Sample questions

  1. In what ways might a knowledge of the social and political context in which Frankenstein was written and first published contribute to an understanding of the novel?

  2. Discuss the ways in which Frankenstein is relevant to the scientific issues that were being debated at the time that it was published.

  3. How does the monster's reading of Plutarch, Milton and Goethe influence his outlook on the world?

  4. The subtitle of Frankenstein is ‘the modern Prometheus'. How is a knowledge of the Prometheus myth relevant to an understanding of the novel?

  5. Satan, Adam and Prometheus: write an essay on how Mary Shelley uses the analogies between these figures and either Frankenstein or the monster.

  6. What part is played by the de Lacey family in the education of the monster and in the novel as a whole?

  7. Write an essay describing the narrative structure of Frankenstein and discussing how it may affect the reader's understanding of the action of the novel.

  8. Discuss the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and Robert Walton. In what ways are they like and unlike one another?

  9. How do you account for the absence of mothers in Frankenstein? How is this relevant to an understanding of the part played by women in the novel?

  10. In what ways is it helpful to consider Frankenstein in the contexts of (a) Gothic fiction and (b) Romanticism?

  11. How do you respond to the view that the Monster is Frankenstein's double,
    representing the evil side of his character?

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