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1. Frankenstein tells us that the "circumstances of [his father's] marriage illustrated his character." Summarize these circumstances. What do they reveal about the character of Frankenstein's father?
Caroline Beaufort's father was a friend of Frankenstein's father. When the friend fell into poverty and left the country in shame, Frankenstein's father sought him out with the intention of helping him financially. When he discovered his friend, the man was in poor health, and upon his friend's death, Frankenstein's father took his daughter, Caroline, under his care and sent her to live with relatives. Two years later, Frankenstein's father married Caroline. These circumstances reveal Frankenstein's father to be a kind, generous man, devoted to his friends and willing to help them. His dad was a successful man.
2. The attributes of a character are often revealed through a contrast with other characters. How are Victor and Elizabeth different in terms of their dispositions and interests?
Victor is more consumed with the scientific knowledge of nature while Elizabeth enjoys experiencing nature firsthand and through reading the romance poets. Victor is more intense and Elizabeth is calmer. Different philosophies of the time periods. Shelley is writing about what she is familiar with. Victor had a great childhood.
3. Who is Henry Clerval? How are Clerval and Victor different in terms of their dispositions and interests?
Henry Clerval is the son of a merchant and Victor's closest friend. He "loved enterprise, hardship, and even danger, for its own sake." He reads books of romance and chivalry, composed heroic songs, and wrote tales of knights and adventure. Victor was interested in uncovering the outer and inner workings of the physical and spiritual worlds. Clerval was more interested in virtue and the moral relations of things.
4. List five adjectives that describe Victor Frankenstein as portrayed in these three chapters.
Determined, passionate, hardworking, curious
5. How did Frankenstein's family come to care for Elizabeth Lavenza?
On a visit to the home of a poor family, Victor's mother discovered a foster child living with the family. Elizabeth was the daughter of a nobleman, left in the care of this family when her mother died. Her father disappeared and she was raised in poverty. Victor's mother persuaded the family to allow her to raise Elizabeth. They agreed because they felt it would be unfair to keep Elizabeth in poverty when she had the opportunity to be raised by a wealthy family. What really was her motive since Elizabeth was the prettiest of all of them? Caroline had a heart for those in poverty and was confident enough to where she didn't have to ask her husband for permission.
6. Why didn't young Victor give up his fascination with the works of Cornelius Agrippa after his father told him not to waste his time in it? What does this reveal about Victor's character?
Victor was not convinced that his father really understood the writings of Agrippa, and so he continued to read. This demonstrates that even at a young age, Victor felt he was possessed of a keener instinct to understand things better than other people. Certainly he felt he knew Agrippa better than his father. The nature of man is to rebel against higher power.
7. What ideas and activities did Victor's study of the alchemists lead him to pursue?
Victor says that he "entered with the greatest diligence into the search of the philosopher's stone and the elixir of life." He was not interested in wealth but became obsessed with the idea of banishing disease to the extent of making humans nearly invulnerable. He also attempts incantations to raise ghosts or devils.
8. What event at age 15 turns Victor from studying the works of alchemists to the study of pure science?
Victor witnesses the destruction of an oak tree by lightening. The next day a "man of great research in natural philosophy" shares his theories on electricity and galvanism. This study intrigues and excites young Victor to the point that he dismisses his previous studies as being "a deformed and abortive creation" and a "would-be science."
9. Reflecting on this incident from his childhood, how does Frankenstein view this "change of inclination"?
Frankenstein views it as almost miraculous. It was "the last effort made by the spirit of preservation" to turn him from his former pursuits. Unfortunately, he says, it was "ineffectual," and he was destined to "utter and terrible destruction." Foreshadowing
10. How does Frankenstein's mother die? What is her final request of Victor and Elizabeth?
After Elizabeth catches scarlet fever, Frankenstein's mother attends her and also catches the disease. Elizabeth's health improves, but Frankenstein's mother dies. On her deathbed, she tells Victor and Elizabeth that she'd always hoped they would be joined in marriage. She tells them that their marriage will console their father. She also charges Elizabeth to act as a mother to the younger children in the family. She died calmly. He wasn't going to let the death of his mother have an effect on his plans.
11. What effect does Professor Waldman's lecture on modern chemistry have on Frankenstein?
Frankenstein felt as if "his soul were grappling with a palpable enemy." Rather than denounce his former studies (as M. Krempe had) Frankenstein resolves to return to his study of alchemy. Nihilism ideas. Foreshadowing as Krempe "seeks to destroy him."
12. In the last sentence of Chapter 3, Frankenstein says that a certain day "decided my future destiny." What was that day? Why was it so influential?
The day was when Professor Waldman took Frankenstein "under his wing" to mentor him. Prior to this time, Frankenstein had not had someone to lead him in his studies. Unlike Krempe, Waldman does not show contempt for the alchemists. Rather, he says that modern scientists are indebted to them for providing the foundations of their knowledge. He encourages Frankenstein in the study of chemistry, but tells him not to neglect other branches of natural philosophy.
1. After two years at Inglostdt, Frankenstein considers returning to Geneva. What distracts and delays his return?
Very consumed with the causes of life and death
2. After Frankenstein learns the secret to creating life, why does he hesitate before putting his power to work? What might Frankenstein's lack of concern for the morality of his actions tell us about his views on morality?
Fear of failure, thinks its morally wrong which leaders to the monster, he never though of something going wrong
3. As Frankenstein works on his creation, what are his expectations for how his creation will relate to him, its creator?
It'll glorify and gratify him and be the first of the species
4. How does Frankenstein's work on his creation affect him physically? How does it affect him mentally and spiritually?
Ill, cuts himself off from everything, losing touch with reality
5. Why does Frankenstein despise his creation? What does this reveal about Frankenstein's character?
Immediate regret-he is ugly and doesn't praise him. He spends all this time creating something and in an instant abandons it
6. What immediate effect does Clerval's appearance in Ingolstadt have on Frankenstein?
Helps nurse him to health. He is a friend that grounds him and help bring him back to reality
7. How does Clerval's continued presence in Ingolstadt affect Frankenstein?
Brings him back to health
8. While working on his creation, was Frankenstein going mad? Support your opinion with examples from the book?
Yes because he was so engrossed in his creation that he was turning sick and isolating himself from everyone he knew. He wasn't taking care of himself
9. Describe the weather on the night that Frankenstein brings his creation to life. Why might the author have set the creature's awakening during this kind of weather?
Dreary, rainy, ugly night, sets the mood
10. Irony is a difference between appearance and reality, or between what is expected and what actually occurs. How does Frankenstein's successful creation of life demonstrate irony?
Creation ends up haunting him when it was supposed to please him. He was ugly but was made to be beautiful
11. Soon after the monster comes to life, Frankenstein dreams about Elizabeth. Describe the dream. What does the dream possibly foreshadow?
He dreams that Elizabeth turns into the image of death. It foreshadows Elizabeth's death.
12. After the monster comes to life, Frankenstein refers to it as "a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived." Explain this allusion.
Dante conceived hell and this monster was so bad and so ugly that it was too bad for hell
13. Why do people continue to do wrong when they know it's wrong?
They believe that the outcome is better than their morals
14. Think about the creator and creation. We will discuss and compare this to our Creator.
God is never giving up on us but Victor gave up on his creation immediately
1. What tragic news does Frankenstein receive in the form of a letter from his father?
His brother William is dead
2. Why does Elizabeth blame herself for the tragedy?
Allowed him to wear the picture of his mom and she thought the killer killed him because he wanted the picture
3. What does Frankenstein see during the storm at Plainpalais as he travels home to Geneva? What conclusion does he reach after this appearance?
Sees monster, the murdered during a storm
4. Who stands acused of the crime? Why was she suspected?
Justine because the picture was found in her pocket. She is the housekeeper
5. Why doesn't Frankenstein reveal his suspicious about the murder? How does Frankenstein's reluctance to reveal his suspicions affect him?
Nervous he'll be looked down for, called insane - Justine is convicted and his guilt grows
6. When is Elizabeth is called as a witness during the trial, she says "It may, therefore, be judged indecent in me to come forward on this occasion; but when I see a fellow-creature about to perish through cowardice of her pretended friends, I wish to be allowed to speak."
Who are the "pretended friends" Elizabeth mentions? How might her statement also apply to Frankenstein?
People who don't come to testify - Victor doesn't come to speak either
7. Why does Justine confess to the murder?
She was threatened and pressured
8. Describe Justine's attitude toward her impending execution?
She wasn't scared to die
9. How does Frankenstein receive solace from his troubles and restoration in Chapters 9-10? How is this a Romantic notion?
He goes alone on a nature walk
10. In Chapter 7, Frankenstein says that he "was destined to become the most wretched of human beings." What is ironic about this statement?
He wanted to be great but ended up being the worst - also created the worst thing
11. Why does Frankenstein call Justine's trial a "wretched mockery of justice"? What is ironic about Frankenstein's belief about who is guilty?
She isn't actually guilty and he was the one that let the trial go on
12. In Chapter 3, when Frankenstein's mother died, Frankenstein referred to death as "that most irreparable evil." He then spent two years of his life attempting to overcome this evil. After Justine's execution, how does his attitude toward death seem to have changed? To what would you attribute this change?
He now feels guilty about death because he was the cause of so many peoples death
13. How does the author foreshadow more horrors at the end of Chapter 8?
Just the start of the deaths to come
14. In Chapter 9, Frankenstein considers drowning himself. ("I was tempted to plunge myself into the silent lake, that the waters might close over me and my calamities for ever.") Why does he refrain? Do you think his reasons are selfless or selfish? Explain.
He thought of his family and how he needs to protect them from the monster - causing them grief
15. In Chapter 7 the monster appears during a rainstorm. Later in Chapter 10, Frankenstein travels through a rainstorm to the glacier where he encounters the monster. Why might the author use a rainstorm to herald the approach of the monster?
16. Consider whether you consider Frankenstein and Walton parallel characters. What evidence is given in Chapter 10 that the monster might also be a parallel character to Frankenstein? What insight does this give us to Victor Frankenstein?
Both run away from their problems - alone, don't think about future
1. Describe the monster's earliest sensations. What gives him pleasure? What gives him pain or discomfort?
He is like a baby and has to learn how to do everything on his own. He sees fire and realizes that it is warmth but also can burn him. He likes to watch people but realizes he cannot be with people because of his looks and attitude.
2. What were the results of the monster's first two encounters with humans?
He realizes that he cannot be with humans because they are so scared of him and it makes him hate his creator for making him so ugly and unwanted
3. What effect do the monster's initial observations of the De Lacey family have on him?
He realizes that he wants companionship and longs to be with them
4. What motivates the monster to discontinue taking food from the De Laceys and begin gathering wood for them?
He learns that they are poor and struggling because of their behalf
5. How does the monster learn to read and speak?
The De Lacey family is teaching Sophia and he learns by spying on them
6. How does the monster discover the identity of his creator?
He finds pages of Victor's journal in his clothes that he stole from Victor
7. How does the monster's relationship with the De Laceys ultimately end?
He tries to go talk to the blind old man but when the other cottagers come back and see him invading their house, they run him off
8. Why does the monster initially approach William?
He finds him in the woods and asks who he is
9. At the end of his tale, what does the monster demand from Frankenstein? Why?
He wants him to create a mate for him because he is alone
10. Chapter 11 of Frankenstein shifts to the novel's third narrator. Who is narrating the story now? Why do you suppose Shelley chose to tell the story from so many different points of view? How does this help the story? In what ways, if any, does this hurt the story?
The monster - he is the only one that can tell his story the most accurately because he was actually there and feeling everything
11. Romanticism emphasized imagination, freedom, and the beauty of the natural world. How do the De Laceys epitomize the ideal romantic family?
12. Why do you think the monster refers to the De Laceys, whom he has only observed and never met, as his friends?
They are the only ones he has been able to watch and learn from without running them away, because they haven't seen him
13. In Chapter 15, the monster tells of the books he discovered. What does the monster learn from the Sorrows of Werter and Plutarch's Lives?
From the sorrows of werter, the monster learns about deep thoughts and starts questioning his life and his own existence. From Plutarch's lives he learns about the past good and evil and realizes that some people are good and some people are bad
14. How does the monster compare and contrast his own situation to what he reads in Paradise Lost?
He compares himself not to Adam, who was perfect and had a great creator, but to satan which causes bitterness in him
15. How do Chapter 11-16 further illustrate the view that people are naturally good and virtuous, but that society is to blame for turning people to evil?
The monster was naturally good as he grew and tried to help the De Lacey family as much as he could but was turned to evil and bitterness by rejection from humans and reading Paradise Lost
16. As an author provides more information about characters, they generally become more real and believable to readers. What aspects of the monster's personality are developed through the telling of his story in Chapters 11-16?
He seems like a real person who has feelings and is wanted instead of someone who is just bad and made only for destruction
1. What does the monster promise to do if Frankenstein will create for him a female of his own kind for him?
2. Outline the three arguments Frankenstein employs to refuse to do what the monster asks of him. What is your personal opinion of these arguments?
-Won't create another wicked creature
-Creature wants love so she won't stay secluded
3. Why does Frankenstein ultimately agree to do what the monster wishes?
He wants to get away from the monster and have him stop killing his family
4. For what reasons does Frankenstein decide to put off his marriage, leave Geneva, and travel to England to work on the second creature?
He doesn't want anyone to find out about his creation
5. Who joins Frankenstein on his journey? Why?
Henry Clerval because he wants to see India for companionship and his family's worried about him
6. Where in Chapter 18 does the author foreshadow Clerval's fate?
Foreshadowing Clerval's death
7. At the end of Chapter 19, how does Frankenstein compare and contrast his mindset during his first experiment to his feelings about this second experiment? What change might this indicate in Frankenstein?
The first time he was in a enthusiastic frenzy but the second time he felt filthy, in cold blood, sickened, evil
8. List three reasons Frankenstein decides to destroy the female creature?
-Could be 10,000x worse
-Monster has no reason to keep promise
-What if they don't like each other
-Might want human companionship
9. How does Frankenstein interpret the monster's promise: "I will be with you on your wedding-night?"
He thought he was going to kill him
10. What tragic news does Frankenstein receive when he lands his boat in Ireland? How does Frankenstein respond to the news?
Henry died - the monster strangled him
11. Is Frankenstein's choice to create a female creature unselfish or selfish? Explain.
12. How is the trip down the Rhine River to the North Sea an example of romantic literature? What romantic elements does the author use here?
Every time theres a storm, the monster is there - nature can restore us
13. Once in England, why do you think Frankenstein finds human company "irksome" and sees an "insurmountable barrier" between himself and his fellow human beings?
He caused so many peoples death that he's very guilty
15. In Chapter 19, Frankenstein finds he cannot truly enjoy the visit to Oxford:
But I am a blasted tree; the bolt has entered my soul; and I felt then that I should survive to exhibit what I shall soon cease to be--a miserable spectacle of wrecked humanity, pitiable to others and intolerable to myself.
What is the significance of the metaphor Frankenstein uses?
Reminds him of the other tree that triggered his interest in science
17. To what is Frankenstein alluding when he says, "but the apple has already been eaten, and the angel's arm bared to drive me from all hope"? What does this allusion mean in the context of the novel?
Allusion to Adam and Eve because both wanted to be like God and have knowledge. Victor wanted knowledge and power and he cannot undo what is done
18. In Chapter 22, Frankenstein recalls the monster's warning, but agrees to marry Elizabeth in 10 days. He then says, "But, as if magic powers, the monster had blinded me to his real intentions; and when I thought that I had prepared only my own death, I hastened that of a far dearer victim." What is Frankenstein foreshadowing?
Elizabeth's death - strangled
1. Near the beginning of Chapter 23, the author writes "Suddenly a heavy storm of rain descended." What does this sentence foreshadow?
Monster appears which means something is going to happen
2. Had the monster truly blinded Frankenstein to his true intentions (as Frankenstein indicated in Chapter 22) when he promised to be with Frankenstein on his wedding night?
3. How does Alphonse Frankenstein react to the news of Elizabeth's death?
Grief striken for three days and then dies
4. What happens to Frankenstein immediately after his father's death?
Victor put in an insane asylum after dad's death
5. How does the magistrate respond to Frankenstein's tale?
Half-believes him, try to soothe him
6. After the death of his friends and family, what does Frankenstein live for?
Revenge - both have nothing to lose
7. Why do you think the monster leave notes and food for Frankenstein as Frankenstein pursues him?
To taunt him and make him miserable
8. Knowing that his life is "hateful," why does Frankenstein not simply allow himself to die? Why does he ask Walton to continue his revenge if he succumbs to death?
He's dying and cannot continue his hunt
9. What does Frankenstein show Walton to convince him of the truth of his story?
Letters - from Sophie and Felix, Walton saw the monster on the sled
10. What, according to the monster, is missing from Frankenstein's tale?
His inability to tell the story himself, how he felt
12. At the death of Elizabeth, Frankenstein says, "Life is obstinate and clings closest where it is most hated." What does he mean by this statement?
Victor no longer wants to live, he has given up
15. Why do you think the author switches back to Robert Walton as her narrator again in Chapter 24?
16. Why is the monster pleased with Frankenstein's determination to live?
Victor initially says don't go and be like me and then changes his mind at the end, encouraging him to go. He spends all this time telling him not to be like him but then doesn't care
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