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1. List the title and author of the work you read.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
2. Briefly describe the plot (action) of the work. What happens?
Robert Walton (the first narrator) finds Victor Frankenstein adrift in the Arctic. After a week’s recovery Frankenstein tells his story. As Victor was growing up he had always been interested in alchemy and pseudo-sciences. He hoped to one day to be able overcome death and decay. Victor learned how to create life in the laboratory and collected parts from cadavers to create his creature. After giving his creation life, he was horrified and fled. He was hidden away for two years, then received a letter telling of his little brother’s death. He suspected the creature, but the police suspected a female friend of his family’s and hanged her. One day the being found Victor and told him of his survival and his knowledge. He requested Victor make him a companion and in return they would flee away never to be seen again. He eventually agrees to make the “bride,” but after much pondering destroys all the work he had done. The “monster” curses Frakenstein assuring revenge on his wedding night. Later another of his friends turns up dead. Victor still made plans to marry Elizabeth with whom he was raised. On their wedding night she is strangled by the monster. He follows the monster pledging to destroy it. The story leads to where he is taken aboard the ship. Soon after the story Victor dies. The monster s discovered on board and announces his plans to kill himself.
3. How would you describe the author’s style? Examine the way the author writes, considering word choice, point of view, structure, special techniques (i.e., symbolism).
I really liked the way Shelley told the story from different points of view. She made the story whole by telling what Victor thought and what the creature thought. I also liked the way she didn’t just dive right into the central story, but laid out an outer frame. Shelley tries to make an easily read story by telling it from all angles and makes it a little different with the story inside of the story.
4. Was this an easy work to read? Why or why not?
I believe it was easily read. There was no overly difficult language. If you did have to pause in the middle of the story it was easily picked up again without rereading sections a couple times.
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5. In two or more sentences, explain your overall understanding of the theme of this work. Remember that a theme is an interpretive statement that describes what you consider to be the central meaning of the novel. (Note that a theme is NOT always a moral.)
I believe the theme of this work to be that love is powerful. Love, or a lack there of, can cause people to do strange things. You would do odd things to gain love, or to keep it. Without love is life worth living? There is also a message of the power of the rejection of a society.
6. Cite at least two specific passages in the book where the author seems to explain or describe the theme of the work. Maybe a character says something that reveals the theme; maybe the speaker or narrator of the work makes a revealing statement. Quote from the novel.
The creature demands a female to share sympathy and companionship with. I believe this is an outburst for love and interpreted as, “If you don’t love me, make me someone who will.” After the monster discovers Frankstein dead he says that he will kill himself, perhaps because now he will have no companion and no one to love him.
7. What is your response to this work? Did you like what the author was trying to say or show? Would you recommend this work to a friend? Explain.
I do agree that love is a powerful force, but I don’t know that love or a “societal let-down” can cause a person (or monster) to kill. I would recommend this if the friend had some extra time going to waste.