Chs. 1-10 of Frankenstein Flashcard Example #96853

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Why did Mary Shelley write Frankenstein?
She wrote it as a response to a challenge by Lord Byron to think of a ghost story.
What discussions influenced the development of her idea?
She was listening to her husband, Shelley, and Lord Byron talk about the nature of life, and the
possibility of creating a creature.
In the preface, what does the author say she is trying to preserve?
She is trying to “preserve the truth of the elementary principles of human nature.”
What is the structure, or form, of the novel?
It is an epistolary novel. This means it is written as a series of letters.
Who was writing the letters?
They were written by Robert Walton.
To whom were the letters written?
They were written to Walton’s sister, Mrs. Margaret Saville, in England.
Where was the writer, and why was he there?
He was in the Arctic, exploring unknown regions.
How did he meet Victor Frankenstein?
He and the crew found Frankenstein stuck on a large piece of ice. They rescued him and
brought him aboard their vessel.
How did Robert feel about his guest?
He liked Frankenstein, and hoped they would become friends.
Why was Frankenstein in the Arctic?
He was pursuing the creature.
Who told this part of the story?
Victor Frankenstein told his story to Robert Walton.
How did Elizabeth come to live with the Frankensteins?
Caroline Frankenstein saw her with a peasant family, and offered to raise her in better
circumstances.
Who was Frankenstein’s closest friend?
It was Henry Clerval.
What was one of the themes of the writers who influenced Frankenstein?
The authors he liked wrote about raising ghosts or devils. He tried to mimic them.
What natural phenomena influenced Frankenstein?
He watched a tree being hit by lightning during a storm. He became interested in the theories of
electricity and galvanism.
What two major events happened to Frankenstein when he was seventeen?
His mother died and he went to the university at Inglostadt to study.
What goal did Frankenstein decide to pursue?
He wanted to try to renew life in a corpse, to “bestow animation upon lifeless matter.”
How did Frankenstein feel when his experiment succeeded, and the creature came to life?
He was horrified and disgusted.
What happened to Frankenstein the day after he completed his creation?
He became ill with a fever and delirium for several months.
Who took care of Frankenstein during his illness?
Henry Clerval did.
What did Clerval give Frankenstein when he was better?
He gave him a letter from Elisabeth.
How did Frankenstein and Clerval spend the next several months?
Frankenstein introduced Clerval to the professors. They studied and went for walks.
What news did the letter from Frankenstein’s father bring?
Frankenstein’s youngest brother, William, had been murdered.
What did Frankenstein see just outside the gates of Geneva as he was returning home?
He saw the monster he had created.
Who was accused of committing the murder, and why?
Justine, who lived with the family, was accused. She had not been with the family on the night
William was murdered. Several people had seen her the next morning looking confused and
frightened. A servant found the locket that Elizabeth had given to William in Justine’s pocket.
What was Frankenstein’s reaction to this accusation?
He was sure the creature had committed the murder. He was torn between wanting to save
Justine and not wanting to reveal his horrible secret to anyone. He considered himself the real
murderer.
What did Frankenstein do about his dilemma?
He appealed to the courts to let Justine go free, and told his family that she was innocent, but he
did not tell anyone about the creature.
What happened to the accused person?
She confessed under pressure from her priest. She was convicted and hanged.
What was Frankenstein’s state of mind after the trial and its conclusion?
He was filled with remorse for all he had done. He was also fearful that the creature would
commit other crimes.
Where did Frankenstein go to seek relief?
He traveled to the Alpine valley and the village of Chamounix.
Whom did Frankenstein meet after he had ascended to the summit of Montanvert?
He met his creature.
How did Frankenstein react to this meeting?
He was full of rage and horror. He threatened to kill the creature.
What did the creature want of Frankenstein?
He wanted Frankenstein to listen to the account of his life so far.
Elizabeth Lavenza
Victor’s sister by adoption, and later
his wife. A stunningly beautiful and remarkably pure girl whom Victor’s mother adopts. All the Frankensteins adore her, and Victor, about four years her elder, quickly begins to “protect, love, and cherish” her. Eventually she and Victor marry. Through all of it, she remains gorgeous, pure, and passive.
Henry Clerval
Victor’s dear friend from childhood. Victor describes him as having a vast imagination, a sensitive heart, and boundless love of nature. He serves as Victor’s guiding light throughout Frankenstein, selflessly helping Victor but never prodding him to reveal his secrets. His optimism also stands in contrast to Victor’s gloominess.
Alphonse Frankenstein
Victor’s father. A devoted husband and parent, and a well-respected public magistrate. He is a loving father to Victor, and a man who believes in family and society.
Justine Moritz
A young woman who the Frankensteins adopt at the age of 12. She is convicted of the murder of William Frankenstein on circumstantial evidence and executed. Though all the Frankenstein’s believe she is innocent, only Victor knows that the monster is the true murderer.
William Frankenstein
Victor’s youngest brother, beloved by everyone. The monster strangles him in a forest near Geneva.
Ernest Frankestein
Victor’s younger brother by six years. He is the only Frankenstein to survive the novel.
Caroline Beaufort
Beaufort’s daughter, Victor’s mother, and Alphonse Frankenstein’s wife. She is an example of idealized womanhood: smart, kind, generous, and resourceful. She dies of scarlet fever when Victor is seventeen.
Beaufort
Caroline’s father and a close friend to Alphonse Frankenstein. He was a merchant who fell into poverty and moved to Lucerne with his daughter. He died soon thereafter.
Margaret Saville
Robert Walton’s sister and the recipient of his letters, which frame the novel.
M. Waldman
Victor’s chemistry professor at Ingolstadt. He supports Victor’s pursuit of “natural philosophy,” especially
chemistry, and becomes a mentor to Victor.
M. Krempe
Victor’s professor of natural philosophy at Ingolstadt. A short squat conceited man, he calls Victor’s
studies “nonsense.”
Captain Robert Walton
Obsessed with finding the North Pole, his journey to the Arctic crosses paths with the tormented Victor Frankenstein.
Victor Frankenstein
Protagonist. A young brilliant doctor obsessed with cheating death.
Creature/Monster
Antagonist. Victor’s creation abandoned by his “creator” out of fear and disgust.
Setting
Switzerland, France, England, Scotland, and the North Pole in the 18th century.
Point of View
Shelley creates dramatic intensity by having one narrator, Walton, begin the story and then become the listener and recorder for a second narrator, Frankenstein.
Frame device
The tale is told to us by someone who reads it or hears it from someone else, Shelley invites readers to believe Victor’s story through an objective person.
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