For each class meeting discussing this novel, record your observations about three passages. There are no length requirements, but please write in complete sentences. Be sure to begin with the page number (in our Broadview edition*) and end with your name (in parentheses). Quote from the text if you think it would be useful to draw attention to particular words; just be sure to use quotation marks. Keep the page numbers in order. *If you’re not using the Broadview edition for now, enter the page number in your edition with an asterisk, and try to keep the passages in roughly the order they appear in the novel. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818) Page 35* (Chapter 1) “When my father returned from Milan, he found playing with me in the hall of our villa, a child fairer than pictured cherub- a creature who seemed to shed radiance from her looks, and whose form and motions were lighter than the chamois of the hills. The apparition was soon explained.” Interestingly, the words “creature” and “apparition” were used to describe Elizabeth. I would imagine these words to be more appropriate when discussing the monster later on (the monster goes on to be described used the words “monster”, “wretch”, etc.) Additionally, the way Elizabeth is described throughout the novel, a beautiful and gentle person, seems to be the exact opposite of the monster Frankenstein creates. There is a direct contrast between the two characters. (Alan Twersky) Page 66 (chapter 1): “I have often heard my mother say, that...she...sewed signs even then of a gentle and affectionate disposition. These indications, and a desire to bind as closely as possible the ties of a domestic love, determined my mother to consider Elizabeth as my future wife; a design which she never found reason to repent.” The manner in which Elizabeth’s character is described and specific word choice employed, such as with the use of the word ‘design,’ suggests an allusion to the epistemological idea of Tabula rasa. I’m curious to see how often the question of nature vs. nurture, as well as other philosophical concepts will come into play into the novel, given that it’s considered to be categorized as science-fiction by many. (Esther Popovitz) Page 66 (Chapter 1) “She was docile and good tempered, yet gay and playful as a summer insect…and I never saw so much grace both of person and mind united to so little pretension.” The narrator Victor spent a whole paragraph to express particularly how good Elizabeth, Victor’s playfellow who grew with him together, is. This shows great appreciation Victor had towards Elizabeth. Is it possible that Victor and Elizabeth will get married in the future? (Siying Xu) Page 35-36* (chapter 1) When Victor is told by his mother that she has a surprise for him, it’s kind of misleading. Who would think a present would be your sister! As it turns out, Victor ends up saying that he loves and looks after his “sister” as he describes her as, “my more than sister, since till death she was to be mine only.” Although kind of possessive, it shows the care and 1
love he has for someone who was first described as just a present.
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