What are three questions that can be generated after reading chapters 2 and 3 of Frankenstein?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the most profound questions that can emerge from Chapter 2 in Frankenstein would connect to how the love of science entrances Victor.  The question of how Victor become so enchanted with science is significant.  Shelley draws out Victor's love of science as one where he is enamored with power.  The power of science, of lightning's force, is what causes attraction for Victor.I think that a very strong question would be to explore how Victor's love of power is predicated upon the love of power, something that would play a critical role in his creation as the novel progresses.

Another question that can emerge from the reading is to examine how the death of Victor's mother impacts him.  The loss of his mother create an emotional void in Victor's life.  The lack of a moral and spiritual force with his mother's death creates a realm where there is no reflection or emotional connection.  Rather, he plunges himself into study and into the pursuit of the sciences.  Examining Victor's reaction to his mother's death helps to establish how there is a lack of balance in Victor's life.  It is for this reason that his mother begs him to marry.  Yet, Victor commits himself to his studies, and in the process, fails to nurture the emotional affect that is so sorely needed in his life.  

With the first question, there is an examination in Victor's love for science.  In the second question, there is a delving into the impact of Victor's mother's death on his emotional state of being.  I think that the last question that might be effective to analyze from chapters 2 and 3 is the role of memory and nostalgia.  Victor spends a great deal of time in the novel's exposition in discussing how much he loved his childhood.  It is interesting to see this nostalgic emphasis out of a man of science.  Shelley might be suggesting that there is a fundamental hollowness in the condition of science, something that fails to account for the ache in one's heart regarding the past.  However, at the same time, given how Victor regales in his past and fails to bring any of this affect into his present, Shelley might also be offering a critique of Romanticism. The nostalgia for that which has passed, intrinsic to Romanticism, it not shown to be an effective force of regulation as the narrative progresses.  In offering a question on the role of nostalgia and its purpose in the narrative's construction, another thought provoking question can be found in this portion of the text.

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