Frankenstein

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Frankenstein
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Chapter I.

I am by birth a Genevese; and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. My ancestors had been for many years counsellors and syndics; and my father had filled several public situations with honour and reputation. He was respected by all who knew him for his integrity and indefatigable attention to public business. He passed his younger days perpetually occupied by the affairs of his country; and it was not until the decline of life that he thought of marrying, and bestowing on the state sons who might carry his virtues and his name down to posterity.

As the circumstances of his marriage illustrate his character, I cannot refrain from relating them. One of his most intimate friends was a merchant, who, from a flourishing state, fell, through numerous mischances, into poverty. This man, whose name was Beaufort, was of a proud and unbending disposition, and could not bear to live in poverty and oblivion in the same country where he had formerly been distinguished for his rank and magnificence. Having paid his debts, therefore, in the most honourable manner, he retreated with his daughter to the town of Lucerne, where he lived unknown and in wretchedness. My father loved Beaufort with the truest friendship, and was deeply grieved by his retreat in these unfortunate circumstances. He grieved also for the loss of his society, and resolved to seek him out and endeavour to persuade him to begin the world again through his credit and assistance.

Beaufort had taken effectual measures to conceal himself; and it was ten months before my father discovered his abode. Overjoyed at this discovery, he hastened to the house, which was situated in a mean street, near the Reuss. But when he entered, misery and despair alone welcomed him. Beaufort had saved but a very small sum of money from the wreck of his fortunes; but it was sufficient to provide him with sustenance for some months, and in the mean time he hoped to procure some respectable employment in a merchant’s house. The interval was consequently spent in inaction; his grief only became more deep and rankling, when he had leisure for reflection; and at length it took so fast hold of his mind, that at the end of three months he lay on a bed of sickness, incapable of any exertion.

His daughter attended him with the greatest tenderness; but she saw with despair that their little fund was rapidly decreasing, and that there was no other prospect of support. But Caroline Beaufort possessed a mind of an uncommon mould; and her courage rose to support her in her adversity. She procured plain work; she plaited straw; and by various means contrived to earn a pittance scarcely sufficient to support life.

Several months passed in this manner. Her father grew worse; her time was more entirely occupied in attending him; her means of subsistence decreased; and in the tenth month her father died in her arms, leaving her an orphan and a beggar. This last blow overcame her; and she knelt by Beaufort’s coffin, weeping bitterly, when my father entered the chamber. He came like a protecting spirit to the poor girl, who committed herself to his care, and after the interment of his friend he conducted her to Geneva, and placed her under the protection of a relation. Two years after this event Caroline became his wife.

When my father became a husband and a parent, he found his time so occupied by the duties of his new situation, that he relinquished many of his public employments, and devoted himself to the education of his children. Of these I was the eldest, and the destined successor to all his labours and utility. No creature could have more tender parents than mine. My improvement and health were their constant care, especially as I remained for several years their only child. But before I continue my narrative, I must record an incident which took place when I was four years of age.

My father had a sister, whom he tenderly loved, and who had married early in life an Italian gentleman. Soon after her marriage, she had accompanied her husband into his native country, and for some years my father had very little communication with her. About the time I mentioned she died; and a few months afterwards he received a letter from her husband, acquainting him with his intention of marrying an Italian lady, and requesting my father to take charge of the infant Elizabeth, the only child of his deceased sister. “It is my wish,” he said, “that you should consider her as your own daughter, and educate her thus. Her mother’s fortune is secured to her, the documents of which I will commit to your keeping. Reflect upon this proposition; and decide whether you would prefer educating your niece yourself to her being brought up by a stepmother.”

My father did not hesitate, and immediately went to Italy, that he might accompany the little Elizabeth to her future home. I have often heard my mother say, that she was at that time the most beautiful child she had ever seen, and shewed signs even then of a gentle and affectionate disposition. These indications, and a desire to bind as closely as possible the ties of domestic love, determined my mother to consider Elizabeth as my future wife; a design which she never found reason to repent.

From this time Elizabeth Lavenza became my playfellow, and, as we grew older, my friend. She was docile and good tempered, yet gay and playful as a summer insect. Although she was lively and animated, her feelings were strong and deep, and her disposition uncommonly affectionate. No one could better enjoy liberty, yet no one could submit with more grace than she did to constraint and caprice. Her imagination was luxuriant, yet her capability of application was great. Her person was the image of her mind; her hazel eyes, although as lively as a bird’s, possessed an attractive softness. Her figure was light and airy; and, though capable of enduring great fatigue, she appeared the most fragile creature in the world. While I admired her understanding and fancy, I loved to tend on her, as I should on a favourite animal; and I never saw so much grace both of person and mind united to so little pretension.

Every one adored Elizabeth. If the servants had any request to make, it was always through her intercession. We were strangers to any species of disunion and dispute; for although there was a great dissimilitude in our characters, there was an harmony in that very dissimilitude. I was more calm and philosophical than my companion; yet my temper was not so yielding. My application was of longer endurance; but it was not so severe whilst it endured. I delighted in investigating the facts relative to the actual world; she busied herself in following the aërial creations of the poets. The world was to me a secret, which I desired to discover; to her it was a vacancy, which she sought to people with imaginations of her own.

My brothers were considerably younger than myself; but I had a friend in one of my schoolfellows, who compensated for this deficiency. Henry Clerval was the son of a merchant of Geneva, an intimate friend of my father. He was a boy of singular talent and fancy. I remember, when he was nine years old, he wrote a fairy tale, which was the delight and amazement of all his companions. His favourite study consisted in books of chivalry and romance; and when very young, I can remember, that we used to act plays composed by him out of these favourite books, the principal characters of which were Orlando, Robin Hood, Amadis, and St. George.

No youth could have passed more happily than mine. My parents were indulgent, and my companions amiable. Our studies were never forced; and by some means we always had an end placed in view, which excited us to ardour in the prosecution of them. It was by this method, and not by emulation, that we were urged to application. Elizabeth was not incited to apply herself to drawing, that her companions might not outstrip her; but through the desire of pleasing her aunt, by the representation of some favourite scene done by her own hand. We learned Latin and English, that we might read the writings in those languages; and so far from study being made odious to us through punishment, we loved application, and our amusements would have been the labours of other children. Perhaps we did not read so many books, or learn languages so quickly, as those who are disciplined according to the ordinary methods; but what we learned was impressed the more deeply on our memories.

In this description of our domestic circle I include Henry Clerval; for he was constantly with us. He went to school with me, and generally passed the afternoon at our house; for being an only child, and destitute of companions at home, his father was well pleased that he should find associates at our house; and we were never completely happy when Clerval was absent.

I feel pleasure in dwelling on the recollections of childhood, before misfortune had tainted my mind, and changed its bright visions of extensive usefulness into gloomy and narrow reflections upon self. But, in drawing the picture of my early days, I must not omit to record those events which led, by insensible steps to my after tale of misery: for when I would account to myself for the birth of that passion, which afterwards ruled my destiny, I find it arise, like a mountain river, from ignoble and almost forgotten sources; but, swelling as it proceeded, it became the torrent which, in its course, has swept away all my hopes and joys.

Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate; I desire therefore, in this narration, to state those facts which led to my predilection for that science. When I was thirteen years of age, we all went on a party of pleasure to the baths near Thonon: the inclemency of the weather obliged us to remain a day confined to the inn. In this house I chanced to find a volume of the works of Cornelius Agrippa. I opened it with apathy; the theory which he attempts to demonstrate, and the wonderful facts which he relates, soon changed this feeling into enthusiasm. A new light seemed to dawn upon my mind; and, bounding with joy, I communicated my discovery to my father. I cannot help remarking here the many opportunities instructors possess of directing the attention of their pupils to useful knowledge, which they utterly neglect. My father looked carelessly at the title-page of my book, and said, “Ah! Cornelius Agrippa! My dear Victor, do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash.”

If, instead of this remark, my father had taken the pains to explain to me, that the principles of Agrippa had been entirely exploded, and that a modern system of science had been introduced, which possessed much greater powers than the ancient, because the powers of the latter were chimerical, while those of the former were real and practical; under such circumstances, I should certainly have thrown Agrippa aside, and, with my imagination warmed as it was, should probably have applied myself to the more rational theory of chemistry which has resulted from modern discoveries. It is even possible, that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin. But the cursory glance my father had taken of my volume by no means assured me that he was acquainted with its contents; and I continued to read with the greatest avidity.

When I returned home, my first care was to procure the whole works of this author, and afterwards of Paracelsus and Albertus Magnus. I read and studied the wild fancies of these writers with delight; they appeared to me treasures known to few beside myself; and although I often wished to communicate these secret stores of knowledge to my father, yet his indefinite censure of my favourite Agrippa always withheld me. I disclosed my discoveries to Elizabeth, therefore, under a promise of strict secrecy; but she did not interest herself in the subject, and I was left by her to pursue my studies alone.

It may appear very strange, that a disciple of Albertus Magnus should arise in the eighteenth century; but our family was not scientifical, and I had not attended any of the lectures given at the schools of Geneva. My dreams were therefore undisturbed by reality; and I entered with the greatest diligence into the search of the philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life. But the latter obtained my most undivided attention: wealth was an inferior object; but what glory would attend the discovery, if I could banish disease from the human frame, and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!

Nor were these my only visions. The raising of ghosts or devils was a promise liberally accorded by my favourite authors, the fulfilment of which I most eagerly sought; and if my incantations were always unsuccessful, I attributed the failure rather to my own inexperience and mistake, than to a want of skill or fidelity in my instructors.

The natural phænomena that take place every day before our eyes did not escape my examinations. Distillation, and the wonderful effects of steam, processes of which my favourite authors were utterly ignorant, excited my astonishment; but my utmost wonder was engaged by some experiments on an air-pump, which I saw employed by a gentleman whom we were in the habit of visiting.

The ignorance of the early philosophers on these and several other points served to decrease their credit with me: but I could not entirely throw them aside, before some other system should occupy their place in my mind.

When I was about fifteen years old, we had retired to our house near Belrive, when we witnessed a most violent and terrible thunder-storm. It advanced from behind the mountains of Jura; and the thunder burst at once with frightful loudness from various quarters of the heavens. I remained, while the storm lasted, watching its progress with curiosity and delight. As I stood at the door, on a sudden I beheld a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak, which stood about twenty yards from our house; and so soon as the dazzling light vanished, the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump. When we visited it the next morning, we found the tree shattered in a singular manner. It was not splintered by the shock, but entirely reduced to thin ribbands of wood. I never beheld any thing so utterly destroyed.

The catastrophe of this tree excited my extreme astonishment; and I eagerly inquired of my father the nature and origin of thunder and lightning. He replied, “Electricity”; describing at the same time the various effects of that power. He constructed a small electrical machine, and exhibited a few experiments; he made also a kite, with a wire and string, which drew down that fluid from the clouds.

This last stroke completed the overthrow of Cornelius Agrippa, Albertus Magnus, and Paracelsus, who had so long reigned the lords of my imagination. But by some fatality I did not feel inclined to commence the study of any modern system; and this disinclination was influenced by the following circumstance.

My father expressed a wish that I should attend a course of lectures upon natural philosophy, to which I cheerfully consented. Some accident prevented my attending these lectures until the course was nearly finished. The lecture, being therefore one of the last, was entirely incomprehensible to me. The professor discoursed with the greatest fluency of potassium and boron, of sulphates and oxyds, terms to which I could affix no idea; and I became disgusted with the science of natural philosophy, although I still read Pliny and Buffon with delight, authors, in my estimation, of nearly equal interest and utility.

My occupations at this age were principally the mathematics, and most of the branches of study appertaining to that science. I was busily employed in learning languages; Latin was already familiar to me, and I began to read some of the easiest Greek authors without the help of a lexicon. I also perfectly understood English and German. This is the list of my accomplishments at the age of seventeen; and you may conceive that my hours were fully employed in acquiring and maintaining a knowledge of this various literature.

Another task also devolved upon me, when I became the instructor of my brothers. Ernest was six years younger than myself, and was my principal pupil. He had been afflicted with ill health from his infancy, through which Elizabeth and I had been his constant nurses: his disposition was gentle, but he was incapable of cany severe application. William, the youngest of our family, was yet an infant, and the most beautiful little fellow in the world; his lively blue eyes, dimpled cheeks, and endearing manners, inspired the tenderest affection.

Such was our domestic circle, from which care and pain seemed for ever banished. My father directed our studies, and my mother partook of our enjoyments. Neither of us possessed the slightest pre-eminence over the other; the voice of command was never heard amongst us; but mutual affection engaged us all to comply with and obey the slightest desire of each other.

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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
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Discussions


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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...