Short Essay Questions Key
1. Who is the elderly couple in the play and where are they arriving at the opening of the play?
The play is about an older couple, Norman and Ethel Thayer, who are arriving at Golden Pond for their forty-eighth summer together.
2. Who visits Norman and Ethel and what do they leave there?
The couple is visited by their adult daughter, Chelsea, her boyfriend, Bill Ray, and his son, Billy. The summer takes a turn when Chelsea and Bill leave Billy to stay with Ethel and Norman while they vacation in Europe.
3. Give a brief description of the setting at the opening of the play.
The play opens in a summer home on Golden Pond in Maine in mid-May, an old house with a plaque that proclaims it was built in 1914. There is a heavy door that leads out onto a porch with a screen door on it. There is a stairway that leads to a closed door behind which are the upstairs bedrooms. There is also a dining area and a kitchen off to the left of the main stage with a swinging door that separates it from the living room. The room is disorganized, with cloths covering much of the furniture. There are lots of pictures around the room and the furniture is cozy, giving the room a lived-in look.
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