100%(2)2 out of 2 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 3 - 5 out of 5 pages.
warn't ever anybody but Ethan. Fust his father-then his mother-then his wife."[CITATION Edi11 \p 6 \l 1033 ] Mattie, Zeena’s cousin, who ironically arrives to look after her and take over her duties inthe household for which Zeena is too ill, becomes Ethan’s newest pursuit of happiness. “It pleased Ethan to have surprised a pair of lovers on the spot where he and Mattie had stood with such a thirst for each other in their hearts; but he felt a pang at the thought that these two need not hide their happiness.”[CITATION Edi11 \p 97 \l 1033 ] Readers are presented with Ethan’s primary dilemma in the story, fall in love and escape the life, marriage, and town he has been trapped by, “Zeena herself, from an oppressive reality, had faded into an insubstantial shade. All his life was lived in the sight and sound of Mattie Silver, and he could no longer conceive of its being otherwise.”[CITATION Edi11 \p 48 \l 1033 ]; or fulfill his marriage vows and duty to Zeena. Ethan makes attempts to pave his way out of town with Mattie, requesting early pay for his goods, and other avenues of turning extra profit to skip town. His repression by the town continues as he is unable to find the necessary advance “A moment ago he had wondered what he and Mattie were to live on when they reached the West; now he saw that he had not even the money to take her there.”[CITATION Edi11 \p 168 \l 1033 ] Back and forth inner struggle occurs
Douglas LudmanProfessor BusbyLITR221 B007 Fall 1423NOV2014for Ethan who is helpless to stop Zeena from asking Mattie to leave the farm. “’I want you should stay here this afternoon, Ethan,’ his wife said. ‘Jotham can drive Mattie over.’ Mattie flung an imploring glance at him, but he repeated curtly: ‘I'm going to drive her over myself.’”Ethan not only has to suffer the fate of seeing Mattie leave, but to take her to the train station himself. In a last attempt at a twisted happiness, Ethan and Mattie decide to commit suicide together by crashing a sled into a tree. “[Mattie] put her lips close against his ear to say: ‘Right into the big elm. You said you could. So 't we'd never have to leave each other any more.’”[ CITATION Edi11 \l 1033 ]The deep seeded guilt of an American to their responsibilities can come up at any time,