Friday, March 5, 2010
Final Questions for Shelley's Frankenstein (pp.121-end)
1. Do you consider Frankenstein a “reliable narrator”? The largest frame story is his own, which he carefully puts into the hands of Walton (and indeed, even the Creature’s story is from the mouth of Frankenstein!). Are there any slips or cracks in his story which make us doubt his veracity? You might consider how this relates to the idea of the Creature as Frankenstein’s “double” as well…
2. Is Frankenstein’s act of destroying the female monster an act of heroism or cowardice? What reason does he give for destroying it, and do we accept this at face value? Likewise, do we believe the Creature’s vow to Frankenstein, that he will abandon society with his female companion?
3. Why do you feel Shelley included the scene where Frankenstein is imprisoned in Ireland for Clerval’s murder? How might this scene reflect some of the major themes of the novel?
4. How does Shelley reconcile the “frame story” of Walton the explorer? What has he learned from Frankenstein and the Creature? Can we say of him, as the narrator says of the the Wedding Guest in Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “A sadder and wiser man/he rose the morrow morn”?