Add Frankenstein to the list of possible paper topics; don’t forget blog posts and comments are due by 9 p.m.

Don’t forget: blog posts and comments are due tonight by 9 p.m.

Also, here’s the exhibit on Frankenstein that I showed you: http://exhibitions.nypl.org/biblion/outsiders

As we talked about in class today, you’re welcome to write about Frankenstein for Paper 1.

The exercise we did today in class has some possible topics, or you could create your own. Here’s the exercise for those who may not have been in class:

Directions: Frankenstein poses a series of binary oppositions but suggests that instead of a dividing line, they exist on a continuum or sliding scale. Together with another member of the class, choose one of these opposing pairs or another set of oppositions that you noticed in the text and explore the way they operate in the novel. Which part of the pair is more important, and why?

Be sure to note the page numbers or chapters where you find passages to support your point. The questions below are just to get you started; you can pose your own questions to the class.

  1. Freedom/slavery (Who controls or owns another? Who is owned?)
  2. Victim/villain (Who is the victim and who is the villain?)
  3. Justice/mercy (Who is punished and who is rewarded? Who extends mercy and who exacts justice?)
  4. Human/nonhuman (Is the monster human?)
  5. Rationality/madness (How does Victor embody either or both of these extremes?)
  6. Reason/passion (Where is the language of reason and passion used?)
  7. Health/illness (Why is Victor so frequently ill?)
  8. Life/death (What is the line between life and death? What happens when it is crossed?)
  9. Innocence/guilt (Who is at fault for the many deaths in this novel? Who is rightly or wrongly accused?)
  10. Family, parenthood, and community/isolation and being an outcast
  11. Science/nature (Does science have limits?)
  12. Nature/society (What is the difference between the rules of nature and society?)
  13. Sublime/picturesque (What role does landscape and geography play in the novel? P. 128)
  14. Education through books/ education through experience
  15. Creation/Destruction (Who has the power to create? Can the creator destroy his or her creation in the novel’s moral framework?)
  16. Characters or incidents that exist as counterpoints of each other:
    • Henry Clerval/Victor Frankenstein
    • Victor Frankenstein/the monster
    • Elizabeth / Justine (or the monster’s bride p. 138)
    • Henry Clerval / the monster
    • Richard Walton / the monster (or Frankenstein)
    • Victor Frankenstein / his father
    • The murders in the novel
    • The alternate tales in the novel (Safie, the DeLacey family)
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