79 pages 2 hours read

Edith Wharton

Ethan Frome

Fiction | Novella | Adult | Published in 1911

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Thought & Response Prompts

These prompts can be used for in-class discussion, exploratory free-writing, or reflection homework before or after reading the novel.

Pre-Reading “Icebreaker”

Ethan Frome is technically a first-person narrative, with the novel’s speaker—an outsider to the community—reconstructing Ethan’s story as best he can. Imagine your own life story is being told, either in book or movie form. Who would you choose to write or direct it, and why?

Teaching Suggestion: Perspective and subjectivity are key issues in Ethan Frome, even informing the novel’s premise: The numerous parallels between the narrator and Ethan probably help pique the former’s interest in the latter but may also color his interpretation of Frome’s story. Use this prompt to get students thinking about the role framing plays in a story’s meaning(s). Have they selected the writer/director they believe would depict their story most faithfully, or are factors beyond strict accuracy important in conveying the “truth” of their experiences?