Distant relative of Zenobia, who has come to help her with the housework. The young, attractive, smart and kind girl. She is completely opposite to Zenobia. Mattie is a positive, fresh, healthy, energetic, enthusiastic and full of life. She is romantic, easy-going, dreamy girl. Despite her problems in the family and financial situation, she keeps looking on life in a positive way and sees only advantages, only the bright side of every situation.
In the face of Mattie, Ethan found both the companion, and the attentive listener, and, most importantly, the romantic affection that brightened up the hateful life, full of misery and disappointment.
During the narration, we see changes of Mattie as a person. Being positive, at the end of the story, she becomes desperate and willing to make a suicide. After the accident, she becomes paralyzed from neck to legs. Mattie couldn’t stand life as a handicapped. She completely changed - become grouchy, grumble and moody. So-called “Zenobia’s version of Mattie.” The only difference between them that Zenobia is mostly silent and Mattie keeps talking, whining, resenting. Mattie can't put up with her situation. This also shows how weak-willed she is and what a difficult life she has.
Mattie Silver in the Essays