Frankenstein Essay Assignment
For this essay, you will choose a focus in the novel, Frankenstein, and create an original argument based on it. Your writing may be strictly literary analysis or it may take the form of a compare/contrast essay that works to connect an aspect of the novel to concepts or events outside the book. You are free to choose whatever focus you like in the novel. A good starting point is to consider what aspects of Frankenstein interest you most as you read it; for example you might be particularly drawn to the monster’s development, the relationship between Victor and Walton, Victor and the monster, the role of women, the nature vs. nurture debate, the importance of companionship, or the role of nature in the book.
Here are some topic ideas that you may choose if you would like to connect the novel to outside sources:
1) Psychology/Identity formation- research child development, nature vs. nurture, and connect what you find to the ...view middle of the document...
4) Dangerous Science/Ambition- Victor’s is a cautionary tale about what can happen when science is taken too far. Connect this theme to events in the modern world (designing the atom bomb, cloning, stem cell research, etc.) You can argue for either side of the debate; even Victor himself is ambiguous about the dangers and benefits of pursuing knowledge, and by the end of the novel, he doesn’t give Walton a clear answer as to what he should do with his goals.
5) Mythology- the subtitle of the novel is “The Modern Prometheus.” Read up on the myth of Prometheus, and work to connect it to the book. Who might represent Prometheus in the book and why?
6) Feminism- Shelley herself was the daughter of one of the world’s most famous advocates for women’s rights. How can the novel be viewed through a feminist lens? What do you make of the fact that the women in the book are so passive? To what degree are each of the characters masculine and/or feminine?
7) Romanticism- Read up some more on the Romantic Period, and explore how Frankenstein is a quintessentially “Romantic” novel. Trace the allusions to Romantic poetry in the novel, and discuss what elements of Romanticism the novel exhibits.
8) Connections to Paradise Lost- There are many parallels to Milton’s epic in this novel, as illustrated by Shelley’s frequent allusions to it. Which characters connect themselves to figures in Paradise Lost? How are Shelley’s characters enriched by these connections? What do these connections add to Shelley’s novel? What themes do the two works share?
9) Topic of your choice- please discuss your topic with me ahead of time so I can approve it.
• Your paper must be 5-7 pages typed in MLA format.
• Your works cited page must include a minimum of 4 sources, including the novel itself as well as 3 outside sources. Of your outside sources, one must be a work of literary criticism. The other two may be websites, database articles, or books.
• Remember that every source that appears on your works cited page must be quoted and cited in parenthesis at least once in your paper.
• Your paper must quote Frankenstein at least 4 times, and all other sources at least one time each.
Final Draft Value: 200 Test Points