What does the sled in the book Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton symbolize?

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Simply put, the sled in Edith Wharton's novel Ethan Frome represents freedom in more ways than one. However, it will later become a symbol of oppression and despair.

The story takes place in the ever-cold, snowy, and frigid town of Starkfield, Massachusetts, setting the atmosphere for a very limited and uncomfortable place for activity. The sleds are used by everybody in Starkfield, from children to adults, for the dual purpose of entertaining and commuting.

Ethan, being one of the most oppressed and limited characters ever written about, is unable to express himself. He cannot do it through words, because his wife Zenna no longer likes to engage in conversation. He cannot express his love for Mattie, because is married and owes loyalty to Zeena. He cannot rejoice in his feelings for Mattie because...

(The entire section contains 437 words.)

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