Respond to the questions below in complete sentences in order to receive credit. You can also receive credit by responding or adding to your classmates' responses. Include quotes from and/or specific references to the text in your responses.
1. What was Zeena like when Ethan first met her? Why did Ethan ask her to stay? What difference might it have made if his mother had died in spring?
2. In what way did Zeena change after marriage? What effect did Zeena’s behavior have on Ethan’s future plans?
3. What does Ethan want from Mr. Hale and why? What effect does Mr. Hale’s statement that he is fixing up a house for Ned and Ruth have on Ethan? Why?
4. What two sights does Ethan notice on his way home, and what is his response to each?
5. How does Mattie set the dinner table? What gets broken, and what might it symbolize?
6. What color ribbon does Mattie wear in her hair and what does it symbolize?
7. What are some reminders of Zeena that are present throughout Ethan and Mattie’s evening together? What effect do these things have on the mood?
8. Is Ethan Frome to blame for his plight—that of being trapped in a loveless marriage and having to give up his aspiration to study engineering, or is he a victim of circumstance, bound by family tradition? Does Mattie Silver represent his last chance to attain happiness, or does his liaison with her represent another instance of poor judgment on his part?