A Month of Monstrous Brilliance
These are ALL student-generated questions/ideas preparing for student-led discussions.
Students posted their topic on the night before they were to run a discussion in class (we created a master schedule at the beginning of the unit). This document was public to our class for students to refer back to over the course of the unit. Near the end of the document the italicized ‘Take Aways’ were typed in by Ms. Kennett.
For questions/comments/concerns, please email me at email@example.com or find me on twitter at @katrinakennett
Thursday, November 17th
Noble to mad scientist? comparing what we know about the doctor’s actions to our first impressions. (Samuel Hirl)
Who is Elizabeth, Really?
“With childish seriousness, I interpreted her words literally and looked upon Elizabeth as mine,-mine to protect”. (Alyssa)
Why does Robert find such an interest in the the doctor at first? “I never saw a more interesting creature; his eyes have generally and expression of wildness, and even madness..”
Dr. Frankenstein’s “Fate”
What is going to be the result of Dr. Frankenstein’s downward mental spiral? “the Angel of Destruction” (50) “the storm that was even then hanging in the stars and ready to envelope me” (44). (The one and only Greg Costello)
Who is at fault?
Who is leading Dr. Frankenstein’s downward spiral? Is it his own thoughts, or the influence of the people surrounding him? “If instead of this remark, my father had taken the time to explain to me... It is even possible that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin” (40). “Such were the professor’s words-rather let me say such the words of the fate” (54) (Greg Costello)
The Relationship between Victor and Elizabeth
“We called each other by the name of cousin. No word, no expression could body forth the kind of relation in which she stood to me- my more than sister, since till death she was to be mine only.” (18) (Morgan)
Victor’s Obsession With Elizabeth
“The saintly soul of Elizabeth shone like a shrine-dedicated lamp in our peaceful home. The sweet glance of her celestial eyes, were ever there to bless and animate us.” (p. 19) Timbo
Robert’s obsession with self-education:
Robert Walton had taught himself from a young age and guided himself through his own education. “but it is a still greater evil to me that i am self-educated: for the first fourteen years of my life i ran wild on a common, and read nothing but our uncle Thomas’ books of voyages.” How did that lead him to his experimentation in the arctic?
Session 3: Vocabulary Review (all 35 words)
(Tim) Victor takes Elizabeth out of the literal present and claims as own
Friday, November 18th
Like Father, Like Son
How does what we know about Victor Frankensteins father, Beaufort, foreshadow or relate to himself. Will
More than just letters.
How do the letters foreshadow the story? How are Walton and Frankenstein similar?
Robert’s affection towards Victor parallels Victor’s affection towards Elizabeth.
The Modern Prometheus
Walton and Frankenstein are both driven to make new discoveries and to push the limits of science. At what point does the desire to overreach become dangerous? Can it be stopped? (Allie)
An Impending Tragedy?
A dream about his beloved cousin takes a turn for the worse when Frankenstein envisions a deathly Elizabeth who then transforms into the corpse of his own mother. Could this be an example of foreshadowing? Or merely a nightmare that Victor experiences after just realizes the enormity of the monster that he has just created? (Steve Shea)
How can Victor and Henry be such good friends with the differences they share? (Kelsie)
Session 3 - Conversations about the horror movies you watched
Fear & Monsters: What was scary about this particular monster? What was the audience ‘actually’ afraid of?
Fear & Monsters: How did the director use setting to construct fear? How did the monster take advantage of this setting?
Fear & Monsters: Did the monster think/know they were scary? What was their motivation?
Fear & Monsters: What character destroyed the monster? Was it ‘fitting’? Why/why not?
Monday, November 21st
A Matter of Life and Death
Frankenstein’s curious interest between life and death,he thinks they are a kind of prize, an achievement that must be accomplished. “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.”(32) (Rachael)
When Frankenstein brings life to the monster, he’s horrified with it. Not because of the fact that the monster did anything wrong--but because physically it was hideous. Did this reaction and abandonment on Victor’s part shape who the monster became? So, in effect, Frankenstein not only physically created the monster, but mentally/emotionally as well. (Marisa)
too much power in the wrong hands?
Did doctor Frankenstein give too much power to his creation? Through out the book the monster comes back to haunt victor and threatens him with death. Giving the monster more speed strength and skills then himself, by giving the monster so much power did victor seal his fate?
Is Victor angry that Elizabeth has become his mother’s favorite? That his father is dictating where his son goes in life? That his mother gave him such little attention before she died?
“Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.” (68) If the monster would defend life, why would he take it away from people?
“I paused, examining and analysing all the minutiae of causation, as exemplified in the change from life to death, and death to life, until from the midst of this darkness a
sudden light broke in me, a light so brilliant and wondrous, yet so simple..”(31). Is his overwhelming sense of self confidence getting in the way of his mission - is he setting himself up for failure by thinking of himself so highly? (Jenny)
An Unwavering Pursuit
Will Frankenstein's undaunted pursuit of knowledge end up destroying him? Throughout the story he has shown a craving for understanding the ways of the world. (Sam)
Monday, November 28th
Thirst for Knowledge
“Of what strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind, when it has once seized on it, like a lichen on a rock.” (85) Both Frankenstein, the creature, and Robert Walten seem to have a thirst for knowledge that they almost cannot control. Perhaps in the future this need for knowledge will influence their decisions for the greater good? (Rachael)
The Evil Within
“Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, so virtuous, and magnificent, yet so vicious and base?” (84). Frankenstein seems to have his own views on the true nature of mankind and the desires of humans. Is he right, or is his idea based only on how humans have treated him?(Steve)
Right or wrong
Was it a smart idea for victor to decide not to make another monster for the first monster that he created ? in doing so did victor seal the fate of death to all his loved ones? would it have been a smarter and wiser choice ?(Bonny)
Victor is so caught up in the way that people appear physically, he is blind to who people really are. Will it be possible for that to come back and hurt him n the long run?
The Differences Between Walton and Frankenstein
We’ve discussed about how Walton and Frankenstein’s stories parallel, but what are some of the differences between the two men? In their ambition? In their motives? (Marisa)
A Wise Journey?
Did the journey to England then Scotland make Victor think about the outcome of making another monster? Would he have thought about it if he was home? Did the distance between his friends and family play a role?
Not receiving a frequent letter, Elizabeth becomes dismayed. Could the inconsistencies of communication be a metaphor for all of the inconsistencies and flaws in the monster? (Jenny)
Walton’s moods and Frankensteins actions
We will study the connections between the fluctuating moods in Waltons letters caused by his actions and how frankenteins moods and actions change due to how his family is being affected effects his actions (Will)
Mirror of the Eye
Why is Frankentein so afraid of the monster wen he first creates it? Does his own judgement of the monster reflect how he sees himself or the world?
Victor claims that “darkness has no effect upon my fancy,” (page 30). He fears his own creation once it is made though. “My teeth chattered and I was forced to lean against a tree for support” (page 50). Darkness begins to have an effect upon his “fancy”. (Alyssa)
As victor creates the monster, his health deteriorates. By making this new life does victor put all of his into it? Is some of his qualities present in the monster? Instead of being joyful for his creation, he is scared and run down.
Is he hypocritical or not?
In Frankenstein is victor some what hypocritical toward his creation? while the monster clearly tries to point this out to his creator telling him that you justify killing under certain circumstances yet when the monster kills victors brother it is wrong and he should be shamed. (Bonny).
In creating the monster, did Victor try to create a perfect human (mentally and physically, not appearance-wise)? The monster seems to have an ideal skill for learning and superhuman physical abilities. Did Victor focus too much on these aspects and not pay enough attention to his appearance in an attempt to create a creature more evolved than humans? (Steve)
Letters to Margaret
Waltons writing style changed throughout his letters to his sister. How did his emotions echo those of Victor?
Mental or Physical?
Which form of a monster is more of a threat to society; a physical monster, Salvator, or a mental monster, Victor?
(The one and only Greg Costello)
Loss of Humanity? From the very beginning Victor is ultimately doomed in his quest to create new life because he lacks a sense of human quality. He cuts himself off from the world and submits himself to an animalistic obsession with the monster. So does Frankenstein reflect Victor's personality or is the monster more human than him all together? (Jenny)
“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, then by my example, how dangerous is the pursuit of knowledge...” (31) Victor’s story begins and continues to be a warning to Walton, and also a way for Victor to accept the blame for what he created. What shows this, and why would he want to help a stranger like Walton? (Jess)
Thursday, December 1st
Drawing More Connections
Walton, in his second letter is lonely due to his lack of a companion, while at the same time Salvator in his speech to Frankenstein says he lacks someone to care for him. Could this whole parallel be saying that friendship and care must be sacrificed if knowledge is to be attained, and what effect does this lack of friends and family have on the characters through out the book.
In order to escape his guilt about William and Justine’s deaths, Frankenstein visits the mountains near his home to find peace for a little while. Upon seeing the monster, his feelings of anger and fear return. The monster felt miserable and alone during the winter, but when spring came he became more light hearted and happy. Can a change of location or weather provide the ability to evade one’s problems, or will they always be inescapable? (Emily)
The monster is the only literal example of a monster in the book but in reality Victor is a monstrous person on the inside for creating such a thing and realizing it was a bad idea afterwards. As the monster is alive and running around free Victor become more paranoid and looks more like a monster himself. (Merry)
Judging a Book By Its Cover? When people avoid Salvator because of his looks, they are “judging a book by its cover.” In reality he is just as loving and caring as any other person. Why do people tend to judge people on their looks? “The whole village was roused; some fled, some attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons, I escaped to the open country” (147). (The one and only Greg Costello)
Victor’s Fear :
Salvador is a typical “monster” but he was created by Victor. Victor is now afraid of him but is he afraid of the monster or the power he put into the monster, and why? (Bethany)
Victor, Walton and the monster are all self educated because of a lack of guidance during childhood. When Victor created the monster and then abandoned it, he essentially sealed his fate. The monster learned by observing humans and taught himself their language, but felt a resentment towards Frankenstein for abandoning him.
“Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but i am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed.”(69). Could Victor have changed the outcome of the monster if he had not abandoned him?( Holly)
Being in Victor’s Shoes
“I am alone, and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species, and have the same defects. This being you must create.” (104) If you were in Victor’s position, would you create another monster for the possible change within Salvator? Everyone deserves a second chance, but is it too late for a compromise to come between them due to Salvator’s seekout for revenge on Victor? (Morgan)
-An Extreme Relationship-
The presence of the ironic relationship between Victor and nature tends to be an omnipresent influence that alters Victor’s feelings and emotions correspondingly. From the excessive amounts of nature that accumulate in the monster, Victor’s obsession with the study of such a topic led him to his own misery via construction. But as much devastation that may be inflicted unto Victor as a result, he wouldn’t be able to function properly or sanely without such an aspect of life; taking frequent strolls in the midst of peaceful settings which soothes his tense and disturbed mentality. (Tim)
Take Away Session 1
- Will: Education and knowledge are not the roots to humanity - friendship is (and lets them hold onto humanity)
- Emily: No matter where you go, your problems will be there
- Merry: Victor’s becoming a physical monster and Salvador a mental monster - need responsible parental figure to guide the way
- Greg: although Salvator is in a monster’s body, he had human intentions - his exile caused him to snap
Take Away Session 2
- Bethany: Victor was afraid of the physical appearance of the monster - was excited about pregnancy but not the baby itself
- Holly: Victor learned from his ‘lesson’ with the monster and wants to prevent it happening again
- Morgan: Salvador wants a friend but Victor is wishy washy about making him one
- Tim: when Victor created the monster, he put a lot of himself into it
Friday, December 2nd
Just exactly how similar are Salvador and Victor? Although we have discussed the similarities between the two before, we will now further discuss exactly which characteristics were used by Victor to create the monster. (Brendan)
Unclear expectations lead to disappointment.
Victor was afraid of Salvador’s physical appearance, but he had control over what he looked like. What were Victor’s expectation of this monster? And why do you think his ideal creation did not succeed? (Bethany)
Not so different...
Although Salvador is depicted as the epitome of an ideal monster, we find how our two species are very similar in many aspects as he progresses in his journey throughout the world. Not just in the method that he learns and the path in which he used to develop articulate qualities, but Salvador has experienced many of the emotions in which are present thoroughly in our diverse society. In the flag corner we will discuss just how alike two oppositely viewed creatures can be. (Tim)
Not being any help to something that is feared
Victor is fearing that the monster, Salvador, will go around and continue to kill more people. However, Victor Frankenstein is doing nothing to stop the monster. When he sees Sal, he just looks at him and gets an uncomfortable feeling, but does not pursue to do something to put an end to the “horror.” He decides to leave and escape away from the monster. Why is this? (Kelsie)
Although Victor has physical characteristics of a human, he possess an animal like mental state. The monster although not looking human has more of a human mental state. Does this make Victor more human than the monster or the monster more human than Victor? (Kayla)
“I enjoyed this scene; and yet my enjoyment was embitted both by the memory of the past, and the anticipation of the future.”(116) Frankenstein constantly thinks he might die on his wedding night, and this seems to constantly haunt him. If he seems to think he has a future, then why does he also think he is meant to die, and that he deserves to die for endangering the human race with the creation of the monster? Why?
Victor only focused on creating the monster, he did not think about what he would do with the monster after it was “born.” Victor was not prepared for the birth of his creation and he did not think of the negative outcomes, he only expected perfection; which he obviously did nor get.
What qualities about Victor make him a “mental monster?” What was it that drove him to extremes? Can these qualities be good for a person? Are they visible in the people modern day society see as monsters? (Allie)
Take Away Session 1
- Brendan - Salvator and Victor switch roles
- Bethany - Victor wasn’t afraid until monster was alive - power over him
- Tim - the role of judging: monster judges all people, people judge him, the town judges Justine - Judgement & Justice
- Kelsie - childish Victor won’t take responsibility - until he matures and faces his problems they will plague him
Monday, December 5th
Reversal of traits?
Although we know that Victor put himself into the monster, did the monster put himself into Victor? We will discuss the outcome of Victor Frankenstein after he created the monster, and how the new creature effected him both mentally and physically. (Brendan)
parts of the whole
even though the monster is made up of human parts what truly makes the monster a monster and what's worse, to be a monster or a human, what separates the two and why?
The impact of words?
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein do you think that amazing choice of wording assisted the suspense throughout the book. creating a mood that allowed the reader to feel the dark and lonely feeling that Victor and His creation experienced. Do you think that Mary Shelley’s wording added the tone of the book? (Bonny).
How setting effects...
“We glided down the stream. Even I, depressed in mind, and my spirits continually agitated by gloomy feelings, even I was pleased.”(112). Frankenstein says this, showing the effects certain environments can have on a personality. Did Mary Shelley do this on purpose to allow the reader to have a sense of more empathy on the characters? (Rachael)
In the beginning, the monster proves his humanity in multiple ways. “I was benevolent and good; misery made me a friend” (69). Look in depth at each scenario where the monster interacted with humans. When was the true moment when the monster had finally had enough and snapped? And do you believe that he was justified in doing so? (Marisa)
The monster claimed that if Frankenstein created him a companion, they would leave humans alone and live far away. Frankenstein originally refused in fear of the monster yearning human kindness again, and killing humans out of being rejected. Do you believe the monster can successfully stay away from humans? (Emily)
If Frankenstein had grown up in a different society, would the events played out differently? Does how society views beauty effect how Salvitor was viewed? (Bri)
What makes the monster more human than Victor despite his physical attributes? Even though he killed people we ultimately decide the Frankenstein is more of a monster than the actual monster itself - why? (Jenny)
Take Away Session 1:
Brendan - came to conclusion that Victor’s devoted time caused him to lose his humanity
Sam - what IS a monster? “what society deems right” → intentions or physical SOCIETY CAUSES MONSTERS
Bonny - wording intentional! and good!
Rachael - written in time of Industrial Revolution: people coming upon new concepts they couldn’t explain (science, electricity) - don’t tamper with nature → a warning tale!
Take Away Session 2
Marisa - although murder is never justifiable - can see his background → sympathy
Emily - monster may be content with one companion but is also fickle
Bri - the monster is recepticle of Victor’s corrupt feelings → society is flawed because they judge
Jenny - physical and mental monster traits are inverted in Victor and Salvator
Wednesday, December 7th
Conversation about Ms. Kennett’s story - modelling of idea development
Thursday, December 8th
A lack of understanding
Why does Frankenstein in a quest for knowledge end up by creating Salvador, something he does not understand. What role does this play in the moral of the story, and what role does fate play here.
Symbolism of Fire
Light and fire are both significant symbols in Frankenstein. Discuss the meaning of these symbols and look closely at the scenes and instances that heavily mention light. (Marisa)
A Fatal Flaw
Victor fails to think his promise through when he assures Salvator that he will create a monster of the opposite gender. When he finally realizes that his creation could have dire consequences, it is already too late for him to negotiate with his first creation, sealing the fate of his loved ones. (Steve)
The Anticipated Couple
One of the constant and main focuses in Victor’s life is his always beloved Elizabeth; a girl who he appeared to be dazzled by at first glance. Progressing through the story, we find how haunting dreams, lovable letters, and a horrific trial have become the framework of their relationship; in some instances, promising evident foreshadowing to soon take place. In the flag corner, we will discuss all of the possibilities that the highly anticipated marriage of Victor and Elizabeth could unfold. (Tim)
“I go; but remember, I shall be with you on your wedding night. (p. 123)”
Could Victor and the monsters relationship be called a father/ son relationship? Is their relationship like victor and his own fathers relationship?(kayla)
how does solitude and isolation effect both victor and salvador? how are the effects alike and how are they different? (holly)
Salvador starts believing that he is a monster and that is what leads him to kill, should society be the ones to blame for giving Salvador the impression that he is a monster and causing him to act like one? (Merry)
Brains over Brawns
Although the seemingly all powerful monster has established an intimidating physical dominance over Victor, possessing the ability to easily end his life with the slightest ease, it seems as if he only keeps Victor alive to make him suffer. Therefore, I wish to discuss how the monster’s mental hold is much more devastating to Victor than any amount of physical presence - always silently lurking in the dark recesses of his mind. Also, talk about how potent and vital his intellectual qualities have become. (Tim)
Though it’s obvious that Salvador has been judged by his physical appearance, is it more damaging that Salvador has begun to judge humans as well, based on his first few interactions with them? (Jess)
Victor and his family want to believe Justine is not guilty of the murdering of William because of how “innocent she looks”. They do not think of what she is like on the inside. Why is it people judge others by the way they look on the outside, rather than what they are like on the inside? (Alyssa)
As Frankenstein is creating the second monster, he realizes it would be a danger to humanity because the monster could refuse to stay away from humans. Was Victor’s decision to destroy the second monster worth it? Or will this just put his whole family in danger because of Salvador’s rage? (Emily)
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
The story of Frankenstein and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner both share very similar downfalls and consequences for actions. We will be looking closely at where exactly Victor and the Mariner went wrong in their journeys. (The one and only Greg Costello)
Digging in deep
Why did Frankenstein create the monster? what was his inspiration for his creation? and why did he do the things he did throughout the story?
Session 3 Take Away
Alyssa - it’s human nature to judge others - Victor is afraid it’s his creation that killed William
Emily - either way, there are consequences: the creations wouldn’t have procreated...
Greg - both characters did wrong b/c didn’t think about consequences - telling the story so that history doesn’t repeat itself (This too is true, stories can save us - Tim O’Brien)
Sam - Victor’s creation stage might have been influenced by his mother’s death - he has destroyed the people he cares about
Friday, December 9th
Many novel’s previously constructed have been influence by the Catholic teachings and the Bible. I believe Frankenstein is one of them. The creation of the monster resembles the creation of Adam, and the monster’s actions resemble the fallen angel of Satan. We could even go as far as to say that Victor is similar to Jesus Christ himself. Is Victor a Christ-like figure? Does the influence of Christianity cause the characters to be good or evil? (Brendan)
Did Salvator have a good reason for killing all of the people that he killed? If so, what are the reasons? If not, then why not? Did Sal believe that death was the only way to get back at Victor Frankenstein? Why did he resort to death? Do you think he made the right choice on committing the mulitple murders? (Kelsie)
We have interpreted, through the lines of misery which the author has bestowed upon Victor, that the monster keeps his nemeses alive in order to inflict greater proportions of agony. Taking this concept to the next level, I would like to ponder, “What would the monster do if Victor died?” I feel that the two forces present in the book, one of great mental capacity and the other constructing evil via physical dominance, is similar to the idea of what happens when an unstoppable force, meets an immovable object. Are Victor and the monster doomed to fight until the effects of time wear their life forces aware?(Tim)
Why is the modern media interpretation of the Frankenstein monster so different from what Mary Shelley intended? The monster we all think of when we hear “Frankenstein” is the unthinking, unfeeling, groaning zombie. In reality Shelley wrote a very intelligent and emotional creature. Why have people taken Shelley’s original monster and made it something it is not? (Allie)
Why does Mary Shelley use so many nature scenes? What might they symbolize in the book?(kayla)
Society Creates Monsters
Safe assumption: the class has come to a conclusion that society creates monsters.
There are many people in the US history that have been deemed monsters such as the two boys who committed the Columbine shootings, which will always be an unjustified act of violence. however, can we relate Salvador's acts of violence to the same reasons those boys did what they did? Is every “monster” created because of society?(Bethany)
Who’s to blame for the death of Justine and William? Was it the one who murdered the two people or the one who made the murderer? (Meaghan).
Session 1 Take Aways
Tim - If Victor doesn’t kill the monster, he will be doing society a great disservice
Brendan - Victor can’t kill the monster because he is a god-like figure and he can’t take life like he gave it
Kelsie - the monster might not have known his own strengths but he knew Victor’s weak points - wanted attention
Allie - how lines between good and bad are blurred - makes you sympathize with monster! in movies it’s easier to make black/white
Monday, December 12th
Throughout the novel, Frankenstein never names the monster, he calls him ‘fiend’, and ‘monster’. But before he ‘activated’ the monster, Frankenstein was excited, and even tried to make the monster look attractive. What was the transition that made Frankenstein so repulsed by his creation? This was even before the monster killed anyone, and how do humans mimic this action through judging others by looks? (Rachael)
There’s no question that certain aspects of Walton will be forever changed through hearing Frankenstein’s story. But in the end, do you think that Walton really learned a lesson? Or does the ambition within him doom history to repeat itself? (Marisa)
In The Moment
In the final stages of the book, the monster is locked in dead conversation with Walton. As it was Victor’s dying wish for Walton to put an end to his treacherous reign, should Walton have shot the beast on the spot, or have allowed him to suffer death on his own terms like he did? Will Victor ever be truly avenged, or will the memories of our two main characters, like the monster put it, be “speedily vanished”? Does this allow for history to repeat itself if the monster’s impact on Walton wasn’t great enough for such a story to be retold? (Tim)
Throughout the story, both Victor and the monster endure many hardships. Victor loses everyone he loves as a consequence of his actions. The monster never feels love, and is rejected by society. Who do you believe has suffered more? (Emily)
When Merry Shelly wrote Frankenstein, it was around the Industrial Revolution. Could what she was saying be related to the outside world during this time? (Bri)
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein does Victor and his creation have a mind game going on through out the book. The book is focusing mostly on the physical strength instead of the mental battle. where in the book is the mental battle taking place? and who has the most mental power? (Bonny)
Wednesday, December 14th
Irony of Elizabeth’s Character
Even though Victor always associates his beloved Elizabeth with majesty and grace, she is essentially only related to death and destruction throughout the novel. When first discovering the roots of their upbringing, their mother dies in an attempt to nurse her back to health; preceding the deaths of William, Justine, and her own which were all soon to follow. Most of her inconsistent letters also question the relationship between her and Victor; leading to interesting discussion of Shelley’s portrayal of Elizabeth's figure in the safe spot. (Tim)
Which Hurts More?
Through out this story nearly every character is suffering in one way or another, either Mentally or Physically. The question we will be discussing is which hurts more. We will discuss our own personal beliefs, and what Mary Shelley might possibly believed based on Frankenstein.
As the monster begins to tell his story, I saw a lot of common points in which Victor and the monster both shared. We will be discussing how similar their lives are.
Throughout the novel it is apparent that the characters struggle through because of their own mistakes, and the repercussions of those mistakes. What do you think is the main lessons Mary Shelley wanted her readers to get out of he book? (Allie)
Thursday, December 15th
Where is the line drawn between exploration and obsession? What are the different outcomes when both elements are applied? Can a person be committed to a certain study without being obsessed? (Brendan)
Take Away: Can curiosity be worse than obsession? Sometimes b/c it can become its own obsession
What do you think Salvador will do now that Victor is dead? No one else knows about him other than Walton. Could Salvador die of complete loneliness or now that Victor is dead is there no reason for him to kill people anymore? (Merry)
Take Away: Walton is like Victor - maybe the monster will connect with him
Throughout the novel, Victor is very secretive. He never told anyone about his creation, or how he wanted to kill it. Do you believe that bottling everything up inside led to Victor’s many mental breakdowns and illnesses? (Emily)
Take Away: If Victor had opened up, maybe he could have prevented it all: isolation is bad (and bottling up emotions too!)
Throughout the book, the monster causes physical pain, but doesn’t hurt Victor - why? Why doesn’t Walton attack the monster? (Greg)
Take Away Monster always had intention of mental pain (could cause more suffering) - Walton doesn’t attack b/c finds sympathy beyond his threat
If Everyone Were Blind…?
Since every person judges each other by their looks, would it be different if everyone in society were blind? Like the old man who took the time to talk to the monster because he could not see his ugliness.
Throughout the monster’s existence, he does anything he can to make Victor suffer by killing his loved ones. Once Victor dies, the monster stood over him crying. Why did the monster care when Victor died when he didn’t think twice about killing his family? (Meaghan).
How do the monster and Victor control each other? How do you control your parents, and how do they control you? Is control an all-or-nothing dynamic (winner takes all)? What happens once you’ve ‘won’?
Who tells what story? Look at all the ways stories are told in this novel - narratives, letters, diaries, books, spying, etc. - what would be different if there was only one narrator? What is the effect on the themes of the novel?
Monday, December 19th
Everything ties into the monster’s destiny - free will is the most determining factor
In the end, was the outcome satisfied?
Did the monster accomplish all that he wanted to after Victor denied him of a second creation? Did the monster gain anything out of killing Elizabeth and leaving clues for Victor to find him? Were his intentions to antagonize Victor or something more? Was Victor’s death something the monster kept in mind while he knew he was being hunted?
The monster and Victor parallel in their initial ambition,
Role of regret in creation and destruction
Regret makes us human
Groups and society
Does the idea of being in a group effect how strong the roots of humanity are? does the fact of being part of a group some what cloud the mind and make those connections with society so much harder. In lord of the flies the group of boys on the island slowly began to lose their connections with society until the point of acting like savages and brutally murdering their own. just like in the solace of monsters the crew was so detached from society that they began to eat one another to survive, but later on one of e crew members developed this idea that it was OK to keep eating human flesh and could not seem to tear himself away. is there a connection to be made as well ? ( Bonny)
When you’re in a group setting, you conform - when you’re isolated you create your own identity
When Victor’s rapid thirst for knowledge turned to a deadly obsession, we deemed that it was this radical and innovative thinking that was the sole cause for his future problems. In reality, our scientists attempt similar trials that withhold the same potent outcomes as a destructive monster. Cloning, transforming, even killing to create new life are all pieces to a process which will lead the creator to fame, fortune, and scientific advancement. How are the actions and mind-set exhibited by scientists in our society any different from Victor’s same progressive and dangerous mentality? Does this make us / society hypocrites for labeling Victor wrong for his imaginative thinking? (Tim)
Pursuit of knowledge is a necessary evil - where is the ‘line’ you cross?
Solitude and Morals:
In both Lord of the Flies and Frankenstein, solitude from society caused a change in Victor, Salvador, and the boys on the island. How can withdrawal from society change morals and character in humans? In what ways can it be beneficial, and in what ways is it destructive?
Right or Wrong Judgment?
Why is it that we say people lose their humanity because they begin killing others? We never really think about why they are killing others. It is not right for them to be killing, but in Frankenstein when the monster begins killing Victor’s family because of how Victor treated him and In Lord of the Flies the boys start killing each other because they lose their minds being so secluded on the island. None of them understand right from wrong. so is it right for us to judge them for killing when we do not really know what they are thinking? (Alyssa)
Don’t have a right to judge someone if they kill in self-defense or revenge (an eye for an eye)
In reading both Lord of The Flies and Frankenstein as a class we have determined that society made piggy an outcast and Salvador a monster, what were specific instances that made these two outcasts. And why did one become a monster and the other become prey. (Bethany)
Our society is ‘king of the hill’
Piggy allowed himself to become prey
Is it ‘nature’ to pick on the weakest link?
Society’s Effect on Humans
In Lord of the Flies it was the boys complete disconnection with society that made them lose pieces of their humanity and begin killing their friends. They lost touch with what they would have believed was right and wrong back in their old life. In “The Solace of Monsters” the crew had been away from society so long they began to rationalize eating one another to survive. Their ideas of right and wrong changed to fit their situation. Does society give us the morals we posses, or as humans, are we born with an instinctual knowledge of right and wrong? If their was no society anywhere would humans become complete savages? Who, or what gives us our beliefs of right and wrong? (Allie)
Being human depends on society - an ‘unprogrammed computer’ (society is programmer)
Humans have some innate moral compass