Zeena, Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
The novel by Edith Wharton was published in 1911 and was set up in Starkfield, Massachusetts. The story is about Ethan Frome, a man with great dreams that ended up ruined. Ethan's life gains hope when Zeena's cousin to work as a home help. The story was based on the 1904 Lenox accident where five children died while sliding down Courthouse Hill. The narrator observes the occurrences in winter sitting opposite Frome's house. Zeena is a sickly wife whom Ethan Frome thought was ungrateful (Wharton 23). Zeena is uniquely American because occurrences in her life point to a unique American origin, for example, her dialect, socialization, interaction with her pet cat. The paper analyses Zeena's character to determine if she was uniquely American.
Zeena is uniquely American because her dialect has traits of the American slang dialect. Zeena's language shows an American slang dialect showing that she is uniquely American. For example, Zeena says, "You ain't got the money?" ain't is American dialect for I am not. She also uses o' to mean of, these shortened form of English words shows that Zeena is uniquely American. Another example is when Zeena talks to her husband and says, "You might 'a' shook off that snow outside," the a' is an American slang for having. The American language dialect is hard to eliminate from one's speech and Zeena clearly shows that she has the dialect in her language.
Zeena's appearance and style of dressing indicated that she was uniquely American. Ethan describes Zeena's appearance and mode of dressing, which portrays an American feminine style in it. Zeena was slim, had a wrist no bigger than a child's, her throat seemed young. Zeena had edged her eyes with velvet shade and a peculiar milky whiteness above her brows and a lustrous fleck on her lips (Hale 145). These features are synonymous to the expectation of an American bred woman's image in the American society.
[...] The conflicts are symbolic of the American situation at the time of the novel writing which was the time Americans were actualizing their constitution and democracy (Wharton 41). In addition, America is in a dynamic state with ideologies gained from the American Revolution and liberation. Zeena portrays a dynamic character which is common among American people. Zeena changes throughout the novel and shows different characters during different instances. Therefore, Zeena is uniquely American because occurrences in her life point to a unique American origin. [...]
[...] Zeena was never afraid at any one time to speak her mind. For example, this is clearly shown when Zeena is not afraid to openly remind Ethan of his debts to her such as those of nursing his dying mother. The trait is common among the American's where democratic rights are highly upheld, Zeena proves the point. The American people are mysterious and can maneuver even the hardest of circumstances. Zeena's character proves her to be mysterious; she manages to switch between health and illness depending on which gives her additional power in any given situation. [...]
[...] For example, when Ethan and Mattie were having a moment of their own, Zeena's pet cat jumped between them to sit on Zeena's empty chair. It also crept up its soft paws from Zeena's seat to the table to where the milk-jug stood between Mattie and Ethan. In addition, the cat behaved like a puzzled observer when Mattie sat on Zeena's chair in her absence. The cat was imagery to show that Ethan and Mattie were doing the wrong thing and that there was a power that was attempting to correct them. [...]
[...] The character portrays many traits of the American people among them; dialect, socialization and appearance. Works Cited Wharton, Edith. Ethan Frome. New York: Scribner Print. American Villains. Pasadena, Calif: Salem Press Internet resource. Hale, Sarah J. B. Traits of American Life. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart Print. [...]
[...] Zeena's appearance and style of dressing indicated that she was uniquely American. Ethan describes Zeena's appearance and mode of dressing, which portrays an American feminine style in it. Zeena was slim, had a wrist no bigger than a child's, her throat seemed young. Zeena had edged her eyes with velvet shade and a peculiar milky whiteness above her brows and a lustrous fleck on her lips (Hale 145). These features are synonymous to the expectation of an American bred woman's image in the American society. [...]
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