Ethan Frome Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the overall mood of Chapter 1.

The mood in Chapter 1 might be described as hopeful. Although the town is frozen in winter, many images convey hope for a "thaw." Words such as "new," "fresh," and "pure" might indicate a hopeful mood for Ethan Frome and others. Ethan himself is described as "young" twice in the first chapter, which might also suggest hope for his future.

2. What was Ethan doing before he returned to Starkfield?

Ethan studied engineering at Worcester before returning to Starkfield. He also worked in a laboratory briefly with one of his professors before his return.

3. What does Ethan enjoy sharing with Mattie that he cannot share with Zeena?

Ethan enjoys sharing his knowledge with Mattie, who seems to enjoy nature as much as he does. He shares with her his wonder about the world and its possibilities--ideas that Zeena does not entertain because she is focused on herself and her ailments.

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