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Ethan Frome (Wharton) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions 
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for Ethan Frome:

1. Discuss the three characters. Do you find Zeena's shrewishness believable? Does Ethan control his life, or do life's events control him? Is Mattie a sympathetic character or not?

2. Mattie wears red when we readers first see/meet her. What does the red signifiy?

3. Discuss Mattie's and Ethan's decision in the sleigh—an act of desperation, clearly. Is it justified, immoral, unethical, irresponsible? Or the only honorable way out of an untenable situation?

4. Discuss the ending—in what way is it ironic? How do you feel about Ethan's final situation? (See LitCourse 8 on Irony and read Wharton's "Roman Fever"—a short story that packs an ironic wallop at the end.)

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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