What obstacles does Mattie face in "Fever 1793?" How does she become mature?if you could PLEASE be specific. :)

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The biggest obstacle that Mattie faces in Fever 1793 is the yellow fever epidemic that strikes, causing members of her family to die or become ill.  Mattie gets yellow fever but survives.

In the beginning of the story, Mattie has a conflictual relationship with her mother.  She enjoys the attentions of a boy named Nathaniel and works in the coffeehouse that her family owns.  When the yellow fever starts striking people dead, her friend Polly is one of the first victims. 

Mattie's mother contracts the fever and Lucinda sends her away with her grandfather for fear that she will contract the disease. 

"Mattie's relationship with her grandfather enables her to expand her self-reliance and perseverance. It teaches her practical ways to handle tough situations, and it provides her with courage to win her battles."  

Mattie and Grandfather go back to Philadelphia where she gets the fever and Grandfather is killed fighting off thieves at the coffeehoese.  Mattie survives, helping others who contract the fever.  

"At the novel's resolution, Mattie's character transforms as she realizes that she must persevere. She knows that she has many choices. Mattie cultivates her friendship with Nathaniel. She opens up the coffeehouse with Eliza as her partner and begins to implement her dreams for a growing business. Nell stays with her and depends on her like a mother."