Risk Taking and Ethan Frome

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People live all their lives trying to find their true happiness, but some do and some do not. Most of the people who do are the risk takers who try everything and are not afraid of what they would have in result of a specific risk. On the other hand, the ones who do not take risks only imagine how happy they would be if they would have taken that risk, the risk to live. Clearly, risk taking is one the important factors in happiness.

In the book, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton the main protagonist Ethan has a lack of risk taking which affects his happiness. In the book, he is dealing with an internal conflict between two women. One is Zeena, his sick and depressed wife and the second is Mattie the young and pretty maid. He has a responsibility and sense of duty towards zeena, but he loves Mattie. However, he had a chance to a risk to express his love to Mattie while Zeena was not there, but he did not. They had the whole house to themselves, but Ethan did not take a risk and did not take any action to express his feelings toward Mattie. As said in chapter 6, “he had not touched the tip of her fingers,” (Wharton73) in other words, he did not even try to take the risk to try and hold her hand. Clearly, if he would have taken that risk to make a first move by touching her hand, then he would have actually felt happy. Even though he, “was so irrationally happy,” (Wharton73) just from imaging how it would be like to live with her, still he did not really take the risk to try and experience how it would feel like to express their feelings which could led to them living together. His happiness is only a small part of what he would have felt if he would had taken some risks to touch her hand or kiss her However, if he didn’t take these small risks, he would not be able to take bigger risks like leaving Zeena and marrying Mattie which led him to his real happiness because he loves her. His inability to take a risk will make him stay in an unhappy marriage with...
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