Suggested Essay Topics

Volume One: Letters One through Four
1. Why do you think Robert Walton is so eager to visit such a hostile environment?

2. Discuss the similarities between Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein, the man he rescues. Why does Walton feel such compassion for Victor, a total stranger?

3. Why is Walton so impressed with the shipmaster’s actions regarding his fiancée?

4. What Romantic concepts do the characters of Victor and Walton illustrate?

Volume One: Chapters One and Two
1. Victor is deeply affected by Caroline’s death. Discuss Victor’s reaction to his mother’s death and the influence it has on his scientific studies.

2. Discuss Victor’s friendship with Henry Clerval and compare it to his father’s relationship with Beaufort.

3. What is “modern science” as explained by M. Waldman, and how does it differ from the theories of Agrippa and the other scientists Victor studies?

Volume One: Chapters Three, Four, and Five
1. Why do you think Victor created such a horrible-looking creature? Did he realize what he was doing? Explain your answer.

2. What are some of the characteristics of the Gothic novel, and how does Mary Shelley use them in these chapters?

3. Victor tells us that his friend Clerval’s imagination was “too vivid for the minutiae of science.” What does he mean by this?

Volume One: Chapters Six and Seven
1. After Justine is accused of William’s murder, why do you think Victor never tells anyone about the creature?

2. Explain why Justine confesses to the crime, even though she is innocent.

3. Discuss Victor’s...

(The entire section is 738 words.)