1. Based on the first four letters of Robert Walton to his sister Margaret in the novel Frankenstein, write a paragraph describing Walton’s personality. You should include in your topic sentence enough adjectives (descriptive words like “passionate,” “egotistical,” “lonely,” et cetera so that the body of your paragraph provides plenty of support.
2. In the first four letters of the novel, discuss from Mary Shelley’s point of view the importance of communication, family, and the need for companionship.
3. How does Walton respond to the stranger in Letter 4? Why do you believe Walton is attracted to the character?
4. What qualities do you believe Victor and Walton have in common, and what aspect(s) of that personality prompt
(s) Victor to respond to Walton with a warning towards the end of Letter 4?
5. Describe Victor Frankenstein’s family background in terms of his parents, status, family life, and general upbringing. How would you interpret Caroline’s marriage to Alphonse, Elizabeth’s adoption as a half-sister, and Victor’s relationship to Elizabeth?
6. Chapter 2 reveals much about Victor’s personality. What are the main ingredients to Victor’s personality? What does Victor study? What does he consider his purpose in life?
7. In Chapter 3 Caroline dies at the expense of nursing Elizabeth back to health. What does Shelley imply is the proper activity of any mother for her child?
8. Chapter 3 presents Victor as a university student. Characterize Victor’s beliefs as a student. With whom does Victor identify? What does Victor challenge and why?
9. In what ways does Henry Clerval fulfill the role as a nurse? A second Caroline? A second Elizabeth? To whom does Clerval direct his services?
10. In what ways are Victor and Clerval opposites? What does Shelley seem to say about opposites attracting?
11. How does Victor respond to the elemental forces of Nature? Why? In what ways is Nature like a friend or source of inspiration?
12. Chapter 6 introduces a letter from Elizabeth to Victor. What does Shelley reiterate about letter writing?
13. Chapter 7 opens with a letter from Alphonse to his son Victor? Why does this letter precipitate Victor’s return home?
14. While at home does Victor assume responsibility for William’s death and Justine’s accusation? How is Victor affected by the knowledge that he may be responsible for William’s death?
15. What does the trial and death of Justine reveal about the justice system?
16. Does Victor take responsibility for his actions?
17. Chapter 10 highlights the encounter between Victor and the Monster, atop Montanvert. How does the Monster’s eloquence repudiate Victor’s claim the Monster is “wretched.”
18. Describe the Monster’s earliest memories. How are his earliest thoughts reminiscent of a newborn’s?
19. What ways/techniques does Shelley use to “humanize’ the Monster? Are they effective?
20. Is the Monster’s acquisition of knowledge believable, admirable, helpful?
21. Chapters 11 through 16 are notably the Monster’s tale. What does Shelley achieve by having the Monster tell his own tale?
22. What is the Monster’s request to Victor? What is Victor’s response initially? Why does Victor change his mind? Does the Monster have a valid request?
23. Whose argument –the Monster’s or Victor’s–do you believe is more reasonable regarding the Monster’s request?
24. Why does Victor eventually destroy his second Creation?
25. Ultimately, which character not only learns but also adjusts his behavior in the novel?