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Connect How to Read Literature like a Professor

To Frankenstein
Using the table below, write a chapter summary in the center column for the corresponding chapter of Thomas Foster‟s How to Read
Literature like a Professor (HTRLLAP). In the right column, consider how the chapter provides insight into Mary Shelley‟s Frankenstein.
Provide support for and explain your connection to the novel. You are to include at least one quotation from Frankenstein in each Connection
response (including MLA style citations). Type your answers directly into the chart (you may expand the boxes) and save electronically to be
uploaded to
HTRLLAP HTRLLAP Summary Frankenstein Connection
Chapter 1: Every journey is a quest and contains the follow five The story within a story within a story set up of Frankenstein
“Every Trip is requirements: a quester, a place to go, a stated reason parallels the three different questers in Frankenstein: Walton‟s
a Quest” for the quest, challenges along the way, and a real quest, Frankenstein‟s quest, and the monster‟s quest.
reason. The real reason is always self-knowledge Walton is seeking the North Pole for scientific advancement when
knowledge. By the end of the novel the stated goal is his ship becomes trapped in ice, preventing him from continuing his
not even important to the quester or the reader. quest. As a result of this delay, he learns that a worthier goal is
human connection and that if he continues farther into the North,
his men will more than likely perish.
Frankenstein, the second quester, is a classic Romantic hero. His
quest is to discover the elixir of life as he desires to expose all of
nature‟s secrets and further scientific knowledge. However,
Frankenstein believes that science holds the answer to the mysteries
of life when really, what makes someone human is their humanity:
emotions, sympathies, friendship, and most of all, love. The
challenge in Frankenstein‟s quest is simply himself. His own ego
and near sightedness prevent him from assuming responsibility for
his creation, telling the truth, and expressing sympathy. It is not
until Victor is on his deathbed that he realizes his mistake lay in
misguided thoughts. He tells Walton to “‟seek happiness in
tranquility” instead of “ambition” (193). However in the very next
sentence he has hope that maybe another will succeed in advancing
scientific knowledge. Victor‟s speech to the sailors on continuing
their search for the North Pole reinforces the notion that Victor
never learned his lesson (191).
Victor and Walton both are in the pursuit of scientific knowledge.
The North Pole was previously thought to harbor a paradise and
was the subject of much mystery. Walton put his scientific
ambitions above his relationship with his sister, which the reader
glimpses through his letters. Though Walton wants to finish his
journey, his longing for human connection ultimately prevails.
Frankenstein on the other hand fails in gaining this enlightenment;
he becomes a tragic hero.
The third quester, the nameless monster, is the opposite of Walton
and Victor. His noble quest led him to depressing knowledge on the
ugly truth of society. His quest is emotional as it is with Romantic
heroes; he desires a human companionship. Nothing would make
him happier than to fit in with the rest of society. He faces many
challenges, far more than the other questers. First, his physical
deformity prevents him from bonding with any human. Then Victor
refuses to make him a bride. The monster also becomes a tragic
hero as his once revered quest is perverted into revenge. At his
creator‟s death, the monster exclaims “‟I was nourished with high
thoughts of honour and devotion. But now crime has degraded me
beneath the meanest animal‟” (196). The monster learns that it was
society that made him a monster, not Victor.

Chapter 6: Shakespeare‟s eminent name is ubiquitous Shakespeare‟s The Tempest contains two characters that relate to
“When in throughout the world. His works cover a Mary Shelly‟s novel; Caliban, a half human half beast monster, and
doubt,…” tremendously expansive range of topics. By Sycorax, his creator. Obviously, the monster resembles Caliban and
borrowing from the Bard, writers can add depth to Sycorax is Frankenstein. Caliban learned language and religion
their works and build upon already established ideas. from Miranda and Prospero just as the monster gleaned knowledge
The reader should look for connections to any of from the peasants. In further resemblance to The Tempest, Caliban
Shakespeare‟s plays. This will enrich the is then discarded by Prospero and Miranda and becomes regarded at
understanding of the text. complete vile. The monster in Frankenstein suffers a similar fate as
One of his most famous plays, Hamlet, contains a he is considered an uncouth cretin because of his countenance. His
heroic character hung up on indecision and own creator rejects him as soon as the monster is brought to life.
procrastination. The theme of the novel is revenge. The monster later recalls this saying, “‟All men hate the wretched;
Henry IV follows one boy‟s journey into adulthood how then, must I be hated, whom am miserable beyond all living
as he must reach maturity to become king. Othello is things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to
a tale of jealousy. The Merchant of Venice is about whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of
justice and mercy. King Lear is composed the one of us.‟” (81). Caliban is the archetypal monster that is strikingly
following people: an aging parent, greedy children, reflected in the unnamed monster in Frankenstein.
and a wise fool. Also, the theme of magic in The Tempest parallels the theme of
untamed science in Frankenstein. Prospero, the rational magician,
contrasts Sycorax, who is evil and uncontrolled. Victor is similar to
Sycorax through his maligned scientific ambition. His quest
overstepped the boundaries of man as he attempted to play God.
Prospero is a foil to Sycorax just as Walton is a foil to Victor. The
purpose of this foil is to illuminate that not all science is evil.
Walton‟s quest is just and would benefit all of mankind. He did not
keep his quest hidden from the world as Victor did, nor was his
ultimate motivation power as Victor wanted.
Another of Shakespeare‟s comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream¸
can be related to Frankenstein. The fairies mischief with a love
potion is hilarious in the setting of a play, but The Bard is definitely
discussing a serious topic. Magic can be far too wild for man to
control, as seen in this play. Keeping with the connection
established from The Tempest, Mary Shelly borrowed the theme of
magic and made it relevant to her novel by substituting science.
Victor‟s scientific pursuit caused mayhem throughout Geneva.

Chapter 9: A myth is defined as a story that has gravitas. Since In Mary Shelly‟s preface to the novel, she outright states that she
“It’s Greek to myths were imagined in order to explain every day used The Iliad as a source to write Frankenstein. That being said,
Me” phenomena, mythology is deeply connected to the there are a myriad of parallels between the two texts. To begin,
human psyche. Authors borrow from mythology to Walton is the equivalent of Homer. Walton is on a ship, just as
add depth and meaning to their writings. There is most of Homer‟s characters are fishermen. Also in relation to
only one story after all, so why not steal from the homer, Walton is the medium through which the story is told. His
great? letters are actually the entirety of Frankenstein, so he is essentially
One of the most famous works of Greek literature is the writer. Within the story however, there are striking similarities
The Iliad. The Iliad follows the story of Achilles who to The Iliad. The monster is modeled after Achilles. They both are
stops fighting in the Trojan War because his superhumanly strong men with a weakness; the monster‟s being his
promised wife his stolen by Agamemnon, only to human compassion. Since the monster is Achilles, and Agamemnon
rejoin once his friend, Patroclus perishes. As is the leader of Achilles, which makes Victor Agamemnon. With
revenge, Achilles stole Agamemnon‟s woman. When that established, the similarities unfold themselves. Achilles/the
analyzing a text, look for the following themes: Men monster rebels against his leader/creator after his wife is stolen/is
in battle to gain control of a woman. A seemingly not created. Achilles then steals his leader‟s woman just as the
indestructible man with a minute weakness and a monster kills Victor‟s wife. When Achilles‟s friend is killed in the
need to keep his dignity. A wife‟s struggle to remain war, Achilles returns as the hero to fight. Following the template of
faithful to her true love. A man‟s desire to keep his Achilles, the monster realizes that he is responsible for the deaths of
family safe. Victor‟s friends, The monster exclaims, “‟I, who irretrievably
Another classic Greek element is the Underworld. It destroyed thee by destroying all thou lovedst. Alas! He is cold, he
is a representation of the supreme challenge or the cannot answer me‟” (194). At this epiphany, the monster heroically
darkest parts of the human psyche. Ovid‟s commits suicide.
Metamorphoses contains elements of transformation Shelly also briefly references the Underworld when she has Victor
which are resonated throughout literature. Oedipus is cross a lake. She describes this particular lake in great detail, saying
yet another Greek myth that is popular. It tells the “vivid flashes of lightening” made the lake “appear like a vast sheet
tale of dysfunctional family relationships and of fire” (59). Upon crossing this lake, Victor encounters his
blindness. The term oedipal complex is derived from monster. The lake is almost certainly the lake of fire one must cross
this famous work to describe a man that is in love to encounter Lucifer in Hell. The monster is Victor‟s Lucifer: he is
with his mother. the embodiment of the evils of scientific pursuit and his guilty
As far as Mythology is concerned, Victor‟s tragic fall is most
similar to the fall of Icarus. Victor‟s Daedalus is both his biological
father and his scholarly professor, as the two warn him against the
dangers of his studies. His father reprimands Victors telling him to
“‟not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash” (24). Even Nature,
as it is a divine power, cautions Victor with the strike of lightening
on the tree (27). But Victor persists in following Cornelius
Agrippa, the outdated alchemist, just as Icarus ignores his father‟s
wisdoms and died because of his careless capriciousness. It‟s very
important to note that Icarus could have died in two scenarios:
flying too high or too low. Victor “flew too high,” over stepping the
limits of science. However, he also could have “flown too low.”
Although Frankenstein is advocating precaution in science, it does
not push for complete scientific abandonment. Victor says to
Henry, “‟How could you suppose that my first thought would not
fly towards those dear, dear friends whom I love and who are so
deserving of my love?” (47). Shelly purposely uses the word fly to
connect Victor‟s quest to Icarus‟s flight. Victor‟s statement here is
ironic though, as he does not safely fly to his loved ones, but flies
upwards (North symbolism, continued in the geography section).
Most importantly, Shelly‟s subtitle is moliminous to the
understanding of Frankenstein In Greek mythology, Prometheus is
a man who stole fire from the gods to give to mankind. Shelly‟s
Prometheus is Victor Frankenstein; the man who stole the power to
create life from Nature. Instead of claiming Victor as a hero, she
depicts him as a villain. Just as Titan is punished for his crime,
Victor suffers immensely through the murders of his relations,
anxiety, and isolation. Shelly‟s purpose in linking Victor to Titan is
to further her thesis that men are imperfect and overstep their
boundaries at times, resulting is irrevocable consequences.
Finally, the second bit of Mythology that can be related to
Frankenstein is the tale of Pandora‟s box. Victor‟s creation, once
born, instantaneously wreaked havoc on Victor, his relations, and
the rest of Geneva. The monster could not be controlled just as
Pandora‟s box, once opened, cannot be reset.
Chapter 10: The connotations of rain are rooted in history. In the Mary Shelly personified storms as nature‟s divine will. The
“It’s More beginning of civilization, rain was the source of life. absolute power and strength of a storm illuminated man‟s utter lack
than Just Rain Without rain, crops perished and people died. of control of natural law. In Frankenstein, rain is utilizes mainly as
or Snow” Biblically, rain is symbolic of a restart. God flooded a foreshadowing device. Because Victor overstepped his boundary
the Earth and killed off every human except for of a human and tried to assume God‟s role, nature rebelled against
Noah. Authors use rain for several reasons. First, it him. It was raining when the monster was brought to life. Mary
can be used as a plot device. Rain brings about dark Shelly writes, “I did not dare return to the apartment which I
clouds and has many ominous connotations, so it can inhabited, but felt impelled to hurry on, although drenched by the
be used to create an atmosphere. Rain can also be rain which poured from a black and comfortless sky” (44). The
used to challenge the characters in spite of the imagery and tone of this sentence obviously creates a sinister
downpour. Politically, the rain can represent equality connotation to rain, which is threaded throughout the entire text. A
throughout all the people as it falls on the just and storm was approaching when Victor first saw his creation after it
unjust equally. escaped (59). Rain suddenly erupted from the sky just before
When it rains, all the dirt and grime is washed away, Elizabeth‟s murder (172). All of these examples stay true to the
leaving being a cleaner world. Authors know this and analogy set up in the beginning of the text.
use it in their texts. Symbolically, they can utilize
rain to describe purification or baptism. As stated
earlier, rain is necessary for life and without it, the
earth suffers. Therefore rain can act as a restoring
power, bringing life upon the earth. In the opposite
sense, rain can bring about destruction and illness.
Rainbows are a sign of hope, peace, and tranquility.
After God flooded the world, he brought about a
rainbow as a promise to never do it again. A rainbow
can mean a treaty between the heavens or nature‟s
will and the earth.
Fog is a device used for confusion, as fog clouds the
vision in a literal sense. The confusion can be ethical,
mentally, or literally.
Snow, while similar to rain, can have a separate
meaning. Snow is white and has connotations with
purity. It blankets the earth so it can be said to give
warmth. For children, snow signals a time to play
and gambol. For animals and plants, snow is
restricting and suffocating.
Chapter 11: Violence generally always has a reason behind it. The monster‟s violence is a result of his suffering and human
“…More than The author will utilize violence to express a thought injustice. He does not kill because he is a savage beast with no
it’s Gonna or idea. There are two typed of violence in literature; heart; rather, he murders as a sort of revenge on Victor and in larger
Hurt You: character caused and narrative violence. The former part, society as a whole. The monster proclaims, “‟I too can create
Concerning includes acts such as stabbings, shootings, drowning, desolation; my enemy is not invulnerable; this death will carry
Violence” bombings, etc. The latter describes suffering that is despair to him, and a thousand other miseries shall torment and
not the character‟s fault. There is always meaning destroy him.‟” (122). As seen in this extraction, the monster
behind the death or violence in a novel, but that justifies his actions and is not a bloodthirsty animal. This example
meaning must be discovered by the reader. There is of violence falls under the “narrative violence” category. Mary
no one connotation or theme to associate with Shelly‟s ultimate message is that the superficial, wrong, and
violence. To gain this skill, readers should ask the immoral views of society craft individuals as “monsters.”
following questions: Victor„s violence should also be considered in analysis. In
“What does this type of misfortune represent comparison to the monster, he does not kill with brute force, nor is
thematically?” his violence justifiable. Instead, he causes suffering for his creation
“What famous or mythic death does this one through his neglect. Victor‟s actions against the monster parallel
resemble?” God‟s responsibility towards humans. The monster‟s pain of
“Why this sort of violence and not some other?” isolation is directly linked with Adam‟s pain. Mary Shelly was in
atheist, so it can be inferred that she is hinting at God‟s
imperfections. He made a mistake in not creating a woman for
Adam, but he corrected himself. Victor makes the mistake of the
century by creating the monster and refusing to create his equal.
Shelly‟s irony here is that God himself isn‟t perfect, and so humans
are nowhere near perfect. This explains how society is flawed.
Chapter 12: Symbols are ubiquitous throughout literature. Mary Shelly‟s most obvious symbol is lightening. Early in the
“Is that a Identification is easy, but finding the meaning is novel, Victor witnesses a tree struck by lightning. He recalls, “I
Symbol?” tougher. Only allegories have set in stone meanings, never beheld anything so utterly destroyed” (26). Ironically though,
like in Animal Farm. Symbols are different from the same element that “blasted” the tree, utterly eliminating life, is
allegories because their meaning cannot be reduced used to strike the monster to life. So, even though lightening plays a
to a simple term, but rather span across several ideas part in life, it did not create a full living being. The monster was
or themes. Another tricky part to symbols is that fire only half alive, and spent his life in complete misery.
in one novel can have the complete opposite meaning The word “blasted,” used to describe the tree that perished in the
in a different one. To analyze symbols in literature, beginning of Frankenstein, is repeated at the end of the text by
one must use “questions, experience, and preexisting victor. He states, “I have myself been blasted in these hopes, yet
knowledge.” Because every person has read different another may succeed” (193). This slight reference to lightening is
texts and has had a unique past, symbols can mean actually very significant. By connecting himself with the tree,
different things for different people. Victor admits that he has failed and is ultimately dead on the inside.
Events and actions can be symbols too, not just True to this connection, Victor is symbolically dead as he is
things. Do not expect to understand the meaning of a deprived of any human connection.
symbol right off the bat. Take the time to think about Nature in Frankenstein is another symbol. Though there is the dark
everything you know, recall past stories, and connect side of nature, rain, this has already been discussed. The monster
themes from the book. reflects on the duality of nature saying, “I felt sensations of a
peculiar and overpowering nature; they were a mixture of pain and
pleasure” (89). Nature‟s good side is acting as the mother of all and
carries out divine actions. Every time Victor is embracing the
beauty of a mountain or lake, his anxiety is relieved. Victor at one
point states, “The very winds whispered in soothing accents, and
maternal Nature bade me weep no more” (77). Shelly utilizes
Victor to associate nature as a caring mother. The monster receives
Nature‟s aid when he is first out on his own, as foliage sheltered
him and streams provided him with drink (85). This connection on
a deeper level ties into the battle between good and evil; with
science as the enemy to nature, since nature is divine and more
powerful than a mere mortal. Victor goes against nature by playing
God, as stated before. He even admits this when he says, “It was a
most beautiful season; never did the fields bestow a more plentiful
harvest or the vines yield a more luxuriant vintage, but my eyes
were insensible to the charms of nature” (39). This blindness
towards nature‟s divine will foreshadows the chaos that will emit
from his actions.
A third symbol in Shelly‟s work is the scientific instruments which
Victor used to create the monster. Once the monster is birthed,
Victor cannot bear the sight of these tools and refuses to even be in
the same room as them. His instruments represent science and a
whole. It took staring the ugliness of science in the face to see the
horrors of uncontrolled progress, and once that had been done, he
was repulsed by science. He was so repulsed that he drowned all of
his instruments in a lake. The drowning is done behind Nature‟s
back as Victor committed his “crime” when the moon “was
suddenly overspread by a thick cloud.” The instruments had a
“gurgling sound as it sank,” almost as if it was a person. This act
symbolizes the casting off of guilt and refusal of responsibility to
the monster. He will not make a woman for the monster, so he
removes any sort of path to do this.
Yet another symbol is the archetypal light versus darkness. The
monster recalls, “Darkness then came over me and troubled me, but
hardly had I felt this when, by opening my eyes, as I now suppose,
the light poured in upon me again” (84). One can easily discern that
darkness is representative of ignorance and light is knowledge.
Shelly likely continued the theme of light in her novel from the
subtitle, which is a Greek reference. Light and fire is, for this
purpose, the same thing. They both are double edged, as fire can
destroy and provide warmth, and light can illuminate the truth or
blind. Victor was blinded and caused destruction. The monster
discovered the truth about society‟s unjust ways. Victor unleashed a
terrible fire unto Geneva. The monster did not use fire to cook his
food, and therefore stayed clear of destruction. However, as the
novel‟s finale, the monster proclaims, “The light of that
conflagration will fade away; my ashes will be swept into the sea
by the winds” (198). It is no coincidence that Shelly has the
monster burn himself. While it does resemble the Biblical theme of
„ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” it is also a metaphor for the monster‟s
realization that he was produced for unjust reasons. He therefore
burns himself to undo his creator‟s mistake.

Chapter 13: The purpose of incorporating a political element into Frankenstein exposes the horrors of the justice system. Man is
“It’s all a text is to influence the political infrastructure. unfair. The monster knows this and remarks to Victor, “‟Do your
political” Authors generally have an interest in the duty towards me, and I will do mine towards you and the rest of
environment around them, so most literature has a mankind” (81). Victor will not assume his role to protect his
political aspect to it. Some common political themes creation just as the government is not assuming its role to protect its
are: gender equality, class warfare, injustice in the people. Justine‟s unfair trial and execution illuminates how unfair
justice system, and culture clashes. the justice system actually is. She was not guilty of the murder of
William, but was sentenced to death anyway. Remember that
Justine means “justice;” and ironic play on words by Mary Shelly.
However, the main political aspect of Frankenstein is its overall
feminist message. Shelly employs the use of excessively weak and
one dimensional female characters ironically to comment on the
destructiveness of patriarchal society. Elizabeth represents the
stereotypical female in that time period. She does not desire to
anything beyond being a dutiful housewife, and she has no
ambition of her own. To understand the irony in this portrayal, it is
important to understand that Shelly‟s mom is was radical feminist.
Though Shelly never met her mom, she voraciously read her works
and idolized her mother. It can be assumed that Shelly desired to
follow in her mother‟s footsteps and pursue knowledge. Shelly
actually projects herself into the novel as Safie, the Arabian. Safie
is a unique woman in Frankenstein. She is the only one to defy
male power and refuse to marry her determined husband. Instead
she runs away with her true love and desires to learn the English
Shelly added to her feminist manifesto by thinly veiling
Frankenstein‟s creation as a sort of pregnancy without a woman.
This would be the ultimate shackle upon women. If man could learn
to reproduce without the aid of a woman, then women would be
obsolete. Victor‟s pursuit is a selfish attempt to get rid of the
necessity of a woman. Shelly, being as smart as she is, did not let
Victor succeed. Instead, Victor realized the horror of his creation.
However, Victor is just plain stupid and egocentric. Even after he
gets a slap in the face of Feminism, he still thinks his own opinion
is superior; just because he is male. He aborts the female monster.
Now, Victor justifies the abortion by stating the female monster
may not be controlled (144). Victor extends his chauvinistic views
into his scientific work. He still views women as objects that are
bellow men. On top of that, the monster views women as an object
too. He believes that he can demand a woman and use her for his
own benefit. The monster‟s plan backfires and his wish is not
demanded. Since the monster so often compares himself to Adam,
it is only natural that God is factored into all of this. Adam
demanded a wife, and God fulfilled this. Adam is therefore
reinforcing male superiority. If man is created in God‟s image, then
God himself is anti-feminist. The idea even resonates in the gender
of God. Since the all mighty being is male, then the reasoning that
men follow is that all men are above women. Now, once again,
Mary Shelly is atheist. She is possibly supporting her atheist views
through her logical justification of feminism.
Chapter 19: Authors have to pick a place for their story to take The symbolic meaning of geography within Frankenstein is very
“Geography place. Instead of choosing any random old spot, straightforward. The North represents distance from society and
really writers have reasons for why their stories are set distance from one‟s own emotion and heart. Victor goes through a
matters” where they are. While classically, geography refers huge transformation by the end of the text. The scientist lets his
to trees and hills and rivers, it can also refer to the own failure turn him into a vile man bent on revenge. Victor
psychology, attitude, finance, or industry in a text. It becomes more and more distant from his family and friends once
can even be practically any element such as a theme his monster is created. He also becomes exponentially beast-like as
or symbol. he strays from the things that make someone human; love,
compassion, etc. At one point in Frankenstein, Victor expresses,
“Company was irksome to me… But busy, uninteresting faces
brought back despair to my heart” (137). This is just one of the
many examples of Victor‟s disassociation from his friends and
Victor‟s increasingly psychopathic actions and thoughts are
paralleled by the physical movement of going North. The North has
connotations such as bareness, devoid of life, harsh, unsuitable.
Victor described the region by saying, “the snows thickened and the
cold increased in a degree almost too severe to support” (182). By
going North, Victor is straying further and further away from the
rest of society. He is essentially becoming a monster, as a true
monster is not physically deformed but morally deformed. Victor‟s
revenge is the only thing that kept him alive throughout his journey
North (179). Victor‟s revenge is not just, nor does he try to reason
his actions. He truly is a beast.
Chapter 20: Each of the seasons has a general meaning. Spring Death in any Spring month is definitely ironic. William, a young
“So does associated with youth, fertility, happiness, growth, boy, dies in May. This blatantly indicates a premature death. The
season” innocence, resurrection, and life. Fall denotes a monster is brought into life on “a dreary night of November,”
slowing down of sorts as winter approaches. This is which draws from the foreboding quality of the approaching Winter
when the harvest is collected and either hard labor is to parallel the horrors about to be unleashed (42). Victor‟s mental
rewarded or laziness punished. Winter is the season disorder is cured by the “divine spring” that followed thereafter, but
of death. Hibernation, lack of growth, punishment, it was only ephemeral (47). The monster‟s early years were spent
and sickly cold are all connotations of Winter. adjusting to the nuances of the human world. He observed the
Christmas however is completely the opposite as it seasons with a childlike curiosity. He noticed that Winter killed
related to celebration, family, happiness, and nature‟s beauty and made life difficult for humans. When Spring
selflessness. came, he was overjoyed and declared the earth “fit habitation for
As always, when irony is applied, the meanings are gods” (96). In this way, the seasons were an introduction into the
switched. A death in spring is highly ironic and may cycles of life: birth and death, and rebirth again. The monster even
suggest a premature death. described death as “a state which I feared yet did not understand”
(101). This fear stemmed from knowledge of the natural cycle of
the earth. Delving further, it can be inferred that Shelly is pointing
out that nature can teach us all the knowledge one desires if it is
Chapter 21: A mark on the physical exterior can denote an The monster is physically wretched but emotionally pure. His
“Marked for interior moral, emotional, or psychological scar. appearance is rejected by society, so he is forced into isolation. This
Greatness” Even landscapes can be physically damaged to deformity is ironic, as the monster‟s foil, Victor, is perfectly human
represent deeper meaning. T.S. Eliot‟s famous poem on the outside but dead on the inside. In fact, the only aspect which
The Wasteland depicts a broken landscape to expose makes the monster a monster his is physical appearance. Victor
the brutality of war. A physical scar can also cause described his creation as having “watery eyes” similar to his “dun-
emotional scarring because of the functioning of white sockets.” The monster is also portrayed as having a
society. Many fictional characters that are deemed “shriveled complexion and straight black lips” (43). Naturally, this
ugly are in fact noble creatures far more “human” would cause fear in a human, as any sort of deformity manifests
and capable of love than their foils. fear in the average, normal human being. This, of course, is a flaw
in human nature.
Chapter 22: Blindness in novels has archetypal depth. A person As far as physical blindness goes, De Lacey was a blind man. His
“He’s blind that is blind is more than likely blind lack of sight allowed him to judge people based on their traits, and
for a reason, psychologically, morally, or intellectually. Blindness not their countenance. This provided the monster with an
you know” can also be utilized in an ironic sense. Without the opportunity to establish an amicable bond with a human. De Lacey
prejudices of the eyes, the blind can be the only even tells the monster that „the hearts of men, when unprejudiced
person that can see. Symbolically, light is linked by any obvious self-interest, are full of brotherly love and charity”
with truth and darkness is linked with blindness. (114). Ironically enough, the monster‟s efforts at friendship are
ruined by the actions of Felix, who can see. This tragic play of
events reinforces Shelly‟s thesis that society crafts “monsters.”
Those with sight, in this case, Felix, have been taught by society
that physical deformity indicates moral deformity. In the ultimate
ironic twist, it is those with sight that are monsters. They are the
ones with moral imperfections.
Victor is the ultimate morally blind character; as he has enough
blindness to represent society as a whole. Shelly makes Victor so
ignorant of human boundaries and responsibilities to stress the
importance of keeping science in check.
Chapter 25: Every reader has a blind spot. To get past these blind Frankenstein was published in 1818, so it is important to
“Don’t Read spots, a reader must throw himself into the time understand that time period to grasp the novel‟s importance. The
with your period of the text; understanding the historical, Industrial Revolution, a boom in technology, was the major event
Eyes” political, and cultural background. of the 18th and 19th centuries. Now, Shelly, tagging along with the
Romantic writers of that era, was not a passionate advocate of the
revolution. On the contrary, she crafted Frankenstein to warn of the
dangers of the Industrial Revolution. Even though it has been said
before, Frankenstein is a novel about science‟s power to destroy
human life. Shelly did not want to see the human race end because
of an exceedingly hard to control advancement of scientific
knowledge, as it was with the Industrial Revolution. When the
monster exclaims in his final monologue, “and if yet, in some mode
unknown to me, thou hadst not ceased to think and feel, thou
wouldst not desire against me a vengeance greater than which I
feel,” he is really being used a medium for Shelly‟s warning to
mankind (198). In plain English, the monster is remarking that if
Victor had not let his ambition drive him away from his emotions,
sympathies, and care that make him human, he would not have
faced the suffering from his mistake. In relation to the Industrial
Revolution, if humans did not overstep their boundaries and make
huge progresses in science that meddled with the natural way of
things, then terrible consequences would not arise.