Cognitive Dissonance In Ethan Frome

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Ethan’s agreement that death is better than parting is an example of cognitive dissonance that directly affects the plot of the novel. Cognitive dissonance is best described as an inconsistency in the beliefs that one holds, which is prominent in the thoughts as opposed the actions taken by Ethan. He is essentially given an ultimatum when Zeena threatens to fire Mattie; Ethan must make the decision to act upon his desires without the benefit of time as he had once thought he had. Before this is thrust upon him, he has the general cognition that he should not pursue Mattie. This is evident in his lack of action during their dinner without Zeena. His lack of will to take control of his life in general displays this thought process. When given
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