Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dueling Monsters: Frankenstein: Let's Begin

Frankenstein Participants

Anna @ Anna's leesreis - Lezlie @ Books 'N Border Collies - Robin @ My Two Blessings - Michelle @ Fluttering Butterflies ~ Susan @ Plays With Needles ~ Stacey @ Unruly Reader ~ Becky @ Becky's Book Reviews ~ tokemise @ By Hook or By Book ~ Natasha @ Maw Books ~ Valerie @ Life Is A Patchwork Quilt ~ Nicole @ Linus's Blanket ~ Joanne @ The Book Zombie ~ softdrink @ Fizzy Thoughts (she's also hosting the Dracula read-a-long)

If I've missed you or you want to join now let me know! To sign up for the Dracula read-a-long please visit Fizzy Thoughts.

Reading Schedule


I plan to read one chapter per day. With 24 chapters, that should allow me to finish the book just before the end of the month. You can read at whatever pace works for you though.

Posting Schedule

Discussion questions are below. Feel free to answer them or simply keep them in mind as you read. On 10/15 I'll post an update and ask everyone to comment on their progress. If you've answered the questions on your blog or posted about the read-a-long in any way, that will be the place to link up. My review will go up on or before 10/30, then on 10/31 (Halloween!) we'll close out the read-a-long with a recap post that includes links to all your reviews. Feel free to post your review any time this month, just be sure to send me the link when it goes up.

FYI

Frankenstein is too long a name to keep typing over and over so I'm just going to call it Frank from now on. Because I can.

Discussion Suggestions

Are you familiar with a new website called Shmoop? It is a wonderful resource for literary criticism, discussion questions, and much more - and not just for book but for poems, history, etc. There is a detailed section devoted to Frank, and that is where the following questions came from.

There are minor spoilers in the questions, so consider yourself warned.
  1. Victor doesn’t give his monster a name. What does this do for the story? What does it say about us in society today that we think the monster’s name is Frankenstein (besides the fact that we are apparently ill-read)?
  2. How is science portrayed in Frankenstein? Consider that this book was written in the midst of vast scientific advances and the advent of the Industrial Revolution.
  3. How would this novel be different if the characters could let go of their need for revenge?
  4. You might have noticed some Christian influences in this text. To start off, there’s the creator/creation paradigm. And, of course, the monster is compared to Adam. But the monster is also compared to the fallen angel – Satan – and Victor takes on comparisons to God. You could even go so far as to call Victor’s death a sacrifice that makes him a Christ figure. Do the book’s Christian influences force characters to be either good or evil? What might Shelley be saying about this?
  5. Victor does not trust the monster; supposedly, that’s why he breaks his promise to create him a companion. Is the monster trustworthy? Can Victory be trustworthy even though he broke his promise?
  6. We’ve identified two major themes. The first is the fear of science. The second is that ugly people get the shaft. The question is, are these related? Do they compliment each other in any way? Why might Shelley have chosen to explore both these topics in the same novel? Or was she just killing two birds with one stone?
Additional Frank questions can be found at these sites:

If you have read/are reading both Frank and Dracula, here are a few additional questions.
  1. Did you enjoy one book more than the other? Why?
  2. Was one monster scarier than the other?
  3. Did either book (or both) surprise you? Was the story what you expected? Were the monsters what you expected?

Other Ideas?

Since I have not yet read Frank yet I don't know what to expect. If you have questions you'd like to pose to the group or topics you'd like to discuss please suggest them in the comments.


Happy Reading!

7 comments:

Valerie said...

I think you missed me; I'm planning on participating!

the discussion questions are great-- I've already learned that the monster does NOT have a name. Wow.

Nicole said...

I think you missed me for Frankenstein.

Rebecca Reid said...

Hi Heather, I did get Dracula read last month, but I don't think I'm going to get to Frankenstein this month! I forgot I said I'd be joining in!

Heather J. said...

Valerie, Nicole - So sorry! You're both in now. :)

Rebecca - No worries - maybe next time!

Michelle said...

Ha! I just posted tht I was thinking of Dracula and here you've got me down as Frankenstein! (I keep changing my mind!) Maybe I can do both?

Joanne said...

I'd love to read-a-long with Team Frank :)

Thanks for the link to Shmoop too, I could spend hours just browsing. It's almost like the bonus features in DVDs - but for books!

Heather J. said...

Michelle - Either or both, whatever works for you!

Joanne - You're in!

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