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Word Count: 1,283
Some decisions have an everlasting effect on ones life Ethan Frome the protagonist in Edith Whartons Ethan Frome is tormented by his passionate love for Mattie Silver but is morally shackled to Zeena by the sacred bonds of marriage After years of harsh life with his wife in the dreary town of Starkefield Ethan comes to believe that his greatest chance at a happy life is with Mattie Silver a cousin of Zeena who has come to live with him However in the end Matties other side one which is extraordinarily similar to Zeenas attitude comes to light after a thwarted suicide attempt In Ethan Frome Edith Wharton makes an ironic comment on the choices present in an impoverished world by presenting contrasting images to describe Zeena Frome and Mattie Silver yet also presenting details which make them seem alike Wharton suggests that Matties cheerful attitude her spirited activity and her ability to inspire confidence in Ethan prompts him to believe that Mattie could bring him bliss One of the reasons why Ethan thinks that Mattie could turn his life around was because she usually overflowed with cheerfulness and energy Ethan is often fascinated by her gaiety which to him was a plain proof of indifference Her cheerful image contrasts sharply with that of Zeena who is selfish and melancholy and brings some cheer into his otherwise dull life Mattie again exhibits her ability to spread warmth while she learns her household duties When Ethan sees her performing her household duties awkwardly he bursts out laughing and to his surprise Mattie also bursts out laughing and this made them better friends This incident baffles Ethan who assumed that a woman would blush with embarrassment instead of laughing it away and charms him so that the idea comes to be implanted into him that Mattie would bring him a happy life Mattie brings him further happiness by simply listening to him especially when he
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