The Color Red As A Compliment Of Red

897 Words Apr 20th, 2016 4 Pages
Effective use of color is used in every aspect of life, possessing the domination to create mood, tone, and atmosphere. The color red is generally associated with love and happiness. The author of Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton, takes a twist on this concept, by using one of the main characters, Mattie Silver, as a compliment of red. Mattie Silver is often associated with the color silver, bringing forth images of light and warmth against Ethan 's dark life. The use of red in Ethan Frome is depicted by Wharton in comparing bleakness to light, in love and affection, and in forbidden passion.
Wharton contrasts the life of Ethan Frome to almost every place Mattie appears in the book. Words such as fire, star, glow and shining are repeatedly used in her presence. She brightens Ethan 's life and stands out luminously against the dark, cold setting of the story. The color red is often associated with Mattie 's lips, cheeks, and articles of clothing. The use of this sets Mattie apart from the blacks, whites, and grays used to depict almost everything else in the book. "She wore her usual dress of darkish stuff, and there was no bow at her neck; but through her hair she had run a streak of crimson ribbon. This trubute to the unusual transformed and glorified her. She seemed to Ethan taller, fuller, more womanly in shape and motion " (82). Mattie is also compared to Zeena, who always seems to have a black cloud lurking over her. When Mattie first arrives in Starkfield, her presence is…
Open Document