The following collection of thematically related readings is available
in Ethan Frome and Related Readings in McDougal Littell's Literature
"The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens
(from Collected Poems, © 1923)
Summary: One must have a mind of winter, says this poem, not to feel
a chill in the soul, as a cold wind blows across this frozen landscape.
"Desert Places" by Robert Frost
from The Poetry of Robert Frost, © 1936)
Summary: The speaker of this poem ponders which is scarier--the loneliness
outside, or the loneliness within.
"The Painted Door" by Sinclair Ross
(from The Lamp at Noon and Other Stories)
Summary: Awaiting her husband's return during a raging winter storm,
a lonely, frightened farm wife allows her neighbor Steven to spend the
night with her. The next day, the husband is found dead in a snow bank.
But what did he see before he died?
"Confessions of a Hypochondriac" by Barbara Graham
(from Vogue, © 1991)
Summary: Is a hypochondriac like Zeena to be pitied, scorned, or dismissed?
In this essay, Barbara Graham describes--from the inside--what the condition
really feels like.
"Dreams" by Marie G. Lee
(from The Kenyon Review, © 1991)
Summary: In this story, an ordinary man is able to glean the secrets
of life in his dreams. When he and his wife are unable to have a child,
he wonders whether to take a mistress. Again, his dreams provide an
"Adventure" by Sherwood Anderson
(from Winesburg, Ohio)
Summary: This story tells the tale of a lonely young woman who has reached
a moment of truth in her life.
"Mirage" by Christina Rossetti
Summary: This poem shows what happens when a dream turns out to be a