1. What are some features of Mary Shelley's style? Do you find the book well-written?
  2. What is the effect of the prominence of the device of doubling in the novel? What are some of the novel's most important doubles? What do the various pairings have in common?
  3. What kind of prior literature may have influenced the writing of Frankenstein? (e. g., Caleb Williams, the Gothic novel by her father,William Godwin)
  4. What purpose is served by the elaborate frame story? By the use of multiple frames? In your view, do these improve the novel?
  5. Wht do you consider may be some possible autobiographical elements in Frankenstein?
  6. Critics have noted the fact that her husband Percy Shelley could have seemed a bold visionary after the manner of Victor Frankenstein. And alternately, can one see a connection between the fact that Mary Shelley was a mother who had lost several offspring either before or after birth and any of the plot elements of the book?
  7. How are weather and landscape used throughout Frankenstein? Why do you think the novel's first and last scenes are set in the frozen north?
  8. What effect is created by the constant emphasis on travel and motion throughout the novel?
  9. Are the patterns to Mary Shelley's presentation of male and female characyers? Why might she have chosen a male protagonist for her book?
  10. What forms of social commentary are implicit or explicit in the novel?
  11. Is the reader expected to judge Victor Frankenstein's actions as good or evil? Which ones are evil--and are there cases of ambiguity? What, for example, does he claim are his motives for seeking the means to create life?
  12. What do you think is the function of Mary Shelley's preface? Of that of her husband? Do they seem to reinforce or contradict each other?
  13. What theme, cautionary message or moral seems to arise from the plot? Is the preface correct in stating that no "interference. . . prejudicing any philosophical doctrine is to be drawn from these pages" What do you think is the function of Mary Shelley's preface? Of that of her husband? Do they seem to reinforce or contradict each other?
  14. Does the novel "speak ot the mysterious forces of our nature"? (i. e., is it frightening?)
  15. How is this story related to the Adam and Eve myth? How does it differ from, say, Milton's treatment of themes of temptation and fall?
  16. Why is the book subtitled, "The Modern Prometheus"? How does this "modern" Prometheus differ from the original?
  17. What makes Frankenstein a Romantic novel--that is, how does it resemble other works associated with British Romanticism?
  18. Using this novel as evidence, what do you think may have been some early 19th century scientific preoccupations?
  19. Are there psychological implausibilities built into this narrative? If so, are these flaws or further additions to its themes?
  20. What is the allegorical significance of the novel's ending? Do you find it appropriate?
  21. Would you describe Frankenstein as melodramatic? Allegorical? A form of science fiction?
  22. If you have seen film adaptations of Frankenstein, how do these differ from the original? Why do you think these changes were made?
  23. Can you think of more recent works which were influenced by Frankenstein? (e. g., Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Grendel)
  24. Were this novel to be recast for a contemporary audience, how do you think it might be altered?