Why you should read AF arewell to Arms� by n3NYd0M

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									Why you should read Frankenstein…
  1. Since the story has been recreated many times through film, we think we
     know the story, but the actual novel is perceptive, moving and quite
     philosophical.
  2. It is a great, quick read -- Shelley is a master of suspense, and which
     results in a page-turner that is hard to put down.
  3. Although a “ghost story” at heart, the novel includes perceptive insights
     into human nature.
  4. The “monster” and his creator are wonderfully complex – the reader is
     simultaneously repulsed yet compassionate towards both.



Why you may struggle with Frankenstein…
  1. Shelley’s syntax – a product of her time – is quite different from what our
     modern sensibilities are accustomed to and requires the reader to adjust a
     bit.
  2. A pervasive sense of doom hooks the reader, but casts a gloom and sense
     of foreboding over the events of the novel.
  3. It is easy to become frustrated with the narrator -- who seems clear-eyed
     and perceptive, yet makes many mistakes.




Still interested?
Download the novel for free at one of the following sites:

http://www.literature.org/authors/shelley-mary/frankenstein/


With annotation and critical essays:
http://www.english.upenn.edu/Projects/knarf/frank.html
Frankenstein – Fast Facts

Pages – 352 (Penguin Classics)

Author – Mary Shelley

Date Published – 1816

Setting – Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, England, Scotland

Point of view – First person (Walton’s letters, Victor Frankenstein, monster)

Genre – Fiction / Gothic

Issues/Conflicts – Family / Revenge / Love / Creation / Parenting


Beyond the Basics…
Explanation of Prometheus:
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/p/prometheus.html

http://messagenet.com/myths/bios/promethe.html


Web site that specializes in Gothic literature:
http://www.litgothic.com/index_fl.html


Web site of artistic representations of the monster:
http://www.geocities.com/orbofnight1816/


Percy Bysshe Shelley’s review of the novel:
http://www.english.upenn.edu/Projects/knarf/PShelley/frankrev.ht
ml


Lord Byron’s poem on Prometheus:
http://englishhistory.net/byron/poems/prometheus.html
Frankenstein -- Author Information

Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (Shelley) was born August 30, 1797 in London,
England to parents who were very well-known in eighteenth-century England for
their radical beliefs; her mother was a feminist and her father was a well-known
philosopher. Her father hired a nanny to raise Mary and her half-sister, Fanny,
but fired the nanny three years later when she fell in love and moved in with one
of Godwin’s students. Two years later, Godwin married Mary Jane Clairmont,
who resented Mary’s infamy as the only child of the famous Godwins. At the age
of thirteen, Mary went to live with another family in Dundee, Scotland. The lack
of a true mother-figure is thought to have influenced much of her writings.

At the age of sixteen, Mary fell in love with one of her father’s disciples, Percy
Bysshe Shelley, who was married at the time. They became lovers and eloped in
1814, bringing Mary’s step-sister Jane (Clare) Godwin with them. Percy and
Mary eventually married after the suicide of Percy’s wife. Shortly into her
relationship with Percy, Mary gave birth to Clara, who died two weeks later.
After this tragedy, Jane (who changed her name to Claire) met and began an
affair with Lord Byron, the most famous poet at the time. The two couples spent
the summer of 1816 together at Lake Geneva. The weather was terrible during
their visit and the couples were forced to spend many hours indoors. One
evening, Lord Byron pronounced, “We will each write a ghost story.” Mary wrote
“[I] busied myself to think of a story… one which would speak to the mysterious
fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror – one to make the reader dread
to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.”
Frankenstein was first published, anonymously, in 1818 to critical
disparagement, but popular success.

In addition to Clare, Mary gave birth to William, who died at age three of malaria,
Clara, who died of dysentery within a year, and Percy, the only child to survive
infancy. In 1822, Mary suffered a dangerous miscarriage, and Percy drowned at
sea. Mary never remarried, but continued to write novels and shorter works. In
1851, Mary died of a brain tumor.

Three interesting sites about Mary Shelley’s life and works:

http://www.rc.umd.edu/reference/chronologies/mschronology/mws.
html

http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/shelleybio.html

http://home-1.worldonline.nl/~hamberg/
Printable Bookmark! Please print and then cut to use as a reference as you read!!
The most significant characters are listed, and only basic information has been
provided to avoid “spoilers.” The “Intro” column indicates the chapter in which
each character is first introduced. Enjoy!

Character        Description               Intro
Captain R.       First narrator;           Letter I
Walton           exploring the North;
                 28 years old
Mrs. Margaret    Sister of Walton;         Letter I
Saville          audience of letters
Monster          Created by Victor         Letter
(“daemon”)       Frankenstein              IV
Victor           Second narrator; 25       Letter
Frankenstein     years old                 IV

Alphonse         Victor’s father           Vol. I,
Frankenstein                               Ch. I
Beaufort         Father of Caroline        Ch. I
Caroline         Wife of Alphonse          Ch. I
Beaufort
Elizabeth        Victor’s cousin; meant    Ch. I
Lavenza          to be his wife
Henry Clerval    Victor’s friend           Ch. I
Ernest           Victor’s brother; 6       Ch. I
Frankenstein     years younger
William          Youngest brother of       Ch. I
Frankenstein     Victor
M. Krempe        Professor of Natural      Ch. II
                 Philosophy
M. Waldman       Professor of Chemistry    Ch. II
Justine Moritz   Adopted by Clerval’s      Ch. V
                 family
M. Moritz        Deceased father of        Ch. V
                 Justine
Madame Moritz    Justine’s mother          Ch. V
Agatha           French cottager; sister   Vol II,
                 of Felix                  Ch. IV
Felix            French cottager;          Ch. IV
                 brother of Agatha
DeLacey          French cottager; father   Ch. IV
                 of Agatha and Felix
Safie            Turkish sweetheart of     Ch. V
                 Felix
The Turk         Imprisoned merchant;      Ch. V
                 Safie’s father
Mr. Kerwin       Irish magistrate          VolIII,
                                           Ch. III
Daniel Nugent    Irish fisherman who       Ch. IV
                 finds Clerval
Frankenstein – Menu Ideas
The cold, blustery setting of Frankenstein is well-suited for a meal of hearty soup
and crusty bread. Since the atmosphere of the novel was influenced by Shelley’s
childhood in Scotland and by the coldest summer on record, here are some web
sites to inspire and nourish.


Delicious tea!

http://www.choiceorganicteas.com/blackteas-order.asp

http://www.republicoftea.com/templates/detail.asp?navID=291

http://www.celestialseasonings.com/index.html

http://www.teaforte.com/


Here is a website that includes the following Scottish recipes:
http://www.scotland.com/cuisine/scottish-food/

Cocky Leeky Soup
Cocky Leeky Soup is a very simple warming soup, but it is very tasty. It is mostly made from the staple food of the
Scottish diet and you shouldn't find it difficult to get hold of the ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 small chicken
1 Chopped Onion
6 Leeks, cut into inch long pieces
2oz long grain rice
1 Small Carrot (grated)
1 Teaspoon salt
3 Pints Water
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley

Method:

Place the chicken and the giblets and the onion in a large saucepan
Add the water and bring to boil
Cover and simmer for 1, 5 hours until the chicken is tender
Remove from the heat and skim off any white froth
Take out the giblets and throw away
Take out the chicken and strip the meat from the bones. Discard the bones
Return the meat to the stock, and add the leeks, rice and grated carrot
Bring back to the boil, cover and simmer for a further 30 minutes
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Add the parsley before serving
Oatmeal Potatoes
Oatmeal Potatoes is a good, but simple way to liven up the normal helping of potatoes - with the help of a little
oatmeal - a traditional Scottish ingredient.

Ingredients:

Potatoes
2 tablespoons oatmeal
1 tablespoon butter

Method:

Boil the potatoes in water
While the potatoes are cooking, toast the oatmeal slowly on a tray in the oven using a low/medium heat
Drain the potatoes and add the butter, and stir until the butter has coated the potatoes
Add the toasted oatmeal and stir again
Serve the potatoes with a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley or chives


Here is another website with recipes that celebrate Scottish fare:
http://www.rampantscotland.com/food.htm

Traditional Scottish Recipes
- Toad-in-the-Hole

Toad-in-the-Hole used to be a very popular dish but seems to have fallen out
of favour in recent years. Which is a shame, as it is a really tasty and
substantial meal using link sausages and eggs.

                   Ingredients:
                   1/2 pound (250g) pork link sausages
                   3 ounces (90g or 3/4 cup) flour
                   10 fluid ounces (300ml or One and a quarter cups) milk
                   Two large eggs
                   4 ounces (125g or one stick or half cup) grated strong Cheddar
                   cheese
                   2 tablespoons chopped parsley
                   Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
                   Cooking oil

                   Method:
                   Preheat oven to 220C (425F or Gas Mark 7).
                   Using a 9-inch ovenproof skillet (or a deep-dish pie pan), heat the
                   cooking oil. Add the sausages, rolling them in the oil and brown on all
                   sides in oven (for about 20 minutes) or on top of stove, turning every 5
                   minutes.
                   Sift flour and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and stir in the grated
                   cheese. In a smaller bowl, beat milk, eggs, and parsley, and season
                   generously with salt and pepper. Stir a small amount of milk mixture
                   into the flour to make a smooth, very heavy batter and let stand 5
                   minutes before stirring in remaining milk.
                   There are different ways of arranging the sausages in the deep-dish pie
                   pan. Some people cut up the sausages and arrange them at random.
                   Others arrange pour the batter over them. Lower oven heat to 200C
                   (400 degrees or Gas Mark 6) and bake until batter is puffed and
                   browned (about 30 minutes).
Traditional Scottish Recipes
- Scotch Pie

Large numbers of Scotch Pies are sold
in Scotland every day - they are an
original "fast food" and are often sold
at the half-time interval at football
(soccer) matches. The pies are made in
special straight-sided moulds, roughly
3-3½ inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter
and about 1½ inches (4cm) deep. A
pastry lid, inside the pie, covers the
meat about ½ inch (1cm) below the
rim. This leaves a space at the top of
the pie which can be filled, if required -
with hot gravy, baked beans, mashed
(creamed) potatoes etc. The meat is
usually mutton (sometimes of varying
quality). Many bakers have their own
recipes and add spices to give
additional flavour - there is now an
annual competition for the best Scotch
Pie.

Grannie Black, in Candleriggs in Glasgow, was a character who had such a
reputation for such good mutton pies that people came from far and wide - the pub
named after her (pictured here) has, unfortunately, been demolished.

The quantities below should make roughly 8/10 pies.
Ingredients for the Meat Filling:
1 pound (500g or two cups) lean lamb, minced (ground)
Pinch of mace or nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Quarter pint (150ml) gravy

Ingredients for the Hot Water Pastry:
1 pound (500g or four cups) plain flour
6 ounces (175g or ¾ cup) lard
6 fluid ounces (225ml or ¾ cup) approximately of water
Pinch of salt
Milk for glazing .

You will also need glasses or jars, approximately 3-3½ inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter to
shape the pie.

          Method:
          Create the filling by mixing the minced (ground) lamb, spice and seasoning.
          Make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a warm bowl. Make a well in the
          centre of the flour. Melt the lard in a scant measure of water and, when it is
          bubbling, add to the flour and mix thoroughly. Take a small amount (remember
          the mixture should make 8/10 pies, with their tops) and form into a ball and keep
          the rest warm while making each pastry case. This is done by rolling a suitable
          amount for each pie and shaping the crust round the base of a glass or jar
          approximately 3-3½ inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter. Make sure there are no
          cracks in the pastry - you can trim round the top of the case to make it even. As
          the pastry cools and gets cool, remove the glass and continue until you have
          about a quarter of the pastry left to make the lids.
          Fill the cases with the meat and add the gravy to make the meat moist.
          Roll the remaining pastry and use the glass to cut the lids. Wet the edges of the
          lids, place over the meat and press down lightly over the filling. Pinch the edges
          and trim. Cut a small hole or vent in the centre of the lid (to allow the steam to
          escape).
          Glaze with milk and bake for about 45 minutes at 275F/140C/Gas mark 1. If the
          pies are not eaten immediately, they can be stored in the 'fridge but always
          ensure they are properly reheated before being eaten.
http://www.rampantscotland.com/food.htm

      Traditional Scottish Recipes
      - Potato Soup

      As in Ireland, potatoes became a staple of the diet of Scotland and
      was used in many recipes. Here is a recipe for a thick and hearty
      soup made from this ubiquitous vegetable.

             Ingredients:
             1 medium onion or leek, finely chopped
             3 stalks celery, finely chopped
             3 medium-sized potatoes peeled and diced
             Cup of milk
             2 oz/50 g butter (1/2 stick)
             A further one or two tablespoons of butter
             Salt and pepper
             Fresh parsley (or chives or dill) for garnish

             Method:
             Chop the vegetables into roughly even sized pieces. Melt the
             butter and sauté the onion until they are yellow and soft. Add the
             other vegetables and continue sautéing with the lid on, over a low
             heat, for 5-10 minutes.
             Add 3 cups water or stock and season with salt and pepper and
             add the bay leaf. Cook until the vegetables are tender. When
             vegetables are ready, remove the bay leaf and add 1 cup of milk
             and 1-2 tablespoons butter. Reheat (but don’t boil). Once the
             soup is on the soup plate, garnish with parsley (or chives or dill).
             Serve with crusty bread and butter.
http://www.rampantscotland.com/food.htm

      Traditional Scottish Recipes
      - Macallan`s Whisky Chocolate Pudding

      This recipe is from Donald Angus Munro at the restuarant Loop in
      Glasgow - he was formerly head chef at the famous Skibo Castle. The
      recipe appeared in "Glasgow on a Plate" (Black and White
      Publishing Ltd) along with a number of other recipes for the
      connoisseur. Munro acknowledges that the recipe came from his
      grandmother`s old traditional Scottish recipes. He just added the
      Macallan! And of course, you can just make the sauce and add it to
      one of your own choice of sweets.

            Ingredients for the pudding:
            110g/ 4 ounces/ ½ US cup castor/granulated sugar
            110g/ 4 ounces/ one stick margarine
            60g/ 2 ounces/ ½ US cup cocoa powder or drinking chocolate
            170g/ 6 ounces/ 1½ US cups flour
            2 eggs
            25 ml/ 2 tablespoons Macallan whisky
            2 tablespoons skimmed milk
            50g/ 2 ounces/ ½ US cup soft berries of choice

            Ingredients for the sauce:
            140g/ 4 ounces dark chocolate [ 70% cocoa]
            150 ml/ 6 fluid ounces/ ¾ cup double cream
            25 ml/ 2 tablespoons Macallan whisky
            1 tablespoon golden syrup (light corn syrup is the closest in the
            US)

            Method:
            Blend sugar and margarine until light and fluffy.
            Sieve cocoa powder or chocolate into flour.
            Whisk eggs together, then add to sugar/margarine mix, adding a
            little flour mix to thicken. Add whisky and more flour mix until
            both flour and whisky have been used. Add skimmed milk, to
            soften. Grease 4 individual pudding moulds with margarine and
            dust with caster sugar.
            Place a spoonful of the mix into each mould, cover with tin foil
            and secure tightly. Place in a pot of warm water which reaches
            halfway up the moulds. Bring to the boil then simmer for 40
            minutes
            For the sauce : melt chocolate in a bowl over boiling water, add
            cream, whisky and syrup.
            Remove puddings and place on plates. Then pour over the
            chocolate sauce, adding a few soft berries before serving.
Frankenstein – Creating the Mood!!
Here are some ideas to set the mood and get the
conversation started to help you appreciate Shelley’s
classic. Enjoy!

Introductory Game Ideas:


       Mary Shelley’s life was stranger than fiction – from her
        mother’s untimely death from giving birth to Mary – to
        her relationship with Percy Bysshe Shelley (who
        threatened suicide if she refused him, despite having a
        pregnant wife at the time – who actually committed
        suicide. Then he had affairs with a number of women
        during his marriage to Mary before dying at sea) – to five
        pregnancies (only one child survived infancy). Consider
        renting a biography of her life from the library and
        viewing it together.

       Does your group have an artistic bent? Consider asking
        members to draw an image of Frankenstein’s monster –
        be sure to include symbols that reveal his nature, too!

       Or, choose one of the many, many film versions of the
        novel. Most believe the 1931 version is the definitive
        version, but the recent 1994 version follows the novel
        closely, too.
Frankenstein -- Literary Terms
Exposition – the introduction of the setting, characters, conflict(s) at the
beginning of a novel. Our first impressions are so influential to our enjoyment of
the novel, so after finishing a novel, skim the first chapter again to see how the
author shaped and influenced your first impressions. Consider how beginning
Frankenstein with a series of letters affected your first impressions. Focus
question: 1

Diction – word choice. Notice Victor’s first impressions of his creation:
“…breathless horror and disgust filled my heart…I beheld the wretch—the
miserable monster whom I had created.”

Syntax – style of sentence structure. Notice how the author’s crafting of syntax
affects your engagement as a reader and how quickly your brain adjusts to the
syntax of an earlier time. Complexity of syntax does not determine literary merit;
the pairing of syntax to meaning does.

Tone – author’s attitude toward subject. Think “tone of voice.” Tone is created
through diction and can be very subtle, but is extremely important. If you
misinterpret the tone, you most likely misinterpret the meaning or theme of the
narrative.

Mood – emotional atmosphere of novel. Mood is considered an aspect of the
setting (time, place, atmosphere). When we read a novel, we “read ourselves,” so
think about what type of mood your favorite novels tend to have and how
different moods may influence your enjoyment level. Notice how the setting and
weather mirror and enhance the events and themes of the novel and help create
the gloomy and foreboding mood.
Focus question: 16

Theme – main idea that runs throughout and unifies novel. Theme should be
stated as a complete thought and not one word, which would instead be a topic of
the novel: instead of “love” or “friendship” consider what the author is saying
about the nature of love or the importance of friendship. In classics, themes
are frequently not “morals”; they may or may not represent the ideal.
Focus questions: 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20

Imagery – the use of words that engage the senses. Notice the imagery used to
describe the monster when first animated: “His yellow skin scarcely covered the
work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing;
his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid
contrast his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white
sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion, and straight black lips…
His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled
his cheeks.” (Vol I, Ch. IV)
Symbolism – when an element of the story (object, character, color, etc.) is both
literally present in the novel and has significance or represents something
beyond itself. Notice how Victor’s physical ailments mirror his internal distress.
Focus questions: 16, 17

Foil – when two characters contrast each other. The characters do not need to
be enemies – or even be aware of one another. Although friends, Clerval and
Victor are foils in disposition and temperament throughout the story.


Irony – the opposite of what it expected. Dramatic irony is when the reader
has more information than the character does, providing the reader with an all-
knowing perspective. Situational irony is when a situation turns out
differently than expected. Verbal irony is when the speaker means the
opposite of what is said, so correctly interpreting tone becomes crucial to the
reader’s understanding of the events and particularly of the themes. An example
of situational irony in Frankenstein occurs when Victor’s refusal to befriend his
creation costs him the lives of his own friends.

Foreshadowing – when the author provides hints to future events. Victor’s
dream of Elizabeth transforming from health to death the evening after he brings
the monster to life foreshadows her eventual death. Focus question: 16

Motif – recurring ideas, images, objects, places, words, etc. in a narrative that
have symbolic significance in a narrative. While a symbol may occur only once in
a novel, a motif is repeated. Focus question: 16

Allusion – a reference to something outside the story – usually another story –
that the reader is expected to be familiar with. Shelley alludes to many writers
and philosophers throughout the story and even subtitles Frankenstein; or, The
Modern Prometheus. Focus questions: 1, 2
Frankenstein Discussion Questions
The following questions approach the novel from a number of
different angles, i.e., how the novel functions as a work of art, how it
reflects the time period, how it addresses fundamental questions of
humanity, and how it engages the reader. A good discussion tends to
start with our “heads” and end with our “hearts.” So, you may want
to save subjective opinions of taste until after you have discussed the
more objective elements of why this work is considered a classic. It is
tempting to begin with, “What did everyone think?” But if a number
of people really didn’t like the novel, their opinions may derail a
discussion of the novel’s merits. On the other hand, I recommend
starting with a few accessible questions and asking every member to
respond to ensure that all voices are present and heard from the
beginning. Just a few suggestions! Enjoy…

Warm up questions:


     How was the story different from your expectations and preconceived
      ideas?
     Which character did you empathize with the most? Which characters did
      you dislike the most and why?
     Which (whose) sections did you enjoy the most?
     Did any sections drag?



1.Reread the quote at the start of the novel from Paradise Lost:

      “Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
      To mould me man? Did I solicit thee
      From darkness to promote me?”

Now that you have finished the novel, what significance does this introductory
quote have? How much responsibility / obligation should a Maker feel towards
his/her creation?
2. The sub-title for Frankenstein is “The Modern Prometheus.” Two myths
tend to distinguish Prometheus – 1. He stole fire from Zeus and gave it to man 2.
He created humans out of clay. For his actions, Zeus punishes Prometheus by
chaining him to Caucasus where an eagle (or vulture) would eat his liver, only to
have his liver regenerated, therefore condemning him to eternal punishment.
Why do you believe Shelley subtitled her novel thus?

3. In her preface, Shelley states: “I have thus endeavored to preserve the truth
of the elementary principles of human nature.” What does she seem to believe
are these principles? Does she succeed?

4. Again in her preface, Shelley states her chief concerns were: “avoiding the
enervating effects of the novels of the present day, and to the exhibition of the
amiableness of domestic affection, and the excellence of universal virtue.” Where
do we see the “amiableness of domestic affection” in the novel? What does
“universal virtue” mean to her? To us?

5. What is the effect of framing the story with three concentric circles (Letters to
Margaret – Victor’s story – Monster’s story)? Does this increase or impede the
narrative pace and suspense? What is Shelley implying about the power of
confessing one’s story to another?

6. Victor divulges his story to Walton for the following reasons:
       “…You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope
       that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as
       mine has been.”
Was it Victor’s desire for knowledge that ruined his life? If not, what then?

7. Why does Victor refuse to divulge the “secret of life” to Walton? Do you
agree with his decision?

8. Notice the emphasis on friendship: the story is framed by a series of letters
from a brother to his sister, decrying his loneliness and desire for a friend. He
finds a kindred spirit in Victor Frankenstein, only to lose him at the end.
Frankenstein’s monster is also searching for a friend, and Victor’s failure to fulfill
this role leads to the murder of his own closest friends. Why is friendship so
important to the characters? To us?

9. When Victor’s monster confronts him, he accuses him:
       “All men hate the wretched; how then must I be hated, who am miserable
       beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy
       creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation
       of one of us. You purpose to kill me. How dare you sport thus with life? Do
       your duty towards me, and I will do mine towards you and the rest of
       mankind.”
Does Victor have a duty toward the monster? Should Victor be held responsible
for the ensuing murders?
10. Does the monster have the right to ask Victor for a partner? Does Victor
make the right decision in denying him his wish? Do you believe the monster’s
partner would have also turned to destruction? How would the ending have
turned out differently if Victor had created a partner?

11. What brings the monster to this state:
       “feelings of revenge and hatred filled my bosom, and I did not strive to
       controul them; but, allowing myself to be borne away by the stream, I bent
       my mind towards injury and death.”
Why does he turn to destruction? Do you sympathize with the monster?

12. At one point, the monster declares to Victor, “You are my creator, but I
am your master; -- obey!” How has the monster mastered his creator? How
could this have been avoided?

13. When Victor states:
       “In a fit of enthusiastic madness I created a rational creature, and was bound
       towards him, to assure, as far as was in my power, his happiness and well-
       being. This was my duty; but there was another still paramount to that. My
       duties towards my fellow-creatures had greater claims to my attention,
       because they included a greater proportion of happiness or misery…The task
       of his destruction was mine, but I have failed.”
He then asks Walton to complete the task he could not. Was this fair to ask of
Walton? Should Victor have destroyed his creation immediately?

14. The primary theme is that if one is treated badly enough and left to isolation,
then one will become malevolent and selfish. Does this remove the moral
responsibility from the individual?

15. Respond to the following quote:
       “A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful
       mind, and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his
       tranquility. I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to
       this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken
       your affections, and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which
       no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say,
       not befitting the human mind. If this rule were always observed; if no man
       allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with the tranquility of his
       domestic affections, Greece had not been enslaved; Caesar would have
       spared his country; America would have been discovered more gradually;
       and the empires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed.”
Do you agree?

16. Throughout the novel, the setting and weather mirror the events: (“It was
on a dreary night of November, that I beheld the accomplishments of my
toils…” Victor sees his monster after he kills William in the midst of a terrible
storm). These are the qualities of “romanticism” as well as “gothic” literature –
literature marked by the supernatural, untamed nature, the grotesque. What are
the attractions of this type of literature? What are the limitations?
17. Symbolically, why doesn’t Shelley name the monster? What does this imply
about his identity?

18. Some critics believe this novel brings to light women’s fears during
pregnancy. Do you agree?

19. Initially, Clerval’s father does not want his son to accompany Victor,
believing: “that learning was superfluous in the commerce of ordinary life.”
What type of learning is Mr. Clerval referring to? Why do many believe an
education in the humanities (philosophy, literature, art, etc.) is necessary
regardless of ultimate occupation?

20. Shelley wrote, regarding the inception of her novel: “Frightful must it be; for
supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the
stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.” How would Shelley view the
modern success of cloning? What would be her warning?




Wrap up Questions!


   1. Why has this novel captivated readers since its inception? What elevates
      this novel into something more significant than merely a “ghost story”?
   2. Would you recommend the book to others?
   3. If you could change anything, what would it be?
   4. Do you believe this should be considered a classic?
   5. Do you believe this novel should be taught in high schools?
Frankenstein – The Film
Frankenstein has been represented through film many, many times, starting with
the 1931 version starring Boris Karloff. A recent version that followed the novel
closely was released in 1994 and starred Kenneth Branagh, Robert DeNiro and
Helena Bonham Carter. Your group could watch this movie together and discuss
your impressions, or group members could watch it before the meeting and then
discuss impressions as a group. Time permitting, multiple versions could be
viewed and then compared. Here are a few possible movie questions:

       While viewing the movie, which characters were most unlike how you
        pictured them while reading the novel?
       Which characters seemed “right on” in their portrayal?
       What plot elements were left out or changed in the movie?
       How was your enjoyment affected by what was left out/changed?
       If you were to remake this movie, who would you cast as Victor and
        Elizabeth? The monster?
       Why has this novel inspired so many movies?

More information on the film(s):


http://www.frankensteinfilms.com/


http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=frankenstein


Information on the 1994 version (check out the trivia section!):
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109836/

								
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