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Flashcards in Frankenstein Oral Exam Review Deck (40):
1

How did the monster learn language?

The creature learns to speak, to read, and to write a little based on the lessons Felix gives to Agatha in their home from the chink in the wall that connected the hovel and their cottage. Once he learns to read, he reads Victor's journals and the books that were in the leather case in Victor's cloak. The books are Milton's Paradise Lost, Plutarch's Lives, and the Sorrows of Werter.

2

How did the monster deal with language?

I believe that the monster's introduction was basically his introduction to knowledge. Like Victor, the monster comes to regard knowledge as dangerous, as it can have unforeseen negative consequences. After realizing that he is horribly different from human beings, the monster cries, “Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind, when it has once seized on it, like a lichen on the rock.” Knowledge is permanent and irreversible; once gained, it cannot be dispossessed.

3

How does the monster deal with being an outcast?

Throughout his narrative, the monster laments over man's cruelty to those who are different. Indeed, Frankenstein's monster is an outcast-he doesn't belong in human society. Yet the monster's alienation from society, his unfulfilled desire for a companion with whom to share his life, and his ongoing struggle for revenge, are all shared by his creator. As the story develops, Victor becomes increasingly like his creation. Both live in relative isolation from society, both hate their own miserable lives, and both know suffering. Shelley, through this theme, paints a very bleak portrait of man and his relationship with outsiders, as well as the cruel vengeance of society.

4

What is the tone of the last three chapters?

Chapter 22: Anxiety because of Frankenstein's feeling of the impending confrontation with his monster
Chapter 23: Grief at Elizabeth's murder by the monster's hand and then desperation as he realizes he must finally reveal his biggest secret
Chapter 24: Determination for finding and killing his monster in vengeance at to the chaos and grief he has caused his family; Watson: Lamenting that he didn't know Frankenstein in better days before the chaos of the monster and reluctantly accepting that he will not continue his journey onward to discover new land

5

Victor's thoughts about the female companion

The monster tells Victor that it is his right to have a female monster companion. Victor refuses at first, but the monster appeals to Victor’s sense of responsibility as his creator. He tells Victor that all of his evil actions have been the result of a desperate loneliness. He promises to take his new mate to South America to hide in the jungle far from human contact. With the sympathy of a fellow monster, he argues, he will no longer be compelled to kill. Convinced by these arguments, Victor finally agrees to create a female monster. Overjoyed but still skeptical, the monster tells Victor that he will monitor Victor’s progress and that Victor need not worry about contacting him when his work is done. (Chapter 17)

6

How far did Victor get with creating the female companion? What did he do after?

He was at first reluctant to start but eventually realized that he must complete the task before he married Elizabeth, so he went to a secluded island of Orkneys to do his project. While working one night, Victor begins to think about what might happen after he finishes his creation. He imagines that his new creature might not want to seclude herself, as the monster had promised, or that the two creatures might have children, creating “a race of devils . . . on the earth.” In the midst of these reflections and growing concern, Victor looks up to see the monster grinning at him through the window. Overcome by the monster’s hideousness and the possibility of a second creature like him, he destroys his work in progress.

7

Where did Shelley's idea for Frankenstein come from?

•The story of Frankenstein came from a ghost story party in 1816. One evening Lord Byron and Percy Shelley were arguing over whether human life could be artificially created; then, the matters of galvanism and reanimation of corpses were brought up. This was when Mary Shelley was struck with the idea when she tried to sleep and stayed up to write her tale of Frankenstein.
•Influences for Frankenstein include: John Milton's "Paradise Lost", which involves the concept of the alienation from God and a vengeful posture (the creature's attributes); the legend of Prometheus, which alludes to the existence of treacherous or neglectful gods (in this case, Victor Frankenstein himself), Mario Praz's "Three Gothic Novels" which describes the numerous scientific attempts in the eighteenth century to create artificial men and automatons; and William Godwin's philosophies, which declare that man in his wild state is a social being, capable of living in affectionate cooperation (like the cottagers in the story)

8

The creature's threat to Victor

The monster becomes enraged at Victor for breaking his promise, and at the prospect of his own continued solitude. He curses and vows revenge, then departs, swearing that he will be with Victor on his wedding night.

9

Themes

Dangerous Knowledge: can be seen through the eventually chaotic monstrous creation of Victor which led to the deaths of numerous people who were close to him, and Walton's daring exploration into uncharted territory which led to his boat being trapped between ice sheets
Nature: initially was the way Victor was relieved of his guilt and worries, but eventually the natural world’s power to console him wanes when he realizes that the monster will haunt him no matter where he goes
Monstrosity: monster-his monstrosity results not only from his grotesque appearance but also from the unnatural manner of his creation, which involves the secretive animation of a mix of stolen body parts and strange chemicals. He is a product not of collaborative scientific effort but of dark, supernatural workings. ; Victor-a kind of monster, as his ambition, secrecy, and selfishness alienate him from human society
Secrecy: Victor’s entire obsession with creating life is shrouded in secrecy, and his obsession with destroying the monster remains equally secret until Walton hears his tale.
Victor continues in his secrecy out of shame and guilt while the monster is forced into seclusion by his grotesque appearance.
Texts: . The profusion of texts (in form of letters, notes, journals, inscriptions, and books) is an important aspect of the narrative structure, as the various writings serve as concrete manifestations of characters’ attitudes and emotions.

10

The Experiment (evidence, facts, professor's impact)

*Frankenstein became interested in Chemistry due to his professor M. Waldman, who mentioned what chemists had accomplished much and gave Frankenstein a list of books to read.
* For the experiment, Frankenstein collected bones from charnel-houses; the dissecting room and slaughter-house provided most of Frankenstein’s materials. He kept all of these materials within a solitary room at the top of his Ingolstadt house. He finished the monster on November, at one in the morning. The experiment took Frankenstein two years to complete.
*As soon as Frankenstein finished his work, he became horrified and ran away.

11

Symbols

The storm: A character’s imminent death. Examples: the storms before Elizabeth’s and Clerval’s deaths.
Adam and Satan (Paradise Lost). Adam represents the monster’s lack of links to anything else in existence. Satan represents the monster’s bitterness and envy.
Light: Knowledge, discovery, and enlightenment. Because nature is full of darkness and mystery, the goal of scientists is to reach light.
Fire: A dangerous and powerful form of light; it can create light in darkness, but it will also cause harm. Example: The monster’s first interaction with fire.

12

Victor’s Biggest Mistake

Creating life and not taking responsibility for his creation

13

The Fatal Ending

Henry, Elizabeth, and Alphonse dead.
Victor falls into misery and , pursuing the monster to the North Pole, passes away (to sickness) in Walton’s ship.
The monster never found love and friendship, and he’s willing to die

14

The Creature’s enemies

•Frankenstein:
Because Frankenstein deprived the monster from love and happiness, the monster chose to instill fear and misery on him by killing his relatives.
•Society's prejudice.
For his appearance, society automatically assumes the monster can only cause harm, as seen in:
a)The scene where the monster converses to the old man in Felix and Safie's cottage. Felix quickly struck the monster as soon as he saw it.
b)The scene where the monster saves a little girl from drowning. Instead of thanking it for saving a life, the man with whom the girl had been playing shot the monster. For this, the monster vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all of mankind.

15

Purpose of Henry’s and Victor’s Journey

For Victor:
• To obtain knowledge in order to create the second monster
• To hide his sensations and feelings during the progression of his creation.
• To not work on the creation near his beloved ones.
For Henry:
• To ultimately visit India and assist in the progress of European colonization and trade.

16

Morals

• Victor should not have tried to play God
• Victor acted immorally by walking away from his creation.

17

The creature and its pain

• When the monster ran away from Felix and Safie, it gave vent to its pain in fearful howlings, destroying any objects that obstructed him and moving through the woods with much swiftness.

18

Consequences of One’s Actions

“If you don’t take responsibility for your actions, you will face the consequences.”
• Victor pursues the powers of science without accounting for their consequences.
• Frankenstein rejected his creation, depriving it from love and happiness. Therefore, the monster began hating Frankenstein.
• Frankenstein kept the monster’s existence in secret. Therefore, his own family was unprepared for any potential attacks the monster might have executed.
• Victor destroyed the monster’s future companion. Therefore, the monster made Victor extremely miserable by killing his friend (Clerval) and bride (Elizabeth).

19

Interferring with Nature

• Victor sought to bestow life upon inanimate matter. This was immoral, as granting life is an action exclusive to nature.
• Opponents of stem cell research claim that it is immoral, as it involves the destruction of an embryo which would otherwise have become a fully developed human being.
• In human cloning, embryos are created through asexual means and then destroyed for their stem cells. This is obviously extremely immoral.

20

“I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.” – Victor Frankenstein

“In this field of Chemistry, many things have been accomplished. By walking the footsteps of previous scientists, I will achieve so much more than the world has ever seen.”

21

What important lesson did the creature learn about himself?

• He won’t ever find sympathy because, for himself, happiness and affection became bitter and loathsome despair.
• He never satisfied his desires of love and fellowship

22

The reasoning behind Victor destroying his scientific instruments and all evidence.

Leaving the evidence of the experiment behind would only create horror and suspicion among the island’s habitants.

23

Why do you suppose Robert decides to head home after Victor dies?

Robert likely decided to head home because one of Victor’s last requests was to “seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition”. (The crew’s initial goal to reach the North Pole was an endeavor driven entirely by ambition and glory.)

24

How does John Milton’s Paradise Lost have an effect on the creature?

• The creature identified with Adam, as both were not apparently linked to any other being in existence; however, Adam had been a perfect being created by God, and the creature had been born a wretch doomed to helplessness and solitude.
• It also identified with Satan, as when it saw the happiness of its protectors, envy and bitterness enveloped its feelings.

25

The Experiment (evidence, facts, professor's impact)

*Frankenstein became interested in Chemistry due to his professor M. Waldman, who mentioned what chemists had accomplished much and gave Frankenstein a list of books to read.
* For the experiment, Frankenstein collected bones from charnel-houses; the dissecting room and slaughter-house provided most of Frankenstein’s materials. He kept all of these materials within a solitary room at the top of his Ingolstadt house. He finished the monster on November, at one in the morning. The experiment took Frankenstein two years to complete.
*As soon as Frankenstein finished his work, he became horrified and ran away.

26

Symbols

The storm: A character’s imminent death. Examples: the storms before Elizabeth’s and Clerval’s deaths.
Adam and Satan (Paradise Lost). Adam represents the monster’s lack of links to anything else in existence. Satan represents the monster’s bitterness and envy.
Light: Knowledge, discovery, and enlightenment. Because nature is full of darkness and mystery, the goal of scientists is to reach light.
Fire: A dangerous and powerful form of light; it can create light in darkness, but it will also cause harm. Example: The monster’s first interaction with fire.

27

Victor’s Biggest Mistake

Creating life and not taking responsibility for his creation

28

The Fatal Ending

Henry, Elizabeth, and Alphonse dead.
Victor falls into misery and , pursuing the monster to the North Pole, passes away (to sickness) in Walton’s ship.
The monster never found love and friendship, and he’s willing to die

29

The Creature’s enemies

Frankenstein.Because Frankenstein deprived the monster from love and happiness, the monster chose to instill fear and misery on him by killing his relatives.
Society’s prejudice.
For his appearance, society automatically assumes the monster can only cause harm, as seen in:
• The scene where the monster converses to the old man in Felix and Safie’s cottage. Felix quickly struck the monster as soon as he saw it.
• The scene where the monster saves a little girl from drowning. Instead of thanking it for saving a life, the man with whom the girl had been playing shot the monster. For this, the monster vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all of mankind.

30

Purpose of Henry’s and Victor’s Journey

For Victor:
• To obtain knowledge in order to create the second monster
• To hide his sensations and feelings during the progression of his creation.
• To not work on the creation near his beloved ones.
For Henry:
• To ultimately visit India and assist in the progress of European colonization and trade.

31

Morals

• Victor should not have tried to play God
• Victor acted immorally by walking away from his creation.

32

The creature and its pain

• When the monster ran away from Felix and Safie, it gave vent to its pain in fearful howlings, destroying any objects that obstructed him and moving through the woods with much swiftness.

33

Consequences of One’s Actions

“If you don’t take responsibility for your actions, you will face the consequences.”
• Victor pursues the powers of science without accounting for their consequences.
• Frankenstein rejected his creation, depriving it from love and happiness. Therefore, the monster began hating Frankenstein.
• Frankenstein kept the monster’s existence in secret. Therefore, his own family was unprepared for any potential attacks the monster might have executed.
• Victor destroyed the monster’s future companion. Therefore, the monster made Victor extremely miserable by killing his friend (Clerval) and bride (Elizabeth).

34

Interferring with Nature

• Victor sought to bestow life upon inanimate matter. This was immoral, as granting life is an action exclusive to nature.
• Opponents of stem cell research claim that it is immoral, as it involves the destruction of an embryo which would otherwise have become a fully developed human being.
• In human cloning, embryos are created through asexual means and then destroyed for their stem cells. This is obviously extremely immoral.

35

“I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.” – Victor Frankenstein

“In this field of Chemistry, many things have been accomplished. By walking the footsteps of previous scientists, I will achieve so much more than the world has ever seen.”

36

What important lesson did the creature learn about himself?

• He won’t ever find sympathy because, for himself, happiness and affection became bitter and loathsome despair.
• He never satisfied his desires of love and fellowship

37

The reasoning behind Victor destroying his scientific instruments and all evidence.

Leaving the evidence of the experiment behind would only create horror and suspicion among the island’s habitants.

38

Why do you suppose Robert decides to head home after Victor dies?

Robert likely decided to head home because one of Victor’s last requests was to “seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition”. (The crew’s initial goal to reach the North Pole was an endeavor driven entirely by ambition and glory.)

39

How does John Milton’s Paradise Lost have an effect on the creature?

• The creature identified with Adam, as both were not apparently linked to any other being in existence; however, Adam had been a perfect being created by God, and the creature had been born a wretch doomed to helplessness and solitude.
• It also identified with Satan, as when it saw the happiness of its protectors, envy and bitterness enveloped its feelings.

40

Another Misfit/Monster

As the story develops, Victor becomes increasingly like his creation. Both live in relative isolation from society, both hate their own miserable lives, and both know suffering. Shelley, through this theme, paints a very bleak portrait of man and his relationship with outsiders, as well as the cruel vengeance of society.