches red and light with Mattie Silver, symbolizing her with a red scarf. Ethan Frome and Zeena are associated with dark and grim colors blending in with their haggard surroundings. Ethan is in awe when he sees Mattie, his silver lining. Zeena envies Mattie indirectly in the story and goes out of her way to make her seem like a horrendous person. Moreover, Zeena emerges as the powerful Evil Queen in Ethan Frome that successfully wins. Thus, in Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton taints the classic fairytale to become a disastrous tragedy of two lovers. Undoubtedly, Wharton exemplifies Zeena’s rigid and haggard physical appearance to portray the “Evil Queen” in Ethan Frome. Edith paints the picture of a “sallow-complexioned and old at thirty-five” Zeena Frome, accentuating her “high protruding cheekbones, lashless lids over piercing
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