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Essay Topics for Frankenstein
Please, analyze and quote the text of the novel only,as your primary source. Do not use any secondary sources or critical essays available online (remember that I always run the plagiarism check through Turnitin). In case you need to review anything related to the essay structure, format and analysis, please refer to the Optional Module on Writing, included after Module Six. This optional module contains the most important information about essay writing from my English 1 class. Regardless of how pressured you might feel, I strongly urge you to refrain from any online borrowing of sources or writing chatbots. I have just completed a course on detecting chatbot writing and I will review each essay carefully. Do not rob your critical and analytical thinking by relying on other sources. Your honesty and creativity, based on the specifics of our class, are the most important tools for success. If you want to support your analysis by a secondary source from a scholarly article, you may use a few short quotes only from the essays available within the book itself – Norton Critical Edition of Frankenstein. Focus on analysis and avoid any plot summary, repetitions or “empty speech”.
Your essay should be 3.5 minimum to 4 pages long and formatted according to the same MLA guidelines as posted in our Optional Writing Module, as well as in student essay samples. In addition to the entire module dedicated to essay structure and writing, I have also included a few Frankenstein essay samples by my previous students. Everything you might need to review in relation to planning, outlining, writing and formatting your essay is covered on our Canvas page.
Choose one of the following topics for your essay. Remember that you will have to focus the topic of your choice into your own, precise thesis. After your introductory paragraph, each body paragraph should focus on one major point in support of your thesis, and then analyze that point by offering evidence only from the text of Frankenstein –quotes and/or paraphrased evidence. Always aim for clarity and precision. Avoid over-generalized or generic statements, “universal truths” and plot summary. We all know the events in the novel. I am interested in your opinion, interpretation, and your ability to analyze Frankenstein, supported by the specific evidence that you consider important.
Is Frankenstein a condemnation of blind ambition and extreme pursuit of “scientific” achievement without regard for consequences and ethical implications? Victor Frankenstein’s own reflections on his career would seem to imply as much. Is he right? Is this what the author wants us to think?
Mary Shelley is careful to outline the progression of the Creature’s awareness, beginning with his earliest sense impressions. This progression seems to duplicate the stages of infant, child, and general human development. Does this account tell us anything important about what it means to be human? How does this relate to his journey from complete innocence to revenge and guilt?
How should we pursue knowledge according to Shelley?
Frankenstein may seem to endorse the common modem sociological premise that antisocial or criminal behavior is conditioned by rage, which in turn is induced by society’s rejection of its marginal members. Does the novel give clear support to this sociological premise?
After Frankenstein’s decision not to create a female mate for the Creature, the latter vows to avenge himself on Frankenstein on his wedding day. Through all the long months during which Frankenstein broods over this threat, it never occurs to him that Elizabeth, and not he himself may be the intended victim. What do you make of his rather incredible lapse of imagination? What is wrong with Victor?
Do Victor and the Creature appear as doubles, two sides of the same mind? Does it seem that Victor, in some way, complies with the Creature’s acts of revenge?
Victor had many opportunities to organize the capture of the Creature and destroy him earlier to prevent more death around him. Why doesn’t he do that? Is he able to?
How do the notions of extreme enterprise, blind ambition, pursuit of power and fame, reflect some of the fundamental ideas within patriarchal structure, hierarchical social order and European views of the world in the 19th century, according to Frankenstein?