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Ethan Frome Lesson Plan
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Teachers and professors: Get the most from your time in the classroom when you use this lesson plan for Edith Wharton's classic novel, Ethan Frome. In addition to providing comprehensive character analyses, this lesson plan offers guidance to the novel's primary themes, including responsibility, loneliness, and frustration. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- In Ethan Frome what is "coasting"? Coasting is sledding.
- What happened to Ruth Varnum and Ned Hale while coasting? They came very close to hitting the big elm at the bottom of the coasting hill and were nearly killed.
- When Ethan tells Mattie that people say it is natural for her to leave Ethan and Zeena, what is Mattie's response? Mattie asks Ethan if that is what people say or if it is really that Zeena is unhappy with her.
- What does Ethan imagine is written on every tombstone in the family plot? "We never got away--how should you?"
- What does Ethan fantasize about Mattie while passing through the graveyard? Ethan fantasizes that they will always be together on the farm and that she will be buried next to him there.
- What is different when Ethan and Mattie arrive home from the church dance? The key that Zeena usually left under the kitchen door mat is not there.
- What surprises Ethan in Ethan Frome when Zeena opens the door to let him and Mattie in after the dance? Ethan is surprised by his wife's appearance. He feels as if he had never before known what his wife looked like.
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eNotes is pleased to offer Teacher's Pet Publication LitPlans, the complete literature lesson plans available to teachers and educators everywhere. Since 1989, these lesson plans have undergone extensive development based on the experience and feedback of teachers all over the world. We have more than 115 lesson plans available for download on the most widely-read books and plays, including this lesson plan for Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.