Living in an illusion can be both harmful and damaging to life and relationships. This is a very unhealthy lifestyle to be apart of. Instead of accepting reality as it really is, these victims tried to live in their own illusions inside of his or her’s head. This lifestyle led to destructive decisions and choices that were regretful in the long run. Ethan, Mattie, and Zeena were all trapped in an illusion, most likely because of severe depression. This illusion was a means of escape from their difficult lives and an easy way out, although this way of living ended up being more destructive than intended. Living in an illusion ultimately is unhealthy and destructive as demonstrated through Zeena isolating herself, Ethan and Mattie falling "in love", and Ethan and Mattie attempting suicide.
Illusion is a perception that represents what is perceived in a way different from the way it is in reality. Illusions affected the three main characters in Ethan Frome. Ethan, Mattie, and Zeena suffered from depression, loneliness, and desperation. They wanted to escape from their despairing lives, however living this way left them more unhappy than in the beginning. Illusion affords each of the three main characters a means of escape from the reality of the hard and isolated lives they lead. Living in an illusion can be harmful because it can lead to reckless decision making and overall is a disastrous way of existence, and
should be avoided.
Along with Ethan and Mattie, Zeena was strongly affected by living in an illusion. Zeena convinced herself she was very ill. However, after Ethan and Mattie's near-death accident, she mysteriously came to her strength and was healthy enough to take care of the two in their injured state. "It was a miracle, considering how sick she was - but she seemed to be raised right up just when the call came to her" (Epilogue 23). This quote raises the question of just how sick Zeena really was and provides evidence that it was most likely just an illusion inside of her head.