FRANKENSTEIN Study Guide

FRANKENSTEIN Study Guide

Letters 1-4

1. Who is writing Letter 1 (and all the letters)?

2. To whom is he writing? What is their relationship?

3. Where is Robert Walton when he writes Letter 1? Why is he there? What are his plans?

4. What does Robert Walton tell us about himself?

5. Where is Walton now? What do you think of Walton's question "What can stop the determined heart and
resolved will of man"?

6. How much time has elapsed between Letter 3 and Letter 4? What "strange accident" has happened to the sailors?

7. Why does the man picked up by the ship say he is there? What shape is he in?

8. What sort of person does he seem to be? How does Walton respond to this man?

9. How much time has elapsed when Walton begins writing again? What has happened in the meantime? How does the man respond to Walton's project? How is Walton responding to the man?

10. How much time has elapsed when Walton begins writing again ? What has happened in the meantime? How does the man respond to Walton's project? Why does the man agree to tell his story?

Ch 1- 5

11. What is the man's background? (Do we know his name yet?) Where is he from?

12. What is the story of the man's mother, Caroline Beaufort? How does the man feel toward his parents, and what responsibilities does he feel they
had toward him?

13. Who is Elizabeth Lavenza and what is her story? What gift does the man's mother give him? Do we know the man's name yet? Do we know his family name?

14. Who is Henry Clerval and what is his relation to Victor?

15. How does Victor characterize the interests and characters of Clerval, Elizabeth, and himself ?

16. Who is Cornelius Agrippa and how does Victor find out about him ? How does Victor's father respond, and how does Victor comment on that response?

17. What sort of science ("Natural Philosophy") is Victor learning from Agrippa, Paracelsus, and Albertus Magnus? How would a modern scientist respond to this sort of thinking?

18. What happens when Victor sees an oak tree destroyed by lightning and hears an explanation? What does Victor then begin to study?

19. Who or what does he credit for this change in direction ? Who or what does he blame for his "utter and terrible destruction" ?

20. What happens to Elizabeth and to Victor's mother as a result of Elizabeth's scarlet fever ? How does this compare with the mother's early history ?

21. Why does Victor's father send him to the university of Ingolstadt ? How old is Victor then? (Ingolstadt is in southern Germany, in Bavaria, on the Danube, 43 miles north of Munich. The university founded there in 1472 moved to Landshut in 1802 and to Munich in 1826.)

22. What does Victor learn from M. Krempe? How does Victor respond to him, and on what grounds? Is this a good basis for making such a decision?

23. What does Victor learn from M. Waldman? How does Victor respond to him? How does Victor think of his older science as opposed to modern science ? What does M. Waldman say in describing modern chemistry that changes Victor's mind ? What does Victor say he will now do ?

24. How well does Victor progress during the next two years? What does he then become interested in, and what ultimately does he discover ?

25. Will he share that knowledge with Walton? Why? (Note the "present" of the telling breaking through the narration here.)

26. How does he go about creating a human being, and what does he expect as a result of this creation ? How long does the task take? What happens to Victor in the process?

27. Do you recognize the opening words of this chapter? Remember that Shelley gave them as the starting point of her story ?

28. Given all the mad doctor and monster movies we've seen, including perhaps versions of Frankenstein, what is unexpected about the description of the actual creation of life here ? How much do we learn of the actual procedure?

29. How does Victor respond to the actual creation of life ? What surprises him about the way the creature he has brought to life looks? What does that do to Victor's response ?

30. What does Victor dream ? How does the dream grow out of, comment on, even explain what Victor has done and been through?

31. What does the creature do ? How does Victor respond?

32. Whom does Victor meet arriving in a coach the next morning ? How does Victor respond? What does Victor discover when they go to Victor's apartment ? How does Victor respond? What happens to him, and for how long ? Is there any more news of the creature?

Ch 6-8

33. What is waiting for Victor when he finally recovers? Who has nursed him during his illness?

34. Who is Justine Moritz and what is her story? What comments does Elizabeth make about her position in Swiss society ? What religion is Justine ?

35. Who is William and how old is he? Have we heard of him before?

36. What does Victor do after his recovery ? What is Clerval's "plan of life" ?

37. When does Victor finally plan to return home? What do he and Clerval do while waiting for his father's directions?

38. What is waiting for Victor when he returns to his apartment? What news does his father have for him? And what is his father's name ? How does Victor respond?

39. How long has Victor been away from home ? What happens the night he returns to Geneva ? How does he respond?

40. Whom does Victor see that night ? When was the last time they saw each other? How long ago was that ?

41. What does Victor now believe happened to William ? What does Victor assume about the nature of the creature?

42. Who has been identified as the murderer, and on what evidence ? How does Victor respond to this news? Why doesn't he say anything about the real murderer?

43. What happens at Justine's trial? How does Victor respond?

44. The next day, why does Justine say she has confessed to the murder of William ? How does Victor respond to Justine's situation and to Elizabeth's

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