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Mary Shelley (1797-1835)

Questions About "Frankenstein"

  1. When did Mark Shelley write "Frankenstein"? What were the circumstances?
  2. "Frankenstein" is often described as a Gothic novel. What does that mean? How does the novel fit into the atmosphere of terror and the grotesque?
  3. How do epistles/letters figure into the plot of the novel?
  4. How is suspense created in the novel? Is the suspense effective?
  5. How effective is foreshadowing in the novel? Are you able to figure out what will happen next?
  6. Who are the major characters of "Frankenstein"? How do female characters figure into the plot of the novel? Are they important? Which of the characters survive?
  7. How does conflict figure into the plot? Is the conflict primarily intellectual, moral or emotional?
  8. What are the three storylines in the novel? How do they develop? Which characters are involved in each storyline?
  9. How does Mary Shelley reveal character in the novel? Do the characters change/evolve/grow? Is the character development believable? Can the characters follow any other path, other than the one the storyline takes them on?
  10. Why does Mary Shelley write about Victor's childhood? Why is his early life important to the plot? Is it?
  11. How does the concept of hubris figure into the plot? Are the characters propelled by Fate, or something much more psychological? Why?
  12. What similarities and differences can you find between Faust and Victor Frankenstein?
  13. Does the saying "like father, like son" apply to the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and The Monster? How are they similar/different? How do they each develop? How does their relationship change? Then, take a look at the relationship between Victor and his father?
  14. What symbols does Mary Shelley employ most effectively through the novel? How does darkness play a part in the novel? When (and how) does the moon appear?
  15. What do you see as the primary theme of the novel? Is it implicit or explicit?
  16. Which character is the most sympathetic? What characteristics makes him/her sympathetic? Why?
  17. How does the idea of nature versus nurture figure into the plot? Why is nature important to the novel?
  18. Does setting play an important role in the novel? How is the final setting significant?
  19. How would you describe Mary Shelley's style? Compare Mary Shelley's style with the style of other writers of the Romantic period. How does her style compare?
  20. How are the characters alienated from each other? What fits of sickness and madness affect them?

Preface | Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | Characters | Questions |

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