Ethan Frome

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The Red Glass Pickle-dish Symbol Analysis

The Red Glass Pickle-dish Symbol Icon
The pickle-dish, Zeena's favorite wedding present, is a symbol of Ethan and Zeena's marriage. For this reason, its destruction is particularly devastating to Zeena. The red color of the dish can be interpreted as symbolizing the passion that the couple no longer share.
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The Red Glass Pickle-dish Symbol Timeline in Ethan Frome

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Red Glass Pickle-dish appears in Ethan Frome. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Duty and Morality vs. Desire Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Marriage Theme Icon
Work, Industry and Progress Theme Icon
...her hair. The table is carefully laid for supper, with Ethan's favorite pickles in a red glass pickle -dish . The room is warm and bright, and Zeena's cat lies contentedly by the fire.... (full context)
Duty and Morality vs. Desire Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Marriage Theme Icon
...and Mattie's hands meet on the handle of the milk-jug the cat knocks over the pickle-dish, shattering it. (full context)
Determinism and Free Will Theme Icon
Duty and Morality vs. Desire Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Marriage Theme Icon
Mattie is distraught. The pickle-dish was one of Zeena's most prized wedding gifts. In fact, Zeena prizes it so highly... (full context)
Chapter 6
Determinism and Free Will Theme Icon
Hostile or Indifferent Nature Theme Icon
...to drive another load of logs to town and buy some glue to fix the pickle-dish while sending Jotham to fetch Zeena at the train station. However, one of the horses... (full context)
Determinism and Free Will Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Marriage Theme Icon
...and has gone upstairs without saying a word. Ethan tells Mattie he will fix the pickle-dish later than night after Zeena has gone to bed. (full context)
Chapter 7
Determinism and Free Will Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Marriage Theme Icon
When Zeena returns, she is furious and carrying the broken pickle-dish. Ethan tells her the cat knocked it over, to which Zeena replies that a cat... (full context)
Chapter 8
Determinism and Free Will Theme Icon
Duty and Morality vs. Desire Theme Icon
At dawn, Mattie appears in the doorway wearing her red scarf . She is pale and says she has been awake all night, listening for him... (full context)