Frankenstein

Annotated for scientists, engineers, and creators of all kinds.
Updated Aug 09, 2018 (10 Older Versions)chevron-down
420 Discussions (#public)
6 Contributors
Frankenstein
··
PreviousNext

Volume I.



Preface

The event on which this fiction is founded has been supposed, by Dr. Darwin, and some of the physiological writers of Germany, as not of impossible occurrence. I shall not be supposed as according the remotest degree of serious faith to such an imagination; yet, in assuming it as the basis of a work of fancy, I have not considered myself as merely weaving a series of supernatural terrors. The event on which the interest of the story depends is exempt from the disadvantages of a mere tale of spectres or enchantment. It was recommended by the novelty of the situations which it developes; and, however impossible as a physical fact, affords a point of view to the imagination for the delineating of human passions more comprehensive and commanding than any which the ordinary relations of existing events can yield.

I have thus endeavoured to preserve the truth of the elementary principles of human nature, while I have not scrupled to innovate upon their combinations. The Iliad, the tragic poetry of Greece,—Shakespeare, in the Tempest and Midsummer Night’s Dream,—and most especially Milton, in Paradise Lost, conform to this rule; and the most humble novelist, who seeks to confer or receive amusement from his labours, may, without presumption, apply to prose fiction a licence, or rather a rule, from the adoption of which so many exquisite combinations of human feeling have resulted in the highest specimens of poetry.

The circumstance on which my story rests was suggested in casual conversation. It was commenced, partly as a source of amusement, and partly as an expedient for exercising any untried resources of mind. Other motives were mingled with these, as the work proceeded. I am by no means indifferent to the manner in which whatever moral tendencies exist in the sentiments or characters it contains shall affect the reader; yet my chief concern in this respect has been limited to the avoiding the enervating effects of the novels of the present day, and to the exhibition of the amiableness of domestic affection, and the excellence of universal virtue. The opinions which naturally spring from the character and situation of the hero are by no means to be conceived as existing always in my own conviction; nor is any inference justly to be drawn from the following pages as prejudicing any philosophical doctrine of whatever kind.

It is a subject also of additional interest to the author, that this story was begun in the majestic region where the scene is principally laid, and in society which cannot cease to be regretted. I passed the summer of 1816 in the environs of Geneva. The season was cold and rainy, and in the evenings we crowded around a blazing wood fire, and occasionally amused ourselves with some German stories of ghosts, which happened to fall into our hands. These tales excited in us a playful desire of imitation. Two other friends (a tale from the pen of one of whom would be far more acceptable to the public than any thing I can ever hope to produce) and myself agreed to write each a story, founded on some supernatural occurrence.

The weather, however, suddenly became serene; and my two friends left me on a journey among the Alps, and lost, in the magnificent scenes which they present, all memory of their ghostly visions. The following tale is the only one which has been completed.



Letter I.

To Mrs. SAVILLE, England.

St. Petersburgh, Dec. 11th, 17—.

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday; and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare, and increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking.

I am already far north of London; and as I walk in the streets of Peters-burgh, I feel a cold northern breeze play upon my cheeks, which braces my nerves, and fills me with delight. Do you understand this feeling? This breeze, which has travelled from the regions towards which I am advancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climes. Inspirited by this wind of promise, my day dreams become more fervent and vivid. I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight. There, Margaret, the sun is for ever visible; its broad disk just skirting the horizon, and diffusing a perpetual splendour. There—for with your leave, my sister, I will put some trust in preceding navigators—there snow and frost are banished; and, sailing over a calm sea, we may be wafted to a land surpassing in wonders and in beauty every region hitherto discovered on the habitable globe. Its productions and features may be without example, as the phænomena of the heavenly bodies undoubtedly are in those undiscovered solitudes. What may not be expected in a country of eternal light? I may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle; and may regulate a thousand celestial observations, that require only this voyage to render their seeming eccentricities consistent for ever. I shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never before visited, and may tread a land never before imprinted by the foot of man. These are my enticements, and they are sufficient to conquer all fear of danger or death, and to induce me to commence this laborious voyage with the joy a child feels when he embarks in a little boat, with his holiday mates, on an expedition of discovery up his native river. But, supposing all these conjectures to be false, you cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole to those countries, to reach which at present so many months are requisite; or by ascertaining the secret of the magnet, which, if at all possible, can only be effected by an undertaking such as mine.

These reflections have dispelled the agitation with which I began my letter, and I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven; for nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose,—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. This expedition has been the favourite dream of my early years. I have read with ardour the accounts of the various voyages which have been made in the prospect of arriving at the North Pacific Ocean through the seas which surround the pole. You may remember, that a history of all the voyages made for purposes of discovery composed the whole of our good uncle Thomas’s library. My education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading. These volumes were my study day and night, and my familiarity with them increased that regret which I had felt, as a child, on learning that my father’s dying injunction had forbidden my uncle to allow me to embark in a sea-faring life.


These visions faded when I perused, for the first time, those poets whose effusions entranced my soul, and lifted it to heaven. I also became a poet, and for one year lived in a Paradise of my own creation; I imagined that I also might obtain a niche in the temple where the names of Homer and Shakespeare are consecrated. You are well acquainted with my failure, and how heavily I bore the disappointment. But just at that time I inherited the fortune of my cousin, and my thoughts were turned into the channel of their earlier bent.

Six years have passed since I resolved on my present undertaking. I can, even now, remember the hour from which I dedicated myself to this great enterprise. I commenced by inuring my body to hardship. I accompanied the whale-fishers on several expeditions to the North Sea; I voluntarily endured cold, famine, thirst, and want of sleep; I often worked harder than the common sailors during the day, and devoted my nights to the study of mathematics, the theory of medicine, and those branches of physical science from which a naval adventurer might derive the greatest practical advantage. Twice I actually hired myself as an under-mate in a Greenland whaler, and acquitted myself to admiration. I must own I felt a little proud, when my captain offered me the second dignity in the vessel, and entreated me to remain with the greatest earnestness; so valuable did he consider my services.

And now, dear Margaret, do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose. My life might have been passed in ease and luxury; but I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path. Oh, that some encouraging voice would answer in the affirmative! My courage and my resolution is firm; but my hopes fluctuate, and my spirits are often depressed. I am about to proceed on a long and difficult voyage; the emergencies of which will demand all my fortitude: I am required not only to raise the spirits of others, but sometimes to sustain my own, when their’s are failing.

This is the most favourable period for travelling in Russia. They fly quickly over the snow in their sledges; the motion is pleasant, and, in my opinion, far more agreeable than that of an English stage-coach. The cold is not excessive, if you are wrapt in furs, a dress which I have already adopted; for there is a great difference between walking the deck and remaining seated motionless for hours, when no exercise prevents the blood from actually freezing in your veins. I have no ambition to lose my life on the post-road between St. Petersburgh and Archangel.

I shall depart for the latter town in a fortnight or three weeks; and my intention is to hire a ship there, which can easily be done by paying the insurance for the owner, and to engage as many sailors as I think necessary among those who are accustomed to the whale-fishing. I do not intend to sail until the month of June: and when shall I return? Ah, dear sister, how can I answer this question? If I succeed, many, many months, perhaps years, will pass before you and I may meet. If I fail, you will see me again soon, or never.

Farewell, my dear, excellent, Margaret. Heaven shower down blessings on you, and save me, that I may again and again testify my gratitude for all your love and kindness.

Your affectionate brother,

R. WALTON.

Letter II.

To Mrs. SAVILLE, England.

Archangel, 28th March, 17—.

How slowly the time passes here, encompassed as I am by frost and snow; yet a second step is taken towards my enterprise. I have hired a vessel, and am occupied in collecting my sailors; those whom I have already engaged appear to be men on whom I can depend, and are certainly possessed of dauntless courage.

But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy; and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil. I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. I desire the company of a man who could sympathize with me; whose eyes would reply to mine. You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend. I have no one near me, gentle yet courageous, possessed of a cultivated as well as of a capacious mind, whose tastes are like my own, to approve or amend my plans. How would such a friend repair the faults of your poor brother! I am too ardent in execution, and too impatient of difficulties. But it is a still greater evil to me that I am self-educated: for the first fourteen years of my life I ran wild on a common, and read nothing but our uncle Thomas’s books of voyages. At that age I became acquainted with the celebrated poets of our own country; but it was only when it had ceased to be in my power to derive its most important benefits from such a conviction, that I perceived the necessity of becoming acquainted with more languages than that of my native country. Now I am twenty-eight, and am in reality more illiterate than many school-boys of fifteen. It is true that I have thought more, and that my day dreams are more extended and magnificent; but they want (as the painters call it) keeping; and I greatly need a friend who would have sense enough not to despise me as romantic, and affection enough for me to endeavour to regulate my mind.

Well, these are useless complaints; I shall certainly find no friend on the wide ocean, nor even here in Archangel, among merchants and seamen. Yet some feelings, unallied to the dross of human nature, beat even in these rugged bosoms. My lieutenant, for instance, is a man of wonderful courage and enterprise; he is madly desirous of glory. He is an Englishman, and in the midst of national and professional prejudices, unsoftened by cultivation, retains some of the noblest endowments of humanity. I first became acquainted with him on board a whale vessel: finding that he was unemployed in this city, I easily engaged him to assist in my enterprise.

The master is a person of an excellent disposition, and is remarkable in the ship for his gentleness, and the mildness of his discipline. He is, indeed, of so amiable a nature, that he will not hunt (a favourite, and almost the only amusement here), because he cannot endure to spill blood. He is, moreover, heroically generous. Some years ago he loved a young Russian lady, of moderate fortune; and having amassed a considerable sum in prize-money, the father of the girl consented to the match. He saw his mistress once before the destined ceremony; but she was bathed in tears, and, throwing herself at his feet, entreated him to spare her, confessing at the same time that she loved another, but that he was poor, and that her father would never consent to the union. My generous friend reassured the suppliant, and on being informed of the name of her lover instantly abandoned his pursuit. He had already bought a farm with his money, on which he had designed to pass the remainder of his life; but he bestowed the whole on his rival, together with the remains of his prize-money to purchase stock, and then himself solicited the young woman’s father to consent to her marriage with her lover. But the old man decidedly refused, thinking himself bound in honour to my friend; who, when he found the father inexorable, quitted his country, nor returned until he heard that his former mistress was married according to her inclinations. “What a noble fellow!” you will exclaim. He is so; but then he has passed all his life on board a vessel, and has scarcely an idea beyond the rope and the shroud.

But do not suppose that, because I complain a little, or because I can conceive a consolation for my toils which I may never know, that I am wavering in my resolutions. Those are as fixed as fate; and my voyage is only now delayed until the weather shall permit my embarkation. The winter has been dreadfully severe; but the spring promises well, and it is considered as a remarkably early season; so that, perhaps, I may sail sooner than I expected. I shall do nothing rashly; you know me sufficiently to confide in my prudence and considerateness whenever the safety of others is committed to my care.

I cannot describe to you my sensations on the near prospect of my undertaking. It is impossible to communicate to you a conception of the trembling sensation, half pleasurable and half fearful, with which I am preparing to depart. I am going to unexplored regions, to “the land of mist and snow”; but I shall kill no albatross, therefore do not be alarmed for my safety.

Shall I meet you again, after having traversed immense seas, and returned by the most southern cape of Africa or America? I dare not expect such success, yet I cannot bear to look on the reverse of the picture. Continue to write to me by every opportunity: I may receive your letters (though the chance is very doubtful) on some occasions when I need them most to support my spirits. I love you very tenderly. Remember me with affection should you never hear from me again.

Your affectionate brother,

ROBERT WALTON.

Letter III.

To Mrs. SAVILLE, England.

July 7th, 17—.

MY DEAR SISTER,

I write a few lines in haste, to say that I am safe, and well advanced on my voyage. This letter will reach England by a merchant-man now on its homeward voyage from Archangel; more fortunate than I, who may not see my native land, perhaps, for many years. I am, however, in good spirits: my men are bold, and apparently firm of purpose; nor do the floating sheets of ice that continually pass us, indicating the dangers of the region towards which we are advancing, appear to dismay them. We have already reached a very high latitude; but it is the height of summer, and although not so warm as in England, the southern gales, which blow us speedily towards those shores which I so ardently desire to attain, breathe a degree of renovating warmth which I had not expected.

No incidents have hitherto befallen us, that would make a figure in a letter. One or two stiff gales, and the breaking of a mast, are accidents which experienced navigators scarcely remember to record; and I shall be well content, if nothing worse happen to us during our voyage.

Adieu, my dear Margaret. Be assured, that for my own sake, as well as your’s, I will not rashly encounter danger. I will be cool, persevering, and prudent.

Remember me to all my English friends.

Most affectionately yours,

R. W.


Letter IV.

To Mrs. SAVILLE, England.

August 5th, 17—.

So strange an accident has happened to us, that I cannot forbear recording it, although it is very probable that you will see me before these papers can come into your possession.

Last Monday (July 31st), we were nearly surrounded by ice, which closed in the ship on all sides, scarcely leaving her the sea room in which she floated. Our situation was somewhat dangerous, especially as we were compassed round by a very thick fog. We accordingly lay to, hoping that some change would take place in the atmosphere and weather.

About two o’clock the mist cleared away, and we beheld, stretched out in every direction, vast and irregular plains of ice, which seemed to have no end. Some of my comrades groaned, and my own mind began to grow watchful with anxious thoughts, when a strange sight suddenly attracted our attention, and diverted our solicitude from our own situation. We perceived a low carriage, fixed on a sledge and drawn by dogs, pass on towards the north, at the distance of half a mile: a being which had the shape of a man, but apparently of gigantic stature, sat in the sledge, and guided the dogs. We watched the rapid progress of the traveller with our telescopes, until he was lost among the distant inequalities of the ice.

This appearance excited our unqualified wonder. We were, as we believed, many hundred miles from any land; but this apparition seemed to denote that it was not, in reality, so distant as we had supposed. Shut in, however, by ice, it was impossible to follow his track, which we had observed with the greatest attention.

About two hours after this occurrence, we heard the ground sea; and before night the ice broke, and freed our ship. We, however, lay to until the morning, fearing to encounter in the dark those large loose masses which float about after the breaking up of the ice. I profited of this time to rest for a few hours.

In the morning, however, as soon as it was light, I went upon deck, and found all the sailors busy on one side of the vessel, apparently talking to some one in the sea. It was, in fact, a sledge, like that we had seen before, which had drifted towards us in the night, on a large fragment of ice. Only one dog remained alive; but there was a human being within it, whom the sailors were persuading to enter the vessel. He was not, as the other traveller seemed to be, a savage inhabitant of some undiscovered island, but an European. When I appeared on deck, the master said, “Here is our captain, and he will not allow you to perish on the open sea.”

On perceiving me, the stranger addressed me in English, although with a foreign accent. “Before I come on board your vessel,” said he, “will you have the kindness to inform me whither you are bound?”

You may conceive my astonishment on hearing such a question addressed to me from a man on the brink of destruction, and to whom I should have supposed that my vessel would have been a resource which he would not have exchanged for the most precious wealth the earth can afford. I replied, however, that we were on a voyage of discovery towards the northern pole.

Upon hearing this he appeared satisfied, and consented to come on board. Good God! Margaret, if you had seen the man who thus capitulated for his safety, your surprise would have been boundless. His limbs were nearly frozen, and his body dreadfully emaciated by fatigue and suffering. I never saw a man in so wretched a condition. We attempted to carry him into the cabin; but as soon as he had quitted the fresh air, he fainted. We accordingly brought him back to the deck, and restored him to animation by rubbing him with brandy, and forcing him to swallow a small quantity. As soon as he shewed signs of life, we wrapped him up in blankets, and placed him near the chimney of the kitchen-stove. By slow degrees he recovered, and ate a little soup, which restored him wonderfully.

Two days passed in this manner before he was able to speak; and I often feared that his sufferings had deprived him of understanding. When he had in some measure recovered, I removed him to my own cabin, and attended on him as much as my duty would permit. I never saw a more interesting creature: his eyes have generally an expression of wildness, and even madness; but there are moments when, if any one performs an act of kindness towards him, or does him any the most trifling service, his whole countenance is lighted up, as it were, with a beam of benevolence and sweetness that I never saw equalled. But he is generally melancholy and despairing; and sometimes he gnashes his teeth, as if impatient of the weight of woes that oppresses him.

When my guest was a little recovered, I had great trouble to keep off the men, who wished to ask him a thousand questions; but I would not allow him to be tormented by their idle curiosity, in a state of body and mind whose restoration evidently depended upon entire repose. Once, however, the lieutenant asked, Why he had come so far upon the ice in so strange a vehicle?

His countenance instantly assumed an aspect of the deepest gloom; and he replied, “To seek one who fled from me.”

“And did the man whom you pursued travel in the same fashion?”

“Yes.”

“Then I fancy we have seen him; for, the day before we picked you up, we saw some dogs drawing a sledge, with a man in it, across the ice.”

This aroused the stranger’s attention; and he asked a multitude of questions concerning the route which the dæmon, as he called him, had pursued. Soon after, when he was alone with me, he said, “I have, doubtless, excited your curiosity, as well as that of these good people; but you are too considerate to make inquiries.”

“Certainly; it would indeed be very impertinent and inhuman in me to trouble you with any inquisitiveness of mine.”

“And yet you rescued me from a strange and perilous situation; you have benevolently restored me to life.”

Soon after this he inquired, if I thought that the breaking up of the ice had destroyed the other sledge? I replied, that I could not answer with any degree of certainty; for the ice had not broken until near midnight, and the traveller might have arrived at a place of safety before that time; but of this I could not judge.

From this time the stranger seemed very eager to be upon deck, to watch for the sledge which had before appeared; but I have persuaded him to remain in the cabin, for he is far too weak to sustain the rawness of the atmosphere. But I have promised that some one should watch for him, and give him instant notice if any new object should appear in sight.

Such is my journal of what relates to this strange occurrence up to the present day. The stranger has gradually improved in health, but is very silent, and appears uneasy when any one except myself enters his cabin. Yet his manners are so conciliating and gentle, that the sailors are all interested in him, although they have had very little communication with him. For my own part, I begin to love him as a brother; and his constant and deep grief fills me with sympathy and compassion. He must have been a noble creature in his better days, being even now in wreck so attractive and amiable.

I said in one of my letters, my dear Margaret, that I should find no friend on the wide ocean; yet I have found a man who, before his spirit had been broken by misery, I should have been happy to have possessed as the brother of my heart.

I shall continue my journal concerning the stranger at intervals, should I have any fresh incidents to record.

August 13th, 17—.

My affection for my guest increases every day. He excites at once my admiration and my pity to an astonishing degree. How can I see so noble a creature destroyed by misery without feeling the most poignant grief? He is so gentle, yet so wise; his mind is so cultivated; and when he speaks, although his words are culled with the choicest art, yet they flow with rapidity and unparalleled eloquence.

He is now much recovered from his illness, and is continually on the deck, apparently watching for the sledge that preceded his own. Yet, althoughunhappy, he is not so utterly occupied by his own misery, but that he interests himself deeply in the employments of others. He has asked me many questions concerning my design; and I have related my little history frankly to him. He appeared pleased with the confidence, and suggested several alterations in my plan, which I shall find exceedingly useful. There is no pedantry in his manner; but all he does appears to spring solely from the interest he instinctively takes in the welfare of those who surround him. He is often overcome by gloom, and then he sits by himself, and tries to overcome all that is sullen or unsocial in his humour. These paroxysms pass from him like a cloud from before the sun, though his dejection never leaves him. I have endeavoured to win his confidence; and I trust that I have succeeded. One day I mentioned to him the desire I had always felt of finding a friend who might sympathize with me, and direct me by his counsel. I said, I did not belong to that class of men who are offended by advice. “I am self-educated, and perhaps I hardly rely sufficiently upon my own powers. I wish therefore that my companion should be wiser and more experienced than myself, to confirm and support me; nor have I believed it impossible to find a true friend.”

“I agree with you,” replied the stranger, “in believing that friendship is not only a desirable, but a possible acquisition. I once had a friend, the most noble of human creatures, and am entitled, therefore, to judge respecting friendship. You have hope, and the world before you, and have no cause for despair. But I——I have lost every thing, and cannot begin life anew.”

As he said this, his countenance became expressive of a calm settled grief, that touched me to the heart. But he was silent, and presently retired to his cabin.

Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit, that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.

Will you laugh at the enthusiasm I express concerning this divine wanderer? If you do, you must have certainly lost that simplicity which was once your characteristic charm. Yet, if you will, smile at the warmth of my expressions, while I find every day new causes for repeating them.

August 19th, 17—.

Yesterday the stranger said to me, “You may easily perceive, Captain Walton, that I have suffered great and unparalleled misfortunes. I had determined, once, that the memory of these evils should die with me; but you have won me to alter my determination. You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been. I do not know that the relation of my misfortunes will be useful to you, yet, if you are inclined, listen to my tale. I believe that the strange incidents connected with it will afford a view of nature, which may enlarge your faculties and understanding. You will hear of powers and occurrences, such as you have been accustomed to believe impossible: but I do not doubt that my tale conveys in its series internal evidence of the truth of the events of which it is composed.”

You may easily conceive that I was much gratified by the offered communication; yet I could not endure that he should renew his grief by a recital of his misfortunes. I felt the greatest eagerness to hear the promised narrative, partly from curiosity, and partly from a strong desire to ameliorate his fate, if it were in my power. I expressed these feelings in my answer.

“I thank you,” he replied, “for your sympathy, but it is useless; my fate is nearly fulfilled. I wait but for one event, and then I shall repose in peace. I understand your feeling,” continued he, perceiving that I wished to interrupt him; “but you are mistaken, my friend, if thus you will allow me to name you; nothing can alter my destiny: listen to my history, and you will perceive how irrevocably it is determined.”

He then told me, that he would commence his narrative the next day when I should be at leisure. This promise drew from me the warmest thanks. I have resolved every night, when I am not engaged, to record, as nearly as possible in his own words, what he has related during the day. If I should be engaged, I will at least make notes. This manuscript will doubtless afford you the greatest pleasure: but to me, who know him, and who hear it from his own lips, with what interest and sympathy shall I read it in some future day!

PreviousNext
Contributors
Co-Director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University
Roles: Editor
Lincoln Chair in Ethics, Arizona State University
Roles: Editor, Annotator
Founding director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at ASU
Roles: Editor, Annotator
Public Engagement Strategist for the Center for Science & the Imagination
Roles: Digital Editor, Annotator
Editor and program manager at the Center for Science & the Imagination
Roles: Digital Editor, Annotator

Discussions


Labels
Sort
New Discussion on Nov 1
KP
Kate Post: When the creature was born he possessed charitable, and thoughtful behaviors. After being rejected and put down so many times, and by so many people, he became bitter. A common question is whether ...
New Discussion on Oct 23
YS
Yajas Shah: Chemistry has a strong presence in this chapter as it is the subject that gets Victor interested in the natural sciences in the first place. Mary uses light to help describe Victor’s discovery of c...
New Discussion on Sep 12
JL
Justine Lin: I think this is a good idea. Every existence has its own feeling and thought. The female monster that Victor created may be hating about those plans that make before her creation, so that is the po...
New Discussion on Sep 12
KH
Kai Huang: All kinds of innovation come with disagreement and question. AI been has been mentioned so many times in this class, and I also see so many classmate taking about compare AI to this monster, Of cau...
New Discussion on Sep 12
KC
Kevon Curry: The theme of making is prevalent in chapter 3.This shows that height of hubris for Victor. Creating human life of unnatural means is a bad idea. Especially since the being is made up of the remains...
New Discussion on Sep 12
QM
Qingyang Mi: I am not sure if it’s gonna be a bad idea for him to create an another female monster for the male one as he thought, because we don’t know what will they do to this world. However, it’s also becau...
New Discussion on Sep 12
CW
Chenran Wang: As this part he thinks about what he done before and what’s the consequence it made, which I think is a good idea
New Discussion on Sep 11
MS
Miranda Schindler: I think this instance of unmaking was a positive one, as there is very little good that can come from the creation of a second abomination. It could be argued that it is bad because it may cause th...
New Discussion on Sep 11
AB
Albert Bang: In the second paragraph of chapter IX it highlights the monster’s ultimatum. Victor is quick to refuse and I don’t blame him for doing so, for any sane man would. But unless you can somehow delete ...
CD
Cora Ducolon: Much of the novel seems to be rooted in this fear of woman. Frankenstein is taking on the role of woman when he creates a human, perhaps due to womb envy. Then when the creature asks for a woman,...
ML
M Lenzi: But Dr. Victor F. need not make a female creature mate having the ability to reproduce, that is, without being fertile and capable of pregnancy and childbirth.
New Discussion on Sep 11
AB
Albert Bang: In the second paragraph of chapter IX it highlights the monster’s ultimatum. Victor is quick to refuse and I don’t blame him for doing so, for any sane man would. But unless you can somehow delete ...
New Discussion on Sep 11
CW
Churen Wei: This is a reason to think about “re-make” of a second creature, even if he make a second creature, she may not be interested in the man and then the first creature would be left alone again. He is ...
Alex Polimeni - Annotation
AP
Alex Polimeni: Here at the beginning of Chapter 1. of Volume III, it is shown that even with the monster demanding Victor to create a female companion, he cannot do it. This is a good idea because this other mons...
New Discussion on Sep 11
RH
Reece Heinle: This moment is one that I would consider a controversial event in the novel. Some people say that Frankenstein’s decision to destroy the monster was a good idea, and that it prevented the the popul...
New Discussion on Sep 11
sX
sekou X: The main character created her own paradise from her imagination from misery. This can be as real to her as frankensteins monster is to us, a thought, an idea
New Discussion on Sep 11
KN
Khanh Thi Nguyen: This is an example of Victor Frankenstein’s bad moral justification. To create his living creature, Victor goes out to the graveyard to collect dead human body parts, which is an execrable act that...
New Discussion on Sep 11
JM
John McDougal: Here, Victor recognizes the greatest threat his new project could present. He then decides to not produce such an evil upon the world.
New Discussion on Sep 11
JT
Josh Tokunaga: This instance is not a good idea at all. Here Victor resolves to make his creation a giant, standing about 8 feet tall. In what world would this have been a good idea. Of course something 8 feet ta...
New Discussion on Sep 11
RB
Rigo Berber: Here we see a revision in progress, thought is now being poured into the creation of the second monster. If created the new monster might be even worse than the first. This is a good idea to look a...
Remaking Annotation
JB
Ji Brust: Since Victor is no longer blinded by the “enthusiastic frenzy” and obsession of his work, it is here that he realizes his the ethical issues tied within is work. Victor has the opportunity to recre...
New Discussion on Sep 11
ER
Edward Rus: With the initial observation of the cottagers, the monster was socially reconditioned to have a more grey view of humanity, rather than his initial negative view after being attacked the first time...
New Discussion on Sep 11
AH
Allison Hines: Here we see the idea of Frankenstein “re-making” the steps in his creation of the second creature. He is reliving this same sense of alchemical wonder, however this time it is shrouded in doubt and...
New Discussion on Sep 11
Ashley Cohen Conner: In this moment, Victor is facing a wall many makers/creators may face: overworking. He has spent so much time on this endeavor that he has begun to abhor it, and starts to think about its possible ...
New Discussion on Sep 11
MM
Martina Morgan: Victor was right to not remake the creature. It was a bad idea because we don’t know what would happen. Creating the first monster was already so terrible because he didn’t care or try to train him...
New Discussion on Sep 11
JL
James Lent: Here we see Beaufort makes, of himself, a “made-man”. He becomes wealthy through his work as a merchant. However, he is then un-made, by the fate of the world, and plummets into poverty and deep de...
New Discussion on Sep 11
EP
Ellice Petersen: Here Victor is referring to how he is about to make another creature as a companion to the one he has already made. I think it is fairly ambiguous whether or not making a second creature is a good ...
New Discussion on Sep 11
SM
Skyler Myers: This is the point in the story where Victor is deciding what size he should make his creature, and he decides to make it eight feet tall. This should have been the point where he decided to make th...
New Discussion on Sep 11
SS
Spencer Sandvig: this is a good instance because the character is going through a moral crisis to receive redemption for his actions. The creature through self reflections and upon seeing the demise of his creator ...
New Discussion on Sep 11
SR
Satchel Reid: Victor’s idea to not build the creature a female counterpart is not a good idea. While yes, the threat of reproduction and more destruction is present, this cans imply be avoided by not including ...
New Discussion on Sep 11
Rimiere Blakey: I think that this instance is a good idea, because if he were to create another monster, who’s to say that it wouldn’t be worse than his first creation. Who’s to say that the second creation will e...
Annotation
tl
tanner leebelt: This instance of creation, which is obviously the main point of the book, was the biggest form of creation in the story. It was a bad idea because humans should be created naturally the correct way...
Progress
IM
Ian Martin: It is in this part of the story that Victor really begins the process of making the Creature; it is conceived in knowledge and imagination, and a passionate curiosity and desire to innovate. Althou...
New Discussion on Sep 11
LD
Lou DiMuro: I personally don’t agree with Frankenstein’s monster’s demand for the creation of another creature of his “race,” because I disagree with the creation of the monster in the first place. Victor shou...
Isabel Estes - AME 130 - Digital Annotation
IE
Isabel Estes: Victor’s “eager hope” is not one of excitement but of the idea that his suffering will be relieved after he makes this second creature and the first one leaves him alone. He says, however, that thi...
New Discussion on Sep 11
ZW
Zhenghan Wu: Creating the monster and leaving it alone was Victor’s greatest mistake. He is again about to make a creature and send it to isolation, I agree that the second monster shouldn’t been made because h...
ML
M Lenzi: But Victor could make a female mate for the Creature, which is infertile, incapable of pregnancy and childbirth, and they at least would be a couple and capable of a loving, caring relationship.
New Discussion on Sep 11
DB
Duncan Burdick: This is the key moment that Frankenstein remakes his view of the creature, and, even if for only a moment, he genuinely cares for the creature. And this is a good thing, to finally see the creation...
Annotation
SS
Spencer Sandvig: this is a good instance because the character is going through a moral crisis to receive redemption for his actions. The creature through self reflections and upon seeing the demise of his creator ...
New Discussion on Sep 11
CG
Cori Gillis: In this passage, Victor begins the process of creating the monster. I actually agree with his idea to create a life because although he is “playing God,” I believe that his fascination is more with...
Theme of Making
JL
Jason Lima: Here, Victor’s mother has created this path that Victor is obligated to follow. Even though he grew up with Elizabeth and sees her as his sister more than his lover, his mother has forced him to ma...
“You must create a female for me, with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being."
JM
Jaelene Munoz: In this section, the creature states a female companion is necessary to his being. This statement alone is very sexist towards woman as describing their existence as a necessity for men. Nowadays,...
New Discussion on Sep 11
AK
Ash Kingery: The creature demands a mate, but he fails to consider the possibility that she could reject him or otherwise make a choice contrary to his wishes. As Victor finally realizes, making another creatur...
New Discussion on Sep 11
isaac Pahona: Here we see Viktor Frankenstein finally and truly reflecting on what he has done and what he plans to do. The main concern here is that although Viktor is reflecting, he doesn’t have a scientific p...
New Discussion on Sep 11
AL
Angel Lara: Like they said here sometimes you can only go as far as the previous person did. Learning more about this creature would be the best option due to the fact that not much is known about it since it’...
New Discussion on Sep 11
JM
John McDougal: Here, Victor is reminscing the time before he created his creature. He sees how happy and “inquisitive” Clerval is. Victor longs to return to his past before the monster and recognizes his burden o...
Digital Annotation
RV
Ronald Vasquez: Here we see the creature revise his reaction when encountering man. Where previously he was attacked, now he has decided to hide. This is a good choice given his physical appearance and inability t...
New Discussion on Sep 11
Ashley Cohen Conner: test
New Discussion on Sep 11
RG
Ryan Garland: In this case Victor is reminiscing over his original creation, as he decides to build it a companion. His heart is filled with remorse for the pain and deaths his creature has caused. In my opinion...
Book AnnotationMary Shelley
Joey Eschrich: In October and November of 1816, as she worked on the story that eventually became Frankenstein, Mary was reading Humphry Davy’s book Elements of Chemical Philosophy, according to literary historia...
Book AnnotationMary Shelley
Joey Eschrich: According to literary historian Martin Garrett, Mary read Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther (which Mary refers to as “the Sorrows of Werter” in this passage) in 1815, just m...
Book AnnotationMary Shelley
Joey Eschrich: Like the creature, Mary was exposed to Paradise Lost early in life—and judging by its prominence in Frankenstein, the epic poem had as profound an impact on her developing mind as it does the creat...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineMary Shelley
Joey Eschrich: Mary’s mother was the renowned philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft. Tragically, Wollstonecraft died on September 10, 1797, just 11 days after giving birth to Mary, of puerperal fever, a malady common a...
Community Discussion
sd
selena dodson: My thematic topic is nature vs. nurture, In Frankenstein Victor made a creature, and left it. Was it suppose to be evil when it was made or did Victor leaving him and rejecting him make him who he ...
Community Discussion
kc
kaden cameron: I believe that Victor Frankenstein did not make the ethical choice when he created the monster. In the book Frankenstein he creates a creature, but as soon has he creates the creature, he rejects i...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionInfluences & Adaptations
LY
Lisa Yaszek: Mary’s wryly affectionate hope that her “hideous progeny” might “go forth and prosper” would be echoed nearly a century and a half later by science fiction author Joanna Russ, who, at the end of he...
Book AnnotationScience
ED
Elizabeth Denlinger: In fact, what Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles) described in The Temple of Nature (1803) is the “vorticella, or wheel animal … capable of continuing alive for many months though kept in a dry...
Community Discussion
ES
Enit Steiner: Mary’s initial conclusion of the novel differs from the 1818 version, which bears Percy’s editorial intervention. Her draft reads:“He sprung from the cabin window as he said this on to an ice raft ...
Community Discussion
Id
Isabel de Blois: We as a society create things with no idea of the consequences. It is not that we are all stupid, or have harmful intentions- it’s that we cannot possibly foresee the result of our actions. It is s...
Community Discussion
TC
Thomas Carter: In Frankenstein, It seems that almost all of the Monster’s experiences are vile and full of hatred towards him, for example Throughout the book, the monster is constantly being thrown in the dirt, ...
Community Discussion
LR
Luis Reyes: Based on the events of the book “Frankenstein” by Mary shelley and the French Revolution, I believe that as you progress, you’ll have to make tough decisions. This is shown in the book Frankenstein...
Community Discussion
AD
Averi Dropping: Alienation and being isolated from society can go many ways, it can help to get things done but it can also lead to being lonely and depressed. For example, in Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus...
Community Discussion
EM
Everett Meckler: As time goes on, the alienation brought about by our own minds becomes more apparent than alienation inspired by external differences. In Frankenstein, the creature provides us with many examples o...
Community Discussion
BJ
Brennan Jackson: This passage demonstrates how much Vicor has gone through. Shelley shows this through the line “the medicine had been fatal.” This shows that no matter what Victor does to give him a break from con...
Community Discussion
CK
Charlie Kopp: In this quote, the monster feels a great rage, as Victor says “contortions too horrible for human eyes to behold.” Note that Victor says specifically human eyes, reinforcing the fact that this mons...
Community Discussion
LD
Lance Davenport: Mary Shelley uses many different literary devices to get the monsters point across alongside bringing more action into this novel. This passage specifically shows Shelley’s use of metaphors and hyp...
Community Discussion
DM
Dexter Mayo: The Monster has requested for Victor to build and create him a woman monster, with whom he can share his life in hopes that it will not be as miserable with company. Victor is reluctant to create a...
Community Discussion
JF
Jeremy Fried: In this passage, the Monster shows his true colors. He demonstrates how he is nothing but an ugly creature with a good heart. Although filled with rage, the Monster is able to contain himself and r...
Community Discussion
LH
Lola Hakim: In this quote, the Monster demands that Victor creates him female companion of his own kind. As the Monster has caused much destruction to Victor’s life, Victor refuses the Monster’s wish out of sp...
Community Discussion
JG
Julian Galvan: What is being said in the quote is that you may call me the worst of men but you will never have me realize that perspective. Then he goes on to say “create another like yourself”, he is telling th...
Community Discussion
MB
Mia Brisbin: In this passage, Frankenstein has just finished telling his magnificent story to Victor, his creator, and has left Victor in a state of complete shock. After the Monster tells Victor his tale he ex...
Community Discussion
lr
liv reinis: Here Frankenstein is making a point to the Monster that he would never create a being like him. The Monster has already asked, forcefully at that, which is why Frankenstein’s response is so hostile...
Community Discussion
OC
Oscar Castellanos: Knowledge is power. One of our most power weapons and traits is our brain and the ability to learn the way we do. At times we see our species constantly strive to learn new information. Once we lea...
Community Discussion
SH
Sydney Hayes: In this instance, the creation’s greatest fears come true. After having watched the family in the  cottage for such a long time, he decides to confront the blind De Lacey in hopes that they could i...
Community Discussion
ar
aislinn russell: The monster decided to first meet Delacy, thinking that his blindness will remove the bias most people have against the monster’s looks. He hopes that he can speak to Delacy and get him to see the ...
Community Discussion
DT
David Tokar: Frankenstein abandoned his creation and forced it to grow up in a world that hated it. Growing up with nothing but hatred and rejection transformed him into a monster. If Frankenstein had not fled ...
Community Discussion
JA
Jackson Alpin: The monster picks up information very fast, as he also applies everything he learns directly to himself. He read the fiction book Paradise Lost as if it were an autobiography and thought of everyth...
Community Discussion
EF
Eli Fresco: The monster is at a loss when he finds books in the woods. The things in the books seem so ordinary to common humans, but he has a hard time grasping things. Daily life for the monster is not quite...
Community Discussion
DD
Denna Dom: Knowledge is acquired throughout our entire lives, and there’s always room for more. Though it helps us progress, it can be harmful when fixated on, and this is very evident in the story of Franken...
Community Discussion
LF
Lucien Frank: The monster describes the moment he obtained and read literature for the first time. Reading for the first time the monster experiences various different emotions as one does when reading and inter...
Community Discussion
SH
Steven Haker: As the monster began to understand human behavior, he began to identify himself in terms of the feelings he observed from the De Laceys. Having done nothing wrong, the monster saw himself as a bein...
Community Discussion
EF
Esther Fuentes: He talks to Frankenstein, his creator, of how he changed from being naive of what emotions came to play with different situations to being aware of all different emotions. He talks about the fact t...
Community Discussion
AH
Aristotle Hartzell: Here it is clearly shown that if one is only exposed to one thing then they come to believe that is all that exists. Similar to Plato’s Allegory yet a happy family is the shadows he sees. However h...
Community Discussion
NG
Noelle Gillies: Orientalist view of Muslim culture is in this section. This trope of the subjugation of women is alive and well today. Back in 2003 one reason for going to Afghanistan and later invading Iraq was ...
Community Discussion
RT
Ryan Topper: In today's golden age of technology, knowledge is a powerful tool that can lead to valuable progress or destructive innovations. In Mary Shelley’s award winning book, Frankenstein: Or, The Modern P...
Community Discussion
JW
Josephine Wallace: Something’s character is not wholly determined by its nature, but also by its environment as it progresses through life, and if something is nurtured properly, it may become good, no matter the evi...
Community Discussion
GV
Gillian Votaw: We are born into the world innocent, but through what we learn and how we are treated, we are shaped into who we are. When Frankenstein’s creature was brought into our world, he was helpless, like ...
Community Discussion
IM
Isabel Martin: The classic argument of whether nature or nurture is more powerful has a spin in Frankenstein. The novel shows that it’s neither nature or nurture that’s more powerful, it’s the one that’s more neg...
Community Discussion
rf
roanin fisher: As a class we have been looking at different thematic topics present in the book the one i have researched isolation or alienation. I believe this is a very prominent topic with how the story unfol...
Community Discussion
SB
Stephan Breit: Alienation can lead to a disconnect from society and emotional trauma that can end in drastic measures. In the book, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein's monster is neglected out of fear fr...
Community Discussion
CS
Christopher Saenz: I believe that prolonged alienation could potentially lead to madness. We can see this shown in Frankenstein, as the monster feels alienated from his creator. This leads to the monster becoming con...
Community Discussion
AC
Austin Chavoen: The Luddites of the Industrial Revolution destroyed the machines that were helping the world to progress because they felt threatened, just as Victor Frankenstein felt threatened by his own progres...
New Discussion on Jun 27
Matthew Reising: Interestingly, Shelley never claims that Victor has created life, only that he has infused life back into dead matter. This could be taken contextually to mean that life is nothing more than electr...
New Discussion on Jun 27
Matthew Reising: Here Victor seems to recognize something both about himself and the Creature he has created. In the former, Victor has the power to shape the world around. He can weave together an entirely new bei...
New Discussion on Jun 15
KD
Ken Denney: See what she did there?
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsScience
RO
Robert Oppenheimer: Here, Mary plays with archetypes of scientists and poets, scrambling references and blurring the lines between these pursuits. For example, Walton is an amateur poet on a scientific voyage, while V...
Book AnnotationMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
EZ
Emily Zarka: The gratitude expressed by Victor here reflects Mary’s own respect and appreciation for her father William Godwin’s dedication to her education. As an author, political journalist, and reformer, it...
Community Discussion
GD
Graham Durfee: Frankenstein’s fear of innovation and progress is reactionary to the era when it was written. In 1818, the Industrial Revolution was just beginning to make headway, and the counterculture of the ro...
Book AnnotationMary ShelleyPhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
Damien Williams: As Charles E. Robinson notes, in his introduction, Mary’s choice of the word “dæmon” throughout the text is deliberate, and not necessarily intended to mean “an evil beast.” Though this spelling se...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & Politics
EZ
Emily Zarka: Captain Walton’s method of resuscitating Victor would have been familiar to Mary’s readers. In 1774, the Royal Humane Society of Britain was formed under the original title “The Society for the Rec...
Book AnnotationScienceTechnology
LD
Lawrence Dritsas: Exploring ships since the eighteenth century are best viewed as scientific instruments in their own right, similar to the Voyager or Cassini spacecraft today. Ships are a platform for a wide variet...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
AC
Adam Chodorow: During times of war, British ships were entitled to take enemy vessels, including merchant vessels, as “prizes.” The prizes belonged to the crown, but the captain and crew were awarded some portion...
Book AnnotationScience
RO
Robert Oppenheimer: “Keeping” in this passage means perspective. Realistic pictures keep the proper relation of near and distant objects, and of important and unimportant features. For a contemporary source on “keepin...
Book AnnotationScience
LD
Lawrence Dritsas: Mary publishes this fictional account of Arctic exploration in the same year (1818) that saw a British attempt to reach the North Pole and traverse the Northwest Passage that was unsuccessful, but ...
Book AnnotationScience
LD
Lawrence Dritsas: Here Mary has Walton join an ancient discussion about the mythical land of the far North, possibly inhabited by fantastic Hyberboreans. Since antiquity the far North has been a space to imagine dif...
DF
Donald Fleming: Walton’s statements—here and below where he mentions that in Arctic regions “snow and frost are banished” and anticipates “sailing over a calm sea,” —refer to the theory of an open polar sea advanc...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMary Shelley
Joey Eschrich: The collection of ghost stories that Mary Shelley and her compatriots read during the rainy, inclement summer of 1816 is Fantasmagoriana, a French anthology of German stories published in 1812. Lea...
Community Discussion
JV
Jonus Valenzuela: The gothic fiction Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is about Knowledge and reveals that becoming so enthralled in your studies can lead to a loss of ethical thinking and alienation. Letters 1-4 of the ...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionInfluences & AdaptationsMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
LY
Lisa Yaszek: Although Mary claims she is writing a new kind of novel without “prejudicing any philosophical doctrine of whatever kind,” this passage connects Frankenstein with A Vindication of the Rights of Wom...
Community Discussion
CM
C M: As a work of negative romanticism, it is interesting that Shelley’s introduces her work with a connection to the ancestor of Charles Darwin, father of the modern Theory of Evolution. The primitive ...
Community Discussion
ag
abigail galloway: Hi my name’s Abby and I go to newtech. My topic is Ethics, Ethics means Choosing what’s morally right and wrong. In Frankenstein, Victor making the creature was an example of an ethical dilemma. It...
Community Discussion
AL
Ashley Lopez: In the book the tematic topic alienations seems to appear throughout the story in many different characters but the character who I felt like experienced alienation the most was the creature. Throu...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
Frankenbook Editor: Don’t get me wrong—I am a Loyal Disciple of The Scientific Method—but I’m also a firm believer in the ability of seemingly outlandish ideas to transform a discipline. I have tremendous respect for ...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsScience
Frankenbook Editor: “Beyond a general distrust of science ‘creating’ life, Frankenstein seems to inspire a particular suspicion of scientists themselves. Victor Frankenstein is after all the stereotypical mad scientis...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & PoliticsScience
Frankenbook Editor: “Even when it isn’t so straightforward—and actually, especially when it isn’t so straightforward—researchers must grapple with the tension between our curiosity and our duty. We scientists are the ...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScienceTechnology
Frankenbook Editor: “Human beings have always yearned to better themselves—to rise beyond nature’s lottery. We are so immersed in our modern enhancements that we are often oblivious to them. LASIK surgeries (or glasse...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScienceTechnology
Frankenbook Editor: “In stark scientific terms, we know that a species with more genetic diversity is more likely to survive, because it can adapt more easily to an environment that’s constantly changing. But putting ...
Video AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScienceTechnology
Frankenbook Editor: Victor’s epiphany here is that he’s not only complicit in chaos of the preceding volumes, but is in fact directly responsible for the many deaths in the novel. His chief failing is his lack of acco...
Video AnimationScienceTechnology
Frankenbook Editor: In this passage, the creature acknowledges that the stimuli he encountered early in his conscious life was essential in shaping his identity and beliefs. Machines learn in much the same way, social...
Video AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & PoliticsScienceTechnology
Frankenbook Editor: The creature understands his physical superiority to Victor as an artificial and designed being, but he defers to the social norms established and shared by humans, like the relationship between lo...
Video AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
Frankenbook Editor: Until this point in the novel, the creature was simply surviving—carrying out his biological imperative for self-preservation. Once he begins using tools and contributing to the cottagers’ well bei...
Video AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & PoliticsScience
Frankenbook Editor: Want to learn more about philosophy and science of cognition? Watch “A Spark of Consciousness,” featuring commentary by David Chalmers, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at New York University,...
Video AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & PoliticsScience
Frankenbook Editor: Want to learn more about how contemporary scientists are thinking about the definition and classification of life on multiple scales? Watch “Organization from Chaos,” featuring commentary by Sara I...
Video AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
Frankenbook Editor: In this moment of self-examination, the creature realizes the human tendency to fear the unfamiliar or unexplained. Later, Victor echoes this sentiment, admitting to himself that “nothing is so pai...
Book AnnotationTechnology
LF
Liz and James Fiacco: Much like the creature, recent machine learning models learn language by observing human language. Furthermore, both come into the world without innate knowledge given by their creators. Their unde...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMary ShelleyScienceTechnology
Bob Beard: Mary imagined the idea that eventually became Frankenstein at a time when the Earth’s climate was thrown off balance by the volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora, and the weather was wildly unpredicta...
Book Annotation
Mary Shelley: Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey.” [Mary’s note]
Book Annotation
Mary Shelley: Leigh Hunt’s “Rimini.” [Mary’s note]
Book Annotation
Mary Shelley: Coleridge’s “Ancient Mariner.” [Mary’s Note]
Community Discussion
LS
Lynn Sch: V needs a lesson in evaluating facts. His father did not follow up after giving him the books. V came to incorrect conclusions
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
MW
Michael White: In attempting to comfort Victor about the murder of his younger brother, Clerval invokes “the Stoics” as providing a perspective on death that should not be emulated. Indeed, the Stoic doctrine is ...
Book AnnotationScience
EZ
Emily Zarka: Long before the term “scientist” as we understand it today was invented, individuals who used deductive reasoning to explore the natural world and its functions were referred to as “natural philoso...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScience
EZ
Emily Zarka: This description of the creature is reminiscent of the depiction of mummies during the Romantic period. Physicians and scholars would publically and privately dissect Egyptian mummies, unwrapping t...
Book AnnotationMary Shelley
EZ
Emily Zarka: As a child, Mary and her father would visit her mother Mary Wollstonecraft’s grave in the churchyard of St. Pancras almost every day. Godwin even taught Mary to read using her mother’s gravestone a...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & Politics
EZ
Emily Zarka: Captain Walton’s method of resuscitating Victor would have been familiar to Mary’s readers. In 1774, the Royal Humane Society of Britain was formed under the original title “The Society for the Rec...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
EZ
Emily Zarka: The stops Victor mentions reflect the typical itinerary of the “Grand Tour,” a popular travel route for upper-class young men beginning in the seventeenth-century, which usually spanned across Fran...
Book AnnotationMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
EZ
Emily Zarka: The gratitude expressed by Victor here reflects Mary’s own respect and appreciation for her father William Godwin’s dedication to her education. As an author, political journalist, and reformer, it...
Book AnnotationMary Shelley
JG
Judith Guston: This scene on the frozen sea, with cracking ice and calving icebergs causing thunderous noise and forceful motion in the ocean and the wind, is a reminder that Mary created Frankenstein during cond...
Book AnnotationScienceTechnology
JG
Judith Guston: Victor’s methods of collecting human parts for his creature were in keeping with the ethics of the time. Teaching surgeons and anatomists frequently procured corpses for their demonstrations illega...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Judith Guston: During Mary’s time, vampires were vicious ghosts that haunted individuals or communities—a definition altered by John Polidori’s rational and cruel yet alluring Lord Ruthven in his novella The Vamp...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMary ShelleyScienceTechnology
Bob Beard: Mary imagined the idea that eventually became Frankenstein at a time when the Earth’s climate was thrown off balance by the volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora, and the weather was wildly unpredicta...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & PoliticsScienceTechnology
KH
Kim Hammond: German sociologist Ulrich Beck’s risk society theory is echoed in Frankenstein. For Beck, the risk society begins when external, natural threats (like predators, food scarcity, dangerous inclement ...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
TT
Tiffany Trent: In her groundbreaking book The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution, the philosopher and historian of science Carolyn Merchant argues that Enlightenment-era science and it...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
RO
Rae Ostman: Victor’s mentor M. Waldman advocates for an integrated approach to sciences, which today we often group together as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Much important scientif...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
RO
Rae Ostman: The approach to teaching and learning that Victor describes resonates with current thinking in formal and informal education, and this kind of pedagogy can still be contrasted with “ordinary method...
Book AnnotationTechnology
MS
Michael Simeone: The creature’s experience with language acquisition is reminiscent of the foundational ideas behind machine learning, which originated in the middle of the twentieth century and has transformed soc...
Book AnnotationTechnology
LF
Liz and James Fiacco: Much like the creature, recent machine learning models learn language by observing human language. Furthermore, both come into the world without innate knowledge given by their creators. Their unde...
Book AnnotationTechnology
EW
Erin Walker: The type of learning described in this passage has been facilitated in modern times with the rise of Web 2.0 technologies, online communication technologies such as blogs and social media that conn...
Book AnnotationScience
ED
Elizabeth Denlinger: In fact, what Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles) described in The Temple of Nature (1803) is the “vorticella, or wheel animal … capable of continuing alive for many months though kept in a dry...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsPhilosophy & Politics
ED
Elizabeth Denlinger: This sentence is one of the illustrative texts given in the Oxford English Dictionary for an obsolete use of the word “necessary” employed by Mary’s father William Godwin and earlier Enlightenment ...
Book AnnotationScience
ED
Elizabeth Denlinger: Natural philosophy is roughly equivalent to “science” as we now use the term. Chemistry—which in its most comprehensive sense embodies a great deal of all scientific knowledge—is the most important...
Community Discussion
CM
C M: As a work of negative romanticism, it is interesting that Shelley’s introduces her work with a connection to the ancestor of Charles Darwin, father of the modern Theory of Evolution. The primitive ...
Community Discussion
SH
Steven Haker: As the monster began to understand human behavior, he began to identify himself in terms of the feelings he observed from the De Laceys. Having done nothing wrong, the monster saw himself as a bein...
Community Discussion
SH
Sydney Hayes: In this instance, the creation’s greatest fears come true. After having watched the family in the  cottage for such a long time, he decides to confront the blind De Lacey in hopes that they could i...
Community Discussion
EF
Esther Fuentes: He talks to Frankenstein, his creator, of how he changed from being naive of what emotions came to play with different situations to being aware of all different emotions. He talks about the fact t...
Community Discussion
AH
Aristotle Hartzell: Here it is clearly shown that if one is only exposed to one thing then they come to believe that is all that exists. Similar to Plato’s Allegory yet a happy family is the shadows he sees. However h...
Community Discussion
JA
Jackson Alpin: The monster picks up information very fast, as he also applies everything he learns directly to himself. He read the fiction book Paradise Lost as if it were an autobiography and thought of everyth...
Community Discussion
ar
aislinn russell: The monster decided to first meet Delacy, thinking that his blindness will remove the bias most people have against the monster’s looks. He hopes that he can speak to Delacy and get him to see the ...
Community Discussion
LF
Lucien Frank: The monster describes the moment he obtained and read literature for the first time. Reading for the first time the monster experiences various different emotions as one does when reading and inter...
Community Discussion
EF
Eli Fresco: The monster is at a loss when he finds books in the woods. The things in the books seem so ordinary to common humans, but he has a hard time grasping things. Daily life for the monster is not quite...
Community Discussion
JG
Julian Galvan: What is being said in the quote is that you may call me the worst of men but you will never have me realize that perspective. Then he goes on to say “create another like yourself”, he is telling th...
Community Discussion
TM
Theory Millar: The Monster wishes for someone who he can share emotions with. He realizes that he is not like anyone else on this earth, and wants someone who understands what he is experiencing. He later says th...
Community Discussion
CK
Charlie Kopp: In this quote, the monster feels a great rage, as Victor says “contortions too horrible for human eyes to behold.” Note that Victor says specifically human eyes, reinforcing the fact that this mons...
Community Discussion
LD
Lance Davenport: Mary Shelley uses many different literary devices to get the monsters point across alongside bringing more action into this novel. This passage specifically shows Shelley’s use of metaphors and hyp...
Community Discussion
MB
Mia Brisbin: In this passage, Frankenstein has just finished telling his magnificent story to Victor, his creator, and has left Victor in a state of complete shock. After the Monster tells Victor his tale he ex...
Community Discussion
DS
Daniela Sanchez: In this quote, the Monster shows very human-like character traits. Humans are a social species and need other humans to socialize, survive, and thrive. Humans are not to be kept alone and isolated ...
Community Discussion
LC
Lily Cataldi: In this quote, the Monster had gone to Victor himself to ask for a companion who he can spend his life with. Although at first, Victor was in denial and did not accept what the Monster had to say, ...
Community Discussion
Nd
Nicolas de Oliveira: This quote emphasizes on the monster’s characterization. At first, Victor portrays this monstrous creature as violent and gruesome. However during the past few chapters, the monster’s character dev...
Community Discussion
DM
Dexter Mayo: The Monster has requested for Victor to build and create him a woman monster, with whom he can share his life in hopes that it will not be as miserable with company. Victor is reluctant to create a...
Community Discussion
JF
Jeremy Fried: In this passage, the Monster shows his true colors. He demonstrates how he is nothing but an ugly creature with a good heart. Although filled with rage, the Monster is able to contain himself and r...
Community Discussion
lr
liv reinis: Here Frankenstein is making a point to the Monster that he would never create a being like him. The Monster has already asked, forcefully at that, which is why Frankenstein’s response is so hostile...
Community Discussion
BJ
Brennan Jackson: This passage demonstrates how much Vicor has gone through. Shelley shows this through the line “the medicine had been fatal.” This shows that no matter what Victor does to give him a break from con...
Community Discussion
LH
Lola Hakim: In this quote, the Monster demands that Victor creates him female companion of his own kind. As the Monster has caused much destruction to Victor’s life, Victor refuses the Monster’s wish out of sp...
Community Discussion
EA
Ethan Avery: Although mankind doesn’t view the Monster as a person because of the way he looks, the Monster feels the same emotions that they do. Therefore he believes that because humans are able to experience...
Community Discussion
NG
Noelle Gillies: Orientalist view of Muslim culture is in this section. This trope of the subjugation of women is alive and well today. Back in 2003 one reason for going to Afghanistan and later invading Iraq was ...
Community Discussion
NG
Noelle Gillies: Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake updates the Frankenstein tale with the story of a young man who uses biotechnology to create a genetically modified version of humans who leave a smaller ecological f...
Community Discussion
IT
Isabella Toscano: When creating something that has never been done before or an innovation it can cause you to isolate others and this can make you fail to remember the effects that could occur in the environment ar...
Community Discussion
GV
Gillian Votaw: We are born into the world innocent, but through what we learn and how we are treated, we are shaped into who we are. When Frankenstein’s creature was brought into our world, he was helpless, like ...
Community Discussion
mc
mckenna cook: At the begining of Frankenstein victor was in a loving family but then after  he left he stopped responding to their letters, cutting himself off even though he had family that were there for him. ...
Community Discussion
AL
Annika Lindroos: Many of the ethical problems presented in Frankenstein  are still applicable today. Victor dove head first into his creation without considering the ethics behind his decision as we see so many inn...
Community Discussion
EC
Eva Clark-Dupuy: We do so much to satisfy our curiosity but sometimes we take it too far. Maybe curiosity did kill the cat. Scientists and sci-fi creators alike have always seemed interested in modifying the natura...
Community Discussion
ag
abigail galloway: Hi my name’s Abby and I go to newtech. My topic is Ethics, Ethics means Choosing what’s morally right and wrong. In Frankenstein, Victor making the creature was an example of an ethical dilemma. It...
Community Discussion
bs
benito sanchez: The creature was after being created left to fend for itself. But without anybody to take care of him he only found the bad side of humanity and wasn’t shown how to act how to speak of how to, “fee...
Community Discussion
FP
Freddy Palmas: The lesson that Frankenstein is teaching us through knowledge is that seeking knowledge is the door of discovering something new. Victor knew things that if he told other people about them, they wo...
Community Discussion
AG
Austin Gugenheim: Victor Frankenstein creates his famous creature for the sole fact to execute what he knew about the secret of life. While the creature is meant to be a symbol representing progress and how it affec...
Community Discussion
JV
Jonus Valenzuela: The gothic fiction Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is about Knowledge and reveals that becoming so enthralled in your studies can lead to a loss of ethical thinking and alienation. Letters 1-4 of the ...
Community Discussion
DD
Denna Dom: Knowledge is acquired throughout our entire lives, and there’s always room for more. Though it helps us progress, it can be harmful when fixated on, and this is very evident in the story of Franken...
Community Discussion
sd
selena dodson: My thematic topic is nature vs. nurture, In Frankenstein Victor made a creature, and left it. Was it suppose to be evil when it was made or did Victor leaving him and rejecting him make him who he...
Community Discussion
ED
Ema Dusky: We, as People have a tendency to  get sucked into the intense feelings advancement brings us, leaving us tunnel visioned with the idea of progress, and disregard for ethics. This is portrayed throu...
Community Discussion
kc
kaden cameron: I believe that Victor Frankenstein did not make the ethical choice when he created the monster. In the book Frankenstein he creates a creature, but as soon has he creates the creature, he rejects i...
Community Discussion
AL
Ashley Lopez: n the book the tematic topic alienations seems to appear throughout the story in many different characters but the character who I felt like experienced alienation the most was the creature. Throug...
Community Discussion
EM
Everett Meckler: As time goes on, the alienation brought about by our own minds becomes more apparent than alienation inspired by external differences. In Frankenstein, the creature provides us with many examples o...
Community Discussion
sm
shawn mabry: Alienation and being alone is a gruesome truth about the world, but it can help us grow as people. This is shown in Frankenstein many times through both Victor and the monster. The first, and most ...
Community Discussion
GD
Graham Durfee: Frankenstein’s fear of innovation and progress is reactionary to the era when it was written. In 1818, the Industrial Revolution was just beginning to make headway, and the counterculture of the ro...
Community Discussion
MO
Marifer Ortiz: Alienation can be caused by many things but for me one of the bigger reasons for alienation to happen is when society rejects people because of what they believe in or what they look like, people t...
Community Discussion
yC
yiellsee Chavez: Isolating yourself from others can come in handy sometimes, but you may find yourself alienating away from society which can be harmful.  In Frankenstein ,we find out about Victor and how he start...
Community Discussion
CC
Caity Cattolica Tittle: Ethics are what stand in the way of unchecked progress, they're what make the argument for regulations and discussions about what we can do vs. what we should do. In Frankenstein, like in Jurassic ...
JW
Josephine Wallace: This is really important to keep in mind as we progress more and more. We need to fully consider the moral implications of our innovations, and yet, as a wise man once said, “Progress waits for no ...
Community Discussion
JW
Josephine Wallace: Something’s character is not wholly determined by its nature, but also by its environment as it progresses through life, and if something is nurtured properly, it may become good, no matter the evi...
Community Discussion
CT
Connor Treder: The novel Frankenstein connects quite well to many ideas of modern and industrial science in relation to ethics. In noth history, modern science, and the novel, there are times where an ethical que...
Community Discussion
TG
ToeKnee Gonzalez: As humans, we are always making progress whether it be in technology or science, but as we’ve seen in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the industrial revolution, progress can lead to negative outco...
Community Discussion
IM
Isabel Martin: The classic argument of whether nature or nurture is more powerful has a spin in Frankenstein. The novel shows that it’s neither nature or nurture that’s more powerful, it’s the one that’s more neg...
Community Discussion
KR
Korey Rangel: near the end of chapter 1, Victor and his family decide to take a visit inside of a poor cot, inside they found a peasant and his wife with five hungry babies, however out of all the poverty in thi...
Community Discussion
GF
Gerardo Flores: As technology advances, more ethical dilemmas arise. As we see in both the Industrial Revolution, and in the novel Frankenstein, these advances in technology can lead to ethical dilemmas. Some exam...
Community Discussion
RT
Ryan Topper: In today's golden age of technology, knowledge is a powerful tool that can lead to valuable progress or destructive innovations. In Mary Shelley’s award winning book, Frankenstein: Or, The Modern P...
Community Discussion
AD
Averi Dropping: Alienation and being isolated from society can go many ways, it can help to get things done but it can also lead to being lonely and depressed. For example, in Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus...
Community Discussion
JS
Jose Salgado: Frankenstein made huge progress but didn’t reflect upon it fast enough to notice that his creation was good (Chapter 5). Progress should always be reflected on, to make sure everything is ok. Then ...
Community Discussion
OC
Oscar Castellanos: Knowledge is power. One of our most power weapons and traits is our brain and the ability to learn the way we do. At times we see our species constantly strive to learn new information. Once we lea...
Community Discussion
ad
amy duran: Now a days peoples creations are very intriguing , people invent really creative things . just like Victor Frankenstein , he created a monster who he was at first very excited to see if he was able...
Community Discussion
AF
Aaliyah Ferroni: Young minds without a parental figures often act based on nurture rather than nature. In Frankenstein, the monster is abandoned as soon as he is created. He has no one to guide him through this lif...
Community Discussion
DT
David Tokar: Frankenstein abandoned his creation and forced it to grow up in a world that hated it. Growing up with nothing but hatred and rejection transformed him into a monster. If Frankenstein had not fled ...
Community Discussion
LR
Luis Reyes: Based on the events of the book “Frankenstein” by Mary shelley and the French Revolution, I believe that as you progress, you’ll have to make tough decisions. This is shown in the book Frankenstein...
Community Discussion
AF
Aaliyah Ferroni: Young minds without a parental figures often act based on nurture rather than nature. In Frankenstein, the monster is abandoned as soon as he is created. He has no one to guide him through this lif...
Community Discussion
JC
Jacqueline Coronado: Victor Frankenstein pushed away the ethical considerations of re-animating a creature. Although there was some outcomes of creating the creature,victor didn't think about how the creatures life was...
Community Discussion
FS
Francisco Sipiora: The thirst for knowledge that allowed Victor Frankenstein to persevere and make his creature is what has allowed the scientists in our generation to make so many groundbreaking discoveries. It is...
Community Discussion
rf
roanin fisher: As a class we have been looking at different thematic topics present in the book the one i have researched isolation or alienation. I believe this is a very prominent topic with how the story unfol...
Community Discussion
SB
Stephan Breit: 1/29/18 Alienation can lead to a disconnect from society and emotional trauma that can end in drastic measures. In the book, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein's monster is neglected ou...
Community Discussion
YL
Yessica Lopez: Although work is what keeps us all busy and allows us to be creative it can be what alienates us. In the novel Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein has the desire to create l...
Community Discussion
PS
Peyton Souza: Starting off I think Frankenstein is a great book and it presents a complex story line with complex characters as well. Looking back on the story one of the biggest issues in the story is ethics, s...
Community Discussion
Id
Isabel de Blois: We as a society create things with no idea of the consequences. It is not that we are all stupid, or have harmful intentions- it’s that we cannot possibly foresee the result of our actions. It is s...
Community Discussion
TC
Thomas Carter: In Frankenstein, It seems that almost all of the Monster’s experiences are vile and full of hatred towards him, for example Throughout the book, the monster is constantly being thrown in the dirt, ...
Community Discussion
AC
Austin Chavoen: The Luddites of the Industrial Revolution destroyed the machines that were helping the world to progress because they felt threatened, just as Victor Frankenstein felt threatened by his own progres...
Community Discussion
CH
Carly Harvey: People normally have good ethics but in times of stress that is challenged. For example, When you are stressed about a grade in school and you know you should work on your homework to `get your gra...
Community Discussion
PS
Peyton Souza: Starting off I think Frankenstein is a great book and it presents a complex story line with complex characters as well. Looking back on the story one of the biggest issues in the story is ethics, s...
Community Discussion
EA
Evangeline Anguiano: Victor is so fascinated and excited about his creation that he jumps straight into it. He was aware of the fact that reanimating the dead was going to be frowned upon, but his pursuit of knowledge ...
Community Discussion
AO
Angelica Oram: Frankenstein poses many ethical considerations that are still discussed today. Victor created a creature without knowing anything about the creature aside from its physical abilities. Today, for ex...
Community Discussion
CS
Christopher Saenz: I believe that prolonged alienation could potentially lead to madness. We can see this shown in Frankenstein, as the monster feels alienated from his creator. This leads to the monster becoming con...
Book AnnotationScience
LD
Lawrence Dritsas: In the eyes of the public, sensational stories of exploration, filled with tales of near-death faced nobly, mattered far more than somber reports of scientific discovery. A good example of this is ...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsPhilosophy & Politics
LD
Lawrence Dritsas: Mutinies are among the worst things that can happen on board a ship. The lawful authority of the captain is overthrown. The only way this might be considered legal and not result in the execution o...
Book AnnotationScienceTechnology
LD
Lawrence Dritsas: Exploring ships since the eighteenth century are best viewed as scientific instruments in their own right, similar to the Voyager or Cassini spacecraft today. Ships are a platform for a wide variet...
Book AnnotationScience
LD
Lawrence Dritsas: Mary publishes this fictional account of Arctic exploration in the same year (1818) that saw a British attempt to reach the North Pole and traverse the Northwest Passage that was unsuccessful, but ...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & Politics
HR
Heather Ross: Memory for stressful events can be fallible, with profound implications for justice. Our perception is subjective, and memory is not always reliable, especially with regard to specific details. It ...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionHealth & MedicineMotivations & Sentiments
JL
Julie Lekstrom Himes: Victor posits that greatness is there for the taking, as long as one eludes the restraints of cowardice or carelessness. As readers, we’re left nearly breathless at the scale of his ambition. His c...
Book AnnotationScience
LD
Lawrence Dritsas: Here Mary has Walton join an ancient discussion about the mythical land of the far North, possibly inhabited by fantastic Hyberboreans. Since antiquity the far North has been a space to imagine dif...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionHealth & MedicineScienceTechnology
SR
Samuel Redman: Victor's fascination with the grisly mechanics of dead human bodies has been shared by many people, scientists and otherwise, for centuries. Cabinets of curiosities displayed in the homes of Europe...
Book AnnotationTechnology
RO
Robert Oppenheimer: Victor’s pursuit of the creature across the desolate northern ice symbolizes the symbiosis between innovators and innovations. The creature would not exist without its creator, who discovers he can...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & PoliticsScienceTechnology
RO
Robert Oppenheimer: Why is biotechnology sometimes more controversial than other expressions of human creativity? In addition to material concerns about safety faced by any new technology (toxicity, flammability, radi...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScience
RO
Robert Oppenheimer: Mary frames Victor’s discovery in terms of vitalism, the idea that inanimate and animate matter are different. This difference is the “principle” and “secret cause” separating life and death that V...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
RO
Robert Oppenheimer: Do students experience the enticements of science? For decades, participation in STEM subjects has decreased in Australian high schools. Perhaps, Mary might suggest, this has something to do with s...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsScience
RO
Robert Oppenheimer: Here, Mary plays with archetypes of scientists and poets, scrambling references and blurring the lines between these pursuits. For example, Walton is an amateur poet on a scientific voyage, while V...
Book AnnotationScience
RO
Robert Oppenheimer: “Keeping” in this passage means perspective. Realistic pictures keep the proper relation of near and distant objects, and of important and unimportant features. For a contemporary source on “keepin...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScienceTechnology
ER
Emily Redman: In much of the novel, Mary works to separate Victor from alchemical traditions, stressing his supposed objectivity and reliance on repeatable experimental methods. This quote from Professor Waldman...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
JE
Jason Ellis: M. Waldman counsels Victor to avoid plumbing the depths of only one discipline of science. Instead, he suggests that his pupil follow an interdisciplinary approach, or pursue learning across discip...
Book AnnotationHealth & Medicine
JE
Jason Ellis: This passage reveals the creature as an example of the posthuman, or the reconfiguration, transformation, or transcendence of humanity into a new, stronger, and more capable species through scienti...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
Joey Eschrich: Mary’s religious beliefs are difficult to pin down precisely, but she seems to have lived a relatively secular, non-religious life. However, her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley was a noted atheist who...
Book AnnotationInfluences & Adaptations
Joey Eschrich: The names Ariosto and Angelica in this paragraph are references to Orlando Furioso, an Italian epic poem published in the early sixteenth century. Ludovico Ariosto is the author of the poem, and An...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionInfluences & AdaptationsPhilosophy & Politics
Joey Eschrich: The Vicar of Wakefield is a novel by the Irish author Oliver Goldsmith (1728–1774), published in 1766. It paints an often-idealizing but also tumultuous picture of rural English life, and can be in...
Book AnnotationInfluences & Adaptations
Joey Eschrich: The 1931 film adaptation of Frankenstein by director James Whale is perhaps the most indelible and iconic image of the creature and his creator. The film’s centerpiece is the “It’s alive” scene, wh...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMary Shelley
Joey Eschrich: The collection of ghost stories that Mary Shelley and her compatriots read during the rainy, inclement summer of 1816 is Fantasmagoriana, a French anthology of German stories published in 1812. Lea...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
Joey Eschrich: In a 1994 essay for the journal Natural History, famed paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002) argues that Hollywood adaptations wrongly depic...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
WK
William K. Storey: The crew, near mutiny, implores Captain Walton to turn back at the earliest opportunity. This is an example of a crew seizing the initiative, an unusual and dangerous gambit that indicates their de...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScience
VS
Verena Schulze Greiving: Health is a particular obsession of the novel, and Mary makes numerous references to the work of alchemists, who among other things were searching for an elixir to prolong human life. In the early ...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
SW
Steven Weiner: The language Waldman uses when advising young Victor provides a snapshot of the changing views of scientific knowledge in the early nineteenth century, while also speaking to its overall cultural a...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
SK
Stacey Kuznetsov: This passage speaks to the idea that scientific inquiry has no limits: there is always more to learn, and this learning is not confined to professional laboratories or limited to people with specif...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMotivations & SentimentsPhilosophy & Politics
SM
Sean McCafferty: This passage foreshadows the path of Victor’s obsession with bringing his creature to life. Since his early education was focused more on the “end placed in view” rather than the secondary effects ...
Book AnnotationScienceTechnology
SA
Samuel Arbesman: Victor recognizes that he is working with what is generally referred to as a complex system. In complexity science, a complex system is one that consists of a large number of interacting parts, oft...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
RB
Ron Broglio: Nature serves as a healer of body and mind. This belief was developed during the Romantic period, most notably by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and through the poetry of William Wordsworth. Whi...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
RC
Richard C. Sha: The power of the Romantic imagination lay in its ability to generate ideas and productive analogies, figures of comparison—but not all of its ideas and analogies could be valuable. Even worse, this...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineMotivations & Sentiments
PN
Peter Nagy: The melancholy and gloomy mood Victor describes here can be easily interpreted as signs of depression. The cognitive psychologist Aaron Beck argues that people who are depressed think and feel diff...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineMotivations & Sentiments
PN
Peter Nagy: As a perverse sort of new father, Victor here shows the symptoms of postpartum depression: the emotional struggles and the feeling of hopelessness experienced by some women after the birth of a chi...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineMotivations & Sentiments
PN
Peter Nagy: Victor, as the psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (1882–1960) would say, engages in manic defense here. People use manic defense to cope with negative feelings like guilt, shame, or embarrassment by alter...
Book AnnotationHealth & Medicine
PM
Patrick McGurrin: The body is constantly perceiving sensory information in the environment, and it is up to the brain to make sense of this information. Different parts of the brain help to process different pieces ...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScience
PM
Patrick McGurrin: The brain is composed of three layers, each associated with a different degree of cognitive complexity. The mesencephalon is the oldest brain structure, and is found even in the most basic vertebra...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionPhilosophy & PoliticsScienceTechnology
PM
Patrick McGurrin: When human or animal studies occur at a research institution (for example, at a university or a hospital), they require proper authorization by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional ...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
PM
Patrick McGurrin: Victor immediately assumes that the murderer can only be his creation, despite the change in location and the length of time since he last saw the creature. But in reality, Victor didn’t create a m...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScienceTechnology
PM
Patrick McGurrin: Scientists often become lost in the pursuit of bringing an idea to life. This desire to create something that exists purely at the theoretical level and bring it to fruition can become the only foc...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionPhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
PM
Patrick McGurrin: The creation of life brings with it the challenge of defining that creation, and perhaps more importantly, defining the essence of life itself. To use human parts to reanimate a human in the same f...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScienceTechnology
PM
Patrick McGurrin: The human body remains a physiological work of art, one biomedical engineers and doctors aim to recreate. But how to do this remains elusive, even as research brings forth novel technological advan...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionHealth & MedicineInfluences & AdaptationsTechnology
NS
Nora S. Vaage: Victor declares that he does not believe his conduct is “blameable,” despite his previous periods of introspection and remorse. However, when he states that he was bound to assure the creature’s ha...
Book AnnotationTechnology
NB
Noa Bruhis: Mary juxtaposes energy (the lightning) and water (the imagery of electricity as a fluid drawn from the clouds) in this passage, and both seem very simple to summon. Today we still rely on both ener...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineMotivations & SentimentsScience
MN
Michelle N. Shiota: Wonder and awe are recurring themes in Frankenstein, and many of Mary’s insights resonate with findings from research on emotion. While panoramic views of nature commonly evoke awe, as depicted her...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionInfluences & AdaptationsMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
LY
Lisa Yaszek: In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), Mary’s mother, the philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, argues that while the outward appearance of men and women can vary greatly, in the modern world w...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionInfluences & AdaptationsMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
LY
Lisa Yaszek: Here, Mary dramatizes her mother Mary Wollstonecraft’s ideas about education, gender, and class as expressed in Wollstonecraft’s pioneering feminist manifesto, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman ...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScience
LY
Lisa Yaszek: In this passage, Mary implicitly contrasts Victor’s attempt to create life with the appropriate modes of natural reproduction championed by poet and natural philosopher Erasmus Darwin. Darwin argue...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionInfluences & AdaptationsMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
LY
Lisa Yaszek: Although Mary claims she is writing a new kind of novel without “prejudicing any philosophical doctrine of whatever kind,” this passage connects Frankenstein with A Vindication of the Rights of Wom...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionInfluences & Adaptations
LY
Lisa Yaszek: Mary’s wryly affectionate hope that her “hideous progeny” might “go forth and prosper” would be echoed nearly a century and a half later by science fiction author Joanna Russ, who, at the end of he...
Book AnnotationInfluences & Adaptations
KS
Kevin Sandler: Mary’s physical description of the creature in this passage found its way into a motley collection of representations for Saturday morning television cartoons in the late 1960s, in the wake of the ...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineMary ShelleyScienceTechnology
JK
Jonathon Keats: When Mary wrote these lines, the fictional Victor Frankenstein was not alone in infusing sparks of being into lifeless things. Ever since the Italian physician Luigi Galvani made frogs’ legs jump w...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & PoliticsScience
EG
Eileen Gunn: One of the ideas that Mary explores throughout the novel is that of human intelligence and the ways in which we acquire knowledge and, ultimately, gain wisdom. Note the path that the creature, by i...
Book AnnotationMary ShelleyPhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
Damien Williams: As Charles E. Robinson notes, in his introduction, Mary’s choice of the word “dæmon” throughout the text is deliberate, and not necessarily intended to mean “an evil beast.” Though this spelling se...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineMotivations & Sentiments
CP
Corey Pressman: These anticipations of joy, albeit tragically inaccurate, are evidence of the creature’s inherent humanity. The restorative power of spring is a well-known tonic for cloudy spirits. Living under th...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineMotivations & Sentiments
CP
Corey Pressman: The creature is desperate, alone, and terrified. He is poised to do one of the things most frightening to us all—introduce himself to strangers. Any hope for a warm reception is destroyed by self-r...
Book AnnotationTechnology
Bob Beard: Amid this squalor, Victor sets about to build a mate for the creature. The setting for this process predates the era of personal computing by many decades, but is reminiscent of the Silicon Valley ...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionPhilosophy & Politics
AD
Andrew Dana Hudson: Karl Marx (1818–1883) was born the same year Frankenstein was first published, less than 100 miles from the Frankenstein Castle in Mühltal, Germany that no doubt inspired Shelley’s title. As a lite...
Book AnnotationEquity & Inclusion
AH
Amanda Holderread Heggen: In 1977, Douglas Biklen and Robert Bogdan developed a list of 10 stereotypes that are widely used in media representations of people with disabilities: pitiable and pathetic, sinister and/or evil, ...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
AR
Alecia Radatz: The creature coming to life brings a whole host of possibilities to both the creature and the people that surround him—and as it turns out, most of these possibilities are unintended and unanticipa...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
AC
Adam Chodorow: With the decline of the notion that government and its rulers were divinely appointed, Enlightenment-era philosophers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries sought other justifications to supp...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
AC
Adam Chodorow: The Swiss legal system differs from the English and American systems in several important respects. The English and American systems are “common law” systems, in which the judges make the law, whic...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionPhilosophy & Politics
AC
Adam Chodorow: Victor’s declaration flips on its head the famous statement by English jurist William Blackstone that "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer," revealing his utte...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
AC
Adam Chodorow: The administrative state, with its thousands of government employees, is a fairly modern invention. Before modern transportation and communications, there were plenty of areas with scant government...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionPhilosophy & Politics
AC
Adam Chodorow: The legal system at the time of the novel had progressed somewhat from the days of the witch trials, where defendants were subjected to various tests (like the trial by water, in which suspected wi...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsTechnology
Ed Finn: After all that he has suffered because of his work, Victor still manages to condescend to those who he feels are inferior to his creative genius. In Mary’s time the word “projector” was somewhat ak...
Book AnnotationTechnology
Ed Finn: Victor considers using the law as a kind of instrument for inflicting a punishment on himself in this passage, assuming that its operations will be predictable and just. There is a growing tendency...
Book AnnotationHealth & Medicine
Ed Finn: Victor’s lament here reminds us of the paradoxical fragility and resilience of the human form. William, Justine, and Clerval were defenseless against the attacks of the creature, their lives easily...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsTechnology
Ed Finn: The novel reflects on the importance of letter-writing as a way to maintain social ties (in this passage, a letter has an almost-magical power to revivify). In Mary’s day, letters were a vital form...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
Ed Finn: Once the creature meets his basic needs and begins to encounter other sentient beings, he starts to think of a future beyond his immediate problems and circumstances. The “thousand pictures” that t...
Book AnnotationTechnology
Ed Finn: The creature is more powerful and agile than Victor, echoing the many ways that contemporary science and technology quickly accelerate beyond our expectations. In 1965, an early pioneer in the semi...
Book AnnotationHealth & Medicine
Ed Finn: Scientists have pursued life extension research for decades, exploring the process by which cells and organisms age and die as a genetically determined phenomenon. For example, the geneticist Cynth...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
AC
Adam Chodorow: During times of war, British ships were entitled to take enemy vessels, including merchant vessels, as “prizes.” The prizes belonged to the crown, but the captain and crew were awarded some portion...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMary Shelley
Ed Finn: Lord George Gordon Byron (1788–1824) answered his own challenge that evening by writing the first paragraph of a vampire story inspired by the German ghost stories. John Polidori (1795–1821) later ...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: Pondering the unknowns and potential horrors the future mate for the creature might perpetrate, Victor thinks through these possibilities and resolves not to continue his efforts. Perhaps overestim...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsPhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
Ed Finn: The creature’s final words describe his plans for a noble suicide (see note 21 on the death of Seneca, and note 27 on self-sacrificing technologies). The creature’s decision to “repeat the lessons ...
Book AnnotationTechnology
Ed Finn: Here Mary anticipates one of the most serious debates about unintended consequences confronting contemporary scientists and technologists. How can we be sure that new creations we bring into the wo...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: Having heard the creature’s expression of appreciation for Victor’s efforts and his remorse for his own inexcusable actions, spoken to the now dead Victor, Walton rejects these statements as vain. ...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
HR
Hannah Rogers: Despite praising his friend Walton for his virtuous actions, particularly in the episode of love he recounts, Victor criticizes his lack of imagination. He further suggests that the inability to th...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & Politics
MA
Miguel Astor-Aguilera: Mary’s “creature” is vegetarian: “My food is not that of man; I do not destroy the lamb and the kid, to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment” (here). The creature r...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
SA
Sean A Hays: In many ways, Walton appears to be the embodiment of everything Victor is not. He rescues and befriends a man who at the beginning of his tale is more of a monster than his creation and at the end ...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
NP
Nicole Piemonte: Here, Victor implores the crewmen to continue their expedition, calling them to be brave and altruistic in the face of danger. It is ironic that he is encouraging them to do so because they will be...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
JG
Judith Guston: Seneca: Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 BCE–65 CE), “Seneca the Younger,” Roman Stoic philosopher, playwright, essayist, and tutor and advisor to emperor Nero. Stoicism valued self-restraint over pass...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsPhilosophy & Politics
NP
Nicole Piemonte: In this passage, Victor highlights the effect others have on the formation of the self and the development of personal identity. Others can have, as he points out, “a certain power over our minds.”...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
SN
Stephanie Naufel: At his entrance to the wider world, Victor felt he had talents that he could use to benefit society. He expected to put forth greatness in the world and chose the lofty goal of creating life, but w...
Book AnnotationInfluences & Adaptations
Joey Eschrich: Mary’s use of “manes” here is a reference to the Latin meaning: ghosts or spirits of the deceased.
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
AM
Arthur B Markman: Most people attribute their successes to their own efforts. People pride themselves on great preparation and stellar execution. Most, however, do not recognize how often their success is a result o...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
CH
Chris Hanlon: Victor’s objection here is that the Genevan magistrate is being arrogant in assuming a position of understanding that he (the magistrate) feels is necessary to dispense absolution. The moment fores...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsPhilosophy & Politics
MS
Mike Stanford: Retribution is punishment for an injury, wrongdoing, or crime. In organized societies, the law imposes retribution in the form of penalties such as imprisonment. In the absence or failure of law, i...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & Politics
EG
Eileen Gunn: After the deaths of his brother, his friend, and his bride, Victor seeks refuge from his grief in strenuous exercise, just as he walked the streets of Ingolstadt after creating the creature. Influe...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsPhilosophy & Politics
NP
Nicole Piemonte: Altruism, typically conceived of as selfless concern for the best interest of others, is usually seen as a positive quality. Though Victor does appear altruistic here, he never shows selfless conce...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
NP
Nicole Piemonte: Victor’s misery is all consuming, and it colors the way he sees his whole world, regardless of his circumstances. As he states in this passage, to him “the walls of a dungeon or a palace were alike...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionInfluences & AdaptationsPhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
David H Guston: A great deal is going on in this paragraph. First, the creature continues to speak as though he has adopted the mantle of Milton’s Satan: “I before reasoned with you” evokes Isaiah’s “Come, let us ...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
AN
Annalee Newitz: For Mary, the daughter of early feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, women’s status as “the other” was painfully and personally obvious. Men ruled the world, and therefore almost every philoso...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: Victor gives expression to his conflicting feelings. His conscience haunts him for the crime he feels he has committed. But he confesses his innocence—an ironic juxtaposition with Justine’s untruth...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMary Shelley
Ed Finn: Among these leading natural philosophers of the period were William Nicholson (1753–1815), whom Mary’s father, William Godwin, often turned to for scientific advice, and Humphry Davy (1778–1829), a...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionMary Shelley
David H Guston: In this passage, Mary could be reflecting on her own situation and the social pressures that might have hemmed her in. In theory, Elizabeth could choose, like Mary with Percy, to accompany her para...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionMotivations & Sentiments
David H Guston: As a slave, Victor has lost the capacity to reason through problems and is instead “governed by the impulses of the moment.” He recognizes the phenomenon in himself—that one’s capacities are shaped...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
SA
Sean A Hays: Victor and his interlocutor, Walton, appear to consider courage to be one of the more mechanical human attributes, one that is shared by some of the lower animals. To be courageous is a means to an...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsScience
MD
Mary Drago: Victor has reason to distrust the creature. As in Aesop’s fable of the boy who cries wolf, once trust is lost, it is difficult to rebuild. Here Victor is moved to compassion by the creature’s reque...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionPhilosophy & Politics
DL
Devoney Looser: The term sympathy had multiple meanings in the early nineteenth century, some of which resonate with scientific discourse and some with moral philosophy. The word did mean then what we take it to m...
Book AnnotationInfluences & Adaptations
RB
Ron Broglio: In this turning point, the creature no longer figures himself as an Adam, the first being of a new creation of humans or humanoids; rather, he opts to be like Milton’s Satan, of whom he has read. T...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionScience
MW
Melissa Wilson Sayres: Animal behavior has been shaped by millions of years of evolution. As animals, humans have some behaviors that are conserved and shared with many other species. Fear, for example, is common in the ...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionHealth & MedicineMotivations & Sentiments
EG
Eileen Gunn: Victor’s creature has learned about humanity by observing humans and by reading poetry, classical philosophy, and a highly sentimental novel. He believes himself to be worthy of or at least not dis...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionPhilosophy & Politics
DK
Douglas Kelley: Communion represents connection, a sharing or holding of things in common that is central to achieving our full humanity. Social scientists today refer to communion in terms of intimacy or perhaps ...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionHealth & MedicineScience
AA
Athena Aktipis: Who are we really? What are we made of? What is the self? What makes the creation a monster? Of course, answers to the latter question depend on how we define the term monster. Victor makes his cre...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: The concept of guilt may well be a bit more complicated than it first appears. The two most common understandings of guilt are at work in the text, prompting us to think about the idea of guilt in ...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
Ed Finn: These three texts were on Mary’s reading list the summer before she began writing Frankenstein. They represent a kind of literary education for the creature. From Plutarch, he would learn about the...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
SA
Sean A Hays: A significant part of who we are as individuals is created in response to what we observe in others. The creature, abandoned by his creator, has the good fortune to find a loving and admirable fami...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
DH
David H Guston and Robert Cook-Deegan: Mary wrote Frankenstein at a time when slavery was still prevalent in Europe and the Americas. Revolutionary France had abolished slavery, but Napoleon reintroduced it after he came to power. In En...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
KS
Kerri Slatus: Mary cautions against Victor’s myopic perspective that creation—bringing into existence—is all that matters. The creature is made but un-parented, forced into solitary life, and exiled from mainstr...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: In Greek myth, Prometheus fashions the clay into which Athena, goddess of wisdom, breathes life, creating the human race. Over the objections of Zeus, Prometheus then provides humans with fire, an ...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionHealth & Medicine
SN
Stephanie Naufel: These musings from Victor’s creation invite us to consider what or who determines our self-identity. Do we determine our own ideas of identity? Or do others—family, friends, general society, or a c...
Book AnnotationEquity & Inclusion
RC
Robert Cook-Deegan: The creature recounts how his life differs from normal human life. In future narratives, writers directly confront what Mary here only touches upon lightly with allusions to slavery, ownership, and...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineInfluences & AdaptationsScienceTechnology
Ed Finn: Scientists have long aspired to improve the human body, or create new bodies, to exceed our natural biological limits. The United States military pursues a range of research areas to enhance the pe...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
RB
Ron Broglio: Much of the novel is inspired by the writings of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778), who believed that humans in their natural state are good and that society corrupts them. Like Roussea...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionInfluences & Adaptations
MM
Mary Margaret Fonow: Here the creature refers to one of the fables by Aesop (620–560 BCE). A farmer’s donkey becomes jealous of the famer’s affection for his pet lap dog. The hard-working donkey tries to get the farmer...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
AH
Adam Hosein: The creature here perceives the human tendency to distinguish between members of the in-group and members of the out-group and to fear and despise the latter: “othering,” as it is sometimes known. ...
Book AnnotationScienceTechnology
NH
Nicole Herbots: When Captain Walton talks about the “wondrous power [of] the needle,” he talks about magnetism and its very first application in a compass. For centuries, people ascribed magical powers to magnetit...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionPhilosophy & Politics
SK
Sally Kitch: Although compassion—empathy or sympathy with the plight of others—and other positive sentiments and virtues may seem inherent personal characteristics, Frankenstein makes clear that circumstances c...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
JT
Jameien Taylor: We can think of kindness from two different perspectives: terminating and ongoing. A terminating perspective focuses on an individual act of kindness as not being valuable in itself but mainly valu...
Book AnnotationHealth & Medicine
AM
Arthur B Markman: The emotions of shock and surprise reflect violations of expectations. When you experience a shock or surprise, your physiology causes you to prepare to understand the situation in greater detail. ...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
JL
JJ LaTourelle: The young, rebellious, intelligent, and ambitious Victor is motivated by the search for glory and public renown. He wants to make a name for himself. He wants not just to be successful but to be br...
Book AnnotationHealth & Medicine
SN
Stephanie Naufel: Although there are separate processing centers in the brain for the various senses, the pattern of how each of these centers processes information is similar. For example, the somatosensory cortex ...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
SA
Sean A Hays: The concept of murder functions like a central litmus test here and throughout the novel. On the one hand, if you see Victor’s creation as a person, then Victor is countenancing murder as he seeks ...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
NP
Nicole Piemonte: Though this work well predates such existential writers as Albert Camus (1913–1960) and John Paul Sartre (1905–1980), Mary’s narrative grapples with many of the same issues, including feelings of a...
Book AnnotationMary ShelleyMotivations & SentimentsPhilosophy & Politics
SA
Sean A Hays: Elizabeth attempts to console Victor with the thought of returning to live together in Geneva, unchanging and undisturbed in their peace and bliss. Mary borrows a verse from her husband, Percy, to ...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & Politics
BM
Ben Minteer: The idea that exposure to nature (or “scenery”) produces unique psychological and spiritual benefits was a common sentiment in romantic literary and artistic circles in the nineteenth century. Ralp...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: This ironic passage speaks of the reality that what appears to be true or what people take to be true is often false. Elizabeth recognizes and expresses to Victor Justine’s innocence and the injust...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsPhilosophy & Politics
Ed Finn: Mary presupposes a direct relationship between knowing the truth and experiencing happiness, though many other works of science fiction suggest otherwise. The Matrix (Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wacho...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
MD
Mary Drago: The nature of truth has been debated by philosophers throughout human history. Difficult decisions about truth or deceit are often made by finding a set of facts to support a preexisting belief. In...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
NP
Nicole Piemonte: After the death of Justine Moritz, Elizabeth is confronted with the unpredictability and temporality of life—that is, the awareness that life is forever changing and moving forward even when its tr...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsScienceTechnology
SK
Sheldon Krimsky: The remorse Victor expresses is reminiscent of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s sentiments when he witnessed the unspeakable power of the atomic bomb. A passage from the Hindu scripture of the Bhagavad-Gita...
Book AnnotationEquity & Inclusion
NP
Nicole Piemonte: The creature experiences fear and terror because his reflection reveals that he looks much different from others whom he has encountered. In this way, his self-knowledge is informed by others—that ...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: The interior anguish Victor experiences is given heightened expression here. Language has limitations, and Victor finds he cannot disclose his interior conflicts. He has a tortured conscience. Inte...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & PoliticsTechnology
MM
Mary Margaret Fonow: This passage reflects the type of justice known as retributive, which relies on punishment to balance the wrong done to the victim and his or her family and to act as a deterrent to others from fut...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: The encounter between Justine and Elizabeth is filled with passion. Justine comes to accept her execution, even if unjust, because she sees it as necessary for her ultimate salvation, and Elizabeth...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsPhilosophy & Politics
AM
April Miller: Victor links his feelings of foreboding to the romantic notion of the sublime, combining that era’s captivation with the immense beauty of the natural world with a perception of its dangers and a w...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsPhilosophy & Politics
HR
Hannah Rogers: Victor’s observation about Clerval underscores the romantic interest in the problem of the degree of imaginative power necessary to the arts versus the sciences. In Biographia literaria (1817), Sam...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: Maintaining his secret and keeping positive human interactions cause Victor distress, but his failure to have positive interactions with the creature causes the creature distress as well. The chall...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
NP
Nicole Piemonte: It is only in hindsight that Victor recognizes the consequences of engaging in unreflective “natural philosophy” or scientific study. Had he seriously considered the ethical consequences of making ...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
NP
Nicole Piemonte: Narrative reflection has transformative power—the process of writing one’s story can actually change one’s understanding of the story. Because reflecting on and writing about an experience can infl...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
NP
Nicole Piemonte: It is understandable that Victor would experience feelings of fear and awe after realizing he successfully created life, especially given the strength and power of his creation. However, abandoning...
Book AnnotationInfluences & Adaptations
JG
Judith Guston: Egyptian mummies were present in the British Museum since the mid-1750s, donated by private antiquity collectors. British attention to ancient Egypt broadened during Napoleon’s campaign of 1798–180...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
MA
Miguel Astor-Aguilera: Victor constantly equates “life” with animation. Does animacy provide life, or is that function served by the metaphysical soul purportedly found within active human bodies? Within Judeo-Christian-...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsPhilosophy & Politics
SE
Stephani Etheridge Woodson: Victor characterizes the moment he succeeds in bringing his creation to life—when the creation opens his eyes and gazes back—as a “catastrophe.” Contrast this scene with the same moment of creation...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScienceTechnology
SN
Stephanie Naufel: Mary refers to a “spark” that animates Victor’s creature and brings him to life. This reference alludes to the use of electricity to reanimate a body, a relatively new idea at the time of this nove...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: Victor’s unease at dealing with body parts from the dead is overpowered by the force of his imagination propelling him to complete his work. The relationship between imagination, creativity, and co...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: Victor here expresses pangs of conscience as he reflects on his singular goal of animating life. To what extent he sees his conscience as a reliable guide is not clear, for in the end he continues ...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineMotivations & SentimentsScience
DH
David H Guston and Jason Scott Robert: Victor’s grave robbing and torture of animals raise the following questions: Do the ends ever justify the means in research or in other areas? If useful data can be gathered through unethical means...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionMotivations & SentimentsPhilosophy & Politics
Joey Eschrich: Victor chooses to conduct his experiments with life in secret; he isolates himself from friends, family, and colleagues at his university. The isolation is both geographical and social. During the ...
Book AnnotationScience
MW
Melissa Wilson Sayres: There is a notion that scientists become so engrossed in their own pursuits that they forget that they are “standing on the shoulders of giants,” as Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1726) put it, and instead...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineInfluences & AdaptationsTechnology
JK
Jonathon Keats: The religious language of this passage connects Victor’s ambitions to a long tradition of humans playing god. In Jewish folklore, for instance, several great rabbis are said to have made clay anima...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
DB
Dominic Berry: With “creation,” Mary draws on some of the widest possible literary themes, and the biblical resonances are emphasized by the creature himself. But creativity and the labor of one’s hands had multi...
KC
Kevon Curry: The theme of making is prevalent in chapter 3.This shows that height of hubris for Victor. Creating human life of unnatural means is a bad idea. Especially since the being is made up of the remains...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
HR
Hannah Rogers: Although Victor begins this passage hesitant of his ability to create a creature like himself, he says that his imagination overtakes his questions. He pictures his imagination as an element of his...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
MA
Miguel Astor-Aguilera: Victor here implies flesh-and-blood immortality because the universe inherently and automatically renews life from death. All life on Earth depends on things cyclically dying as other things, inclu...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
PS
Pablo Schyfter: Victor finds himself chasing a “frame” of flesh and its union with life. His ambition reflects several forms of mechanistic thought current at the time Mary wrote Frankenstein: an understanding of ...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicinePhilosophy & Politics
MA
Miguel Astor-Aguilera: Victor engages materiality in a much different manner than his not-so-distant pre-Enlightenment European brethren. He equates “life” with animate human bodies; however, animated life is found throu...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsTechnology
RC
Robert Cook-Deegan: Victor here claims to have invented a way to instill life. The narrative does not delve into questions of ownership or patenting, but future narratives building on Frankenstein do, in novels (e.g.,...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
MA
Miguel Astor-Aguilera: Biologists can seem godlike in their laboratory research, making decisions pertaining to animal and human life while having little immediate need to answer to anyone save their conscience. What kin...
Book AnnotationScience
David H Guston: A major rationale for the autonomy of science and scientists—that is, their ability to make their own choices free from interference by governments or lay people—in their pursuit of knowledge is th...
Book AnnotationHealth & MedicineScience
HR
Hannah Rogers: Victor suggests a change in the ways that natural philosophy is currently employed as compared to the past. The history he creates suggest that scientists of the past held higher aspirations than h...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & PoliticsScienceTechnology
BA
Braden Allenby: Many scholars argue that science and technology, especially as practiced in the West, have always been about achieving “immortality and power” (see, e.g., The Religion of Technology [1997], where D...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
SB
Sara Brownell: This passage is meant to illustrate a problem with self-learning: the autodidact (someone who teaches himself or herself) may not know the appropriate texts to read or the appropriate way to evalua...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
SB
Sara Brownell: Much of education now is focused on applied learning, in particular technical degrees, and is intended to prepare a skilled workforce. This view was not the dominant one in Mary’s time, when learni...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
SA
Sean A Hays: When Victor describes his grief at the death of his mother, he focuses on its impact on him. He grieves her absence rather than feeling sorrow for the pain she experienced in dying or for the exper...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsPhilosophy & PoliticsScience
CC
Carlos Castillo-Chavez: The idea of a having a single scientific mentor is not ideal, and Victor knows this well. He is mentored by two complementary, imperfect, and valuable individuals—namely, M. Krempe and M. Waldman. ...
Book AnnotationMary ShelleyMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: The death of the mother is seen as evil, indeed as an “irreparable evil.” As a child, Mary would sit by her mother’s grave and read; this is a special form of grief that the created feel when they ...
Book AnnotationScience
David H Guston: Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707–1788), was a French naturalist whose multivolume work Histoire naturelle (Natural history) echoed Pliny the Elder’s. In a century in which natural histo...
Book AnnotationScience
David H Guston: Pliny the Elder (23–79 CE) was a Roman naturalist and natural philosopher who published the encyclopedic text Naturalis historia (Natural history). He died in the explosion of Mount Vesuvius while ...
Book AnnotationMary ShelleyPhilosophy & PoliticsScienceTechnology
DH
Dehlia Hannah: Dramatic encounters with natural phenomena are inspirations for scientific as well as literary imagination. This passage reconstructs the way that the philosopher Francis Bacon (1561–1626) thought ...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionPhilosophy & Politics
SB
Sara Brownell: Accepting the failure to learn as the student’s responsibility can be described as a student-deficit model of instruction, where any gap in learning is the student’s fault and instructors are presu...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
JG
Joel Gereboff: Emotions again serve to express assessments. On the surface, they are assumed to be correct moral judgments, though in the end their accuracy is questioned implicitly when Victor’s rejection and ho...
dS
deji Sholola: This particular portion of the text shows why it is a bad idea to create beings like ourselves . Victor reflects on the situation of creating the creature . If he describes it as a catastrophe ,It...
Book AnnotationScience
AK
Allison Kavey: Cornelius Agrippa remains among the most intellectually compelling magical theologians and natural philosophers of his time. His magnum opus, De occulta philosophia libri tres (Three books of occul...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionPhilosophy & Politics
SB
Sara Brownell: This passage implies that formal education is superior to being self-educated. Further, there is a sentiment that formal schooling can ground someone in truth and that a person trying to learn on h...
Book AnnotationScience
JA
Joel A Klein: Many European alchemists in the Middle Ages and Renaissance believed that it was possible to produce an “elixir” or medicine that could prolong life or even heal all diseases. Some, including Corne...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsScience
JA
Joel A Klein: Alchemy has roots in the ancient world, although the word itself comes from Arabic. It was concerned primarily with the transformation of materials, notably the transmutation of base metals such as...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsMary ShelleyScience
David H Guston: Natural philosophy and natural philosopher were broadly encompassing terms for the theoretical and empirical inquiry into the natural world and those who conducted such inquiries. The latter was us...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
BA
Braden Allenby: This passage is about perceived momentum: the past reconstructed from the viewpoint of the present always appears to have a structure, a momentum, and an obvious path. It is this deep misconception...
Book AnnotationMary ShelleyMotivations & Sentiments
MM
Mary Margaret Fonow: The setting for the story is Geneva, Switzerland, one of the oldest major capitals of Europe, and Victor is from one of its noblest families. He uses his scientific training to create a new life bu...
Book AnnotationInfluences & Adaptations
David H Guston: “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is To have a thankless child!” Perhaps Mary has Victor make this apparent reference to Shakespeare’s play King Lear (I.iv.288–289) to show that he recognizes ...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsPhilosophy & Politics
CC
Carlos Castillo-Chavez: Robert Walton, in letters to his sister, Mrs. Saville, revisits the conditions of his own early life: “[my] education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading … [and I] inherited the f...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsPhilosophy & Politics
MM
Mary Margaret Fonow: This is how Victor appears to the leader of the rescuing ship, Captain Robert Walton, though Walton knows only that Victor is European and not comparable to the seemingly “savage” (here) creature h...
Book AnnotationEquity & Inclusion
Joey Eschrich: Throughout Frankenstein, Mary utilizes an epistolary structure: significant sections of the novel are made up of letters exchanged among the characters. These letters are often long and tender, and...
Book AnnotationInfluences & Adaptations
David H Guston: Mary has Captain Walton allude to the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834). In the poem, which Mary heard Coleridge reading during his many vi...
Book AnnotationMary ShelleyPhilosophy & Politics
MM
Mary Margaret Fonow: There are two meanings to the word nobility, and they are often conflated. The first refers to possessing a character with the highest qualities found in human beings, such as integrity, decency, h...
Book AnnotationEquity & InclusionMary Shelley
RB
Ron Broglio: Throughout the novel, the problem of companionship recurs for Walton, for Victor, and for Victor’s creature. Friendship is one of the foundations for community because it connects the individual to...
Book AnnotationMotivations & Sentiments
David H Guston: Victor articulates a set of hypothesized or imagined consequences for his research should it succeed, including the conquering of death and the creation of a race of beings who would worship him. T...
Book AnnotationPhilosophy & Politics
AA
Ariel Anbar: The phrase manifest destiny emerged in nineteenth-century America. It described the notion that the expansion of the American people, culture, and institutions across North America was a mission of...
Book AnnotationInfluences & AdaptationsScience
BA
Braden Allenby: For moderns, this comment may seem self-evident, if a little florid. But such Promethean ambition does not characterize all historical periods or all cultures or all individuals; rather, it reflect...
Book AnnotationMary ShelleyScience
Jason Scott Robert: Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802), a friend of Mary’s father, William Godwin, was a physician, naturalist, philosopher, and poet. He contributed an early formulation of a single origin for all life, which...
Book AnnotationMotivations & SentimentsScience
David H Guston: The creature is a good if simple empiricist, understanding words for concrete objects but having more difficulty with words that represent abstract concepts. Perhaps at this stage in his developmen...