Mattie and Ethan share a thirst to experience more from the world, a feeling that they have come from or for a higher place. We can see this when Ethan thinks about their walks together where she listened to him talking, her eyes replying all that they needed too. They are both stuck in a world in which they do not belong, and seek to escape, as proven by the attempt at suicide on the sledge. Mattie has come from a rich family to being a poorly treated maid, where as Ethan came from a poorer family but was going onto better things in engineering (hence the narrator's specific profession) and is a poorly treated husband. They can also both empathize with one another as to what it is like living under the juristiction of Zeena.