More than anything however was the fact that he began

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day since Mattie’s arrival. “It was a fact that since Mattie Silver’s coming he had taken to shaving every day” (Wharton, 1911). Now that Mattie was now in his life, Ethan’s desires had now changed. Before he had dreams of becoming an engineer and leaving Starkfield, but now all he could think about was having Mattie Silver for himself. When he went to the church to pick up Mattie from a dance he became jealous when he saw her dancing with Denis Eady. He sat and watched her through the window as they danced all the while thinking only of her. Once the dance let out they both walked back home.
Ethan was never as happy as when they were together alone. As they continued walking home through the Frome grave-stones, Ethan envisioned the two living together forever. For the first time passing those stones he didn’t feel as if they were mocking him because he was stuck there on the farm. “For years that quiet company had mocked his restlessness, his desire for change and freedom” (Wharton, 1911). Now, however, that all changed. Now all his longing for change had disappeared, and the sight now provided him with a little comfort. He was beginning to see him and Mattie together, and they too would be buried with the rest of the Frome’s. “I guess we’ll never let you go, Matt,”he whispered, as though even the dead, lovers once, must conspire with him to keep her; and brushing by the graves, he thought: “We’ll always go on living here together, and some day she’ll lie there beside me” (Wharton, 1911). One thing though that hinders Ethan’s pursuit of happiness is while he finds himself falling for Mattie, he’s not sure if she feels the same about him. Even though they do share a kindred spirit, and they have at times seem to flirt back and forth, he’s not sure if her feelings are genuine towards him. Though it, he agonizes and wonders if she could ever love him. Although, when he’s around Mattie he feels important and needed. While Ethan keeps his feeling about Mattie to himself, it’s not until Zeena leaves to see a doctor that he and Mattie are finally by themselves at the house. Mattie makes supper for him and they both have a lovely evening without Zeena. Ethan gets his first glance at what it would be like to have Mattie as his rather than Zeena. After dinner they sit and talk while Mattie sews and Ethan smokes his pipe. Though nothing happens between them, there is a tension among them that neither can ignore.

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