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Word Count: 966
Beauty Versus the Beast In Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton Ethan a reserved young man was torn between two women He was married to Zenobia Frome but his true love was his wifes cousin Mattie Silver Zeena and Mattie were different in all aspects Mattie was a caring loving beautiful young girl while Zeena was a sickly shrewish woman aged well beyond her years Ethan was continuously drawn to Mattie throughout the novel as she was much more attractive and amicable than Zeena In the novel light was an important motif When light was shed on Zeena it drew out of the darkness her puckered throat and deepened fantastically the hollows and prominences of her high-boned face under its ring of crimping pins 38 Light is used in order to emphasize Zeenas austere and worn face illustrating her cold personality When light was shed on Mattie it drew out with the same distinctness her slim young throat and it threw a lustrous fleck on her lips edged her eyes with velvet shade and laid a milky whiteness above the black curve of her brows 59 Mattie looked radiant and full of beauty beneath the light under which Zeena had appeared hideous It is clear that Mattie would appear more attractive to Ethan The hair of Zeena and Mattie was quite often referred Zeena had only thin strands of hair 45 and she wore a hard perpendicular bonnet 45 on top of her head The sight imprinted in the readers mind is not a pleasant one Zeena appears to be stern and rigid On the contrary when Matties hair was described it is more appealing Ethan remembers her smoothed hair and a ribbon at her neck 58 A ribbon is more appealing to the reader than a hard perpendicular bonnet Matties hair was also described as looking like a drift of mist on the moon 70 Unlike Zeenas uninviting hairstyle Matties hair had a soft
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