• Frankenstein

    Essential Questions: Is there any such thing as too much knowledge? What are the obligations of a creater to the creation? What limitations, if any, should be placed on science and technology development (bioethics)?

    Related Works:

    The Romantic Period (1798-1832)

    What's so romantic about the romantic period? (hint: it has nothing to do with love)
    and then there's that whole Gothic thing...

    Small group research/multimedia presentations
    Group discussion - assigned chapters
    Chapter quizzes

    "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    narrative poetry
    internal rhyme


    excerpt from Paradise Lost ~ John Milton p. 526-534
    epic poetry
    epic (Homeric) simile
    in medias res

    excerpt from "A Defense of Poetry" and "Mutability" ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley p. 535
    Frankenstein ~Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley p. 756
    reliable vs. unreliable narrator
    frame story


    Frankenbook - annotations - terrific resource

    Audio: 1818 Edition


    Lyric poetry - various p. 774

    Introductory phrases and clauses
    misplaced and dangling modifiers
    subject-verb agreement
    pronoun - antecedent agreement

    Week One: Prereading activities and selections - building context

    Romantic Movement, Frame Story, etc.

    Read: Letters I - IV. How do these serve to set up the narrative of the novel?

    Study Guide (Handout) for the letters

    Independent Reading Friday

    Week Two:
    What is Gothic?

    "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" p. 821 - audio
    Group Study Rime.docx

    1. Answer: What is the larger lesson about life suggested by the poem?

    2. What is the purpose/effect of  Robert Walton's allusion to this poem in Letter II to his sister?

    Read: Chapter 1 of Frankenstein - small groups TQE (thoughts, questions, epiphanies)

    Chap. 2 - homework - Victor's Mother, early years

    Chap. 3 - in class. Respond: 1. identify 2 changes in Victor's character; 2. What are the pros/cons of the power that Victor's knowledge gives him; 3. What effect is created by the description of the summer season immediately following an account of  Victor's daily activities in pursuit of his scientific goal?; 4. If his goal is so lofty, what might be implied by the undermining of his health?

    Chap. 4 - 1. Success! Why is Victor so disappointed?; 2. Yet another allusion to "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" - explain the relationship of the allusion to the events of Chap. 4; 3. Why do you think the author does not tell us ANYTHING about Victor's creation (where it went, what happened to it)? Seems like something we'd like to know. Just sayin'

    Introductory Phrases and Clauses #1-10, p. 755

    Week Three: Frankenstein chaps .5 - 7
    Frankenstein - Alice Cooper
    Read the novel and complete group and individual tasks for each chapter.

    Chap. 5 - 1. Make a T-chart comparing Elizabeth's description of being an advocate (lawyer) with being a farmer. What are the pros and cons of each profession (include ones not listed in the text). Consider - why are Victor's father and Elizabeth trying to determine what Ernest should be when he grows up? 2. Do you agree or disagree with Elizabeth's characterizations of each job? Explain THOROUGHLY your thinking on this using the text and your own knowledge.

    Chap. 6 - 1. What tragedy has happened in the Frankenstein family?; 2. Why does Elizabeth feel responsible for it?; 3. How old is Victor now?; 4. How long has his creation been wandering alone?; 5. Who has been accused of the murder and why?; 6. Identify the oxymoron in paragraph one. How does the oxymoron express a truth?; 7. Identify an example of foreshadowing: give the quote and explain how it serves to predict some future action or event.

    Chap. 7.  - 1. Why doesn't Victor tell anyone about his creation in order to clear Justine of the crime?; 2. Whyat is revealed about Justine's character during the trial?; 3. What in the world mader her confess to a crime she did not commit?; 4. Why does Victor think that HIS sufferings are worse than Justine's? What do you think about that?; 5. On the last page of the chapter, locate the metaphor, "never-dying worm" and explain it's meaning - then identify the simile appearing in the same paragraph and explain its effect with regard to character and plot. In other words, how is this simile functioning here?
    Reading Group Frankenstein.docx
    SMART Notes for Reading.docx

    Subject-Verb Agreement #1-10, p. 767

    Week FourFrankenstein 

    Vol. II, Chap. 1 - You are going to create a soundtrack for this chapter. You need to select AT LEAST 4 key quotes/passages from the chapter and match it up to a song that fits the context. For example, When Victor says, "I listend to this discourse in the extremest agony. I, not in deed, but in effect, was the true murderer...she smiled that she might chase away the fiend in my heart," the song "Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who is a good song for the scene. The lines, "no one knows what it's like to be the bad man, to be the sad man..." reflect Victor's inner turmoil. This example is mine, so you will need to find your own sources. Have fun!

    Vol. II. Chap. 2 - 

    1. The word “sublime” is used repeatedly in Chaps. 1 and 2 of Volume 2. What does it mean? What is the author’s purpose in using it as she does? Give your own example of something “sublime.”
    2. The creature says, “All men hate the wretched; how then must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things!” Is this a general truth? Why or why not? Explain and provide examples of your thinking on this matter.
    3. Delineate the main parts of the creature’s argument. Is his position strong or weak? Why?
    4. How does the use of rhetorical questions function in this encounter?

     Vol. II, Chap. 3

    1. What are the creature’s first days of life like?
    2. How does fire relate to the novel’s subtitle, The Modern Prometheus?
    3. What happens when he wanders into the village?
    4. Describe the people who live in the cottage.

    Vol. II, Chap. 4

    1. Why does the creature work so hard to learn language and what does this reveal about his character?
    2. What does he discover about himself and how does this make him feel?
    3. YOU are the director. Create a cast – choose an actor for each role in your Frankenstein movie.

    Vol. II, Chap. 5

    1. What new skills do the creature learn in Chap. 5? Is it realistic to you that he would learn in this way?
    2. What does he learn from Volney’s Ruin of Empires? Are the characterizations of these demographic groups accurate? What bias of Mary Shelley’s might be revealed here?
    3. Describe the nature of the existential question(s) facing the creature, beginning with the paragraph, “The words induced me to turn towards myself…,” to the end of that page.


    In-class reading - group/individual work
    SMART Notes for Reading.docx
    Plot Graph of significant quotations

    Week FiveFrankenstein chaps. 6 - of Volume 2

    Vol.2, Chap.6

    1. The DeLaceys – Why are these people in the novel? How do they serve to advance the plot?
    2. Write (finish for homework): How is Frankenstein’s creation a metaphor or symbol for all humanity?
    • topic sentence is arguable claim
    • 3 supporting details (evidence w/ explanation)
    • concluding sentence

    Vol. II, Chap. 7

    1. Locate and copy all or part of the sentence where each of the following words occur and define each word.
    • portmanteau
    • disquisition
    • omnipotent
    • ineffaceable
    • ensue
    • consternation
    1. There are 3 allusions: The Sorrows of Werter, Plutarch’s Lives, and Paradise Lost. What are these about and what does he learn from them?
    2. He says, “I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition.” Why? Give a thorough explanation.
    3. How does the allusion to Adam and Eve serve as forshadowing?

    Vol II, Chap. 8

    1. Identify the passage that seems to be the turning point for the creature. Explain why this is so.
    2. Why does the creature burn the cottage? Seems pretty extreme…just sayin’
    3. Why does he decide to find Victor?
    4. As he journeys, his emotions cycle between rage and a desire for vengeance, then peace and a hopeful happiness. What does this uncertainty reveal about the creature’s character? What incident seems to tip the scales?
    5. What are his initial intentions for William? Would it have worked with a different child? Explain

    Vol. II, Chap. 9

    1. How does Victor respond to the creature’s demand?
    2. The creature asks, “…why should I pity man more than he pities me?” and lays out an argument justifying his behavior. Does he make the case? Why or why not?
    3. In order to convince Victor to agree to his demands, the creature promises to go far, far away. Where will he go? Why select that particular location?
    4. Why is Victor so conflicted about his decision at the end of this chapter if the decision is fair and just?

    In-class reading - group/individual work
    SMART Notes for Reading.docx
    Story Star
    Persuasive Writing after completion of Chapter 17: What should Victor Do?
    Decision Making Time for Frankenstein.docx

    Week Six: Frankenstein Volume III

    from Paradise Lost

    • Consider Milton’s argument for the purpose of suffering in the world
    • According to Satan, in what way or ways is there “tyranny” in Heaven?
    • Identify and list at least 4 parallels/connections between Paradise Lost and the novel – explain each.

    Vol. III, Chap.1

    1. Define: exordium, dilatory
    2. What finally snaps Victor out of his procrastinating?
    3. Make a t-chart or Venn diagram to compare and contrast the characters of Victor and Henry

    In pairs or small groups: Start today – share tomorrow!

    • Identify the THREE most critical scenes in our novel to date.
    • Evaluate the three and identify which of these three is most critical. Make sure you have consensus from the group.
    • Justify – write a statement explaining why this scene is THE most important. (that means you speak to how this scene advances the plot – write it as a thesis type statement, ex. thesis = work + method + purpose)
    • Diagram it out – how would you stage this? map it out and provide stage directions as needed – where will characters be positioned? In what setting?
    • Take the photo to share with the class –give the photo a caption (short, short quote, or commentary, you choose)
    • Gallery Walk – visit other groups to see their photos. What scenes do you see? Similarities? Differences?


    In-class reading - group/individual work
    SMART Notes for Reading.docx
    Persuasive essays due

    Week 7: Chaps 2-3

    Vol. III, Chap.2

    1. Victor says, “…and if I was ever overcome by _ennui_, the sight of what is beautiful in nature…could always interest my heart…” What is the meaning of “ennui” in this sentence?
    2. Shelley spends a great deal of this chapter in descriptive detail of Victor’s and Henry’s travels in England and Scotland. Why so much detail? What effect is she trying to create here?
    3. Victor says, “I am a blasted tree; the bolt has entered my soul…” Where have we seen a blasted tree before? What is the significance of repeating this motif (a recurring element that typically contributes to theme) here?
    4. Victor describes himself as daring to, “shake off my chains, and look around me with a free and lofty spirit; but the iron had eaten into my flesh, and I sank again, trembling and hopeless, into my miserable self.” Explain this allusion to Prometheus and how it relates to Victor and his specific situation.
    5. Toward the end of the chapter, he says, “I felt as if I had committed some great crime, the consciousness of which haunted me. I was guiltless, but I had indeed drawn down a horrible curse upon my head, as mortal as that of a crime.” Well, which is it? Guilty or Guiltless? How is he guilty? How is he guiltless? Yeesh!!!!

    Vol. III, Chap.3

    1. Victor entertains many second thoughts about creating a second being. What are some of the “what if’s” he is concerned about?
    2. He says that he was persuaded by the creature’s “sophisms.” What is a sophism or sophistry?
    3. At one point, the creature declares, “You are my creator, but I am your master; ---obey!” What does this reversal mean?
    4. What price will Victor pay for not keeping his promise?
    5. How does he get to Ireland? And why does he receive such a poor reception?

    Connect: How are Grendel and Frankenstein's monster similar (development, sentiment/world view, etc.)?