In Chapter IX of Ethan Frome, why is Ethan and Mattie's love for each other emphasized so strongly?Starting from Ethan and Mattie's sleigh ride to Shadow Pond, up to their final moments before...

In Chapter IX of Ethan Frome, why is Ethan and Mattie's love for each other emphasized so strongly?

Starting from Ethan and Mattie's sleigh ride to Shadow Pond, up to their final moments before the accident.

Asked on by magnotta

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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We can assume that Edith Wharton had to emphasize the amount of love that Mattie and Ethan displayed and declared to each other in order to understand, as readers, the extent to which their desperation prompted them to agree so suddenly on a suicide solution.

Also, as readers we get to almost sympathy for their emotions: Ethan and Mattie are both in constant oppression due to the overpowering presence of Zeena, and because they see in each other a kindred spirit, kind of a soul mates. Their suffering was the same, and their pressure that they were under was quite huge. Therefore, by intensifying the description of their emotions we can relate to what they decided to do as a last choice.

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