Frankenstein

by: Mary Shelley

Suggested Essay Topics

1. Discuss the role of sickness in the novel. Victor often seems to fall ill after traumatic events. Is this a means of escape, and, if so, is it effective? Is there another explanation for his recurring illness?

2. Do the monster’s eloquence and persuasiveness make it easier for the reader to sympathize with him? Why do you think most film versions of the story present the monster as mute or inarticulate?

3. Trace the similarities between Victor and the monster. Consider their respective relationships with nature, desires for family, and any other important parallels you find. Do Victor and the monster become more similar as the novel goes on? How does their relationship with each other develop?

4. Victor attributes his tragic fate to his relentless search for knowledge. Do you think that this is the true cause of his suffering? In what ways does the novel present knowledge as dangerous and destructive?

5. Examine the role of suspense and foreshadowing throughout the novel. Do you think these devices are effective, or does Victor’s blatant foreshadowing reveal too much? How does foreshadowing differ among the three main narrators (Walton, Victor, and the monster)?