frankenstein part 2


  • Read Frankenstein, Chapters 9- 16 and complete the Starting Points workbook questions.

in the monster's own words

  • Chapter 9: Travels in the Countryside

  • Chapter 10: His Creation Speaks

  • Chapter 11: The Cottage

  • Chapter 12: The Adopted Family

  • Chapter 13: School is in Session

  • Chapter 14: The Family History

  • Chapter 15: Now or Never

  • Chapter 16: The Monster Emerges

In searching for his humanity, the Monster finds three books abandoned on the ground:

Plutarch's "Lives": Plutarch's method was to give details of the birth, youth, achievements, and death of his characters, followed by a formal comparison. His biographies are enriched with frequent ethical reflections and anecdotes. He is essentially a moralist whose aim is to edify the reader.

Goethe's "Sorrows of Werter": Most of The Sorrows of Young Werther, a story about a young man's extreme response to unrequited love, is presented as a collection of letters written by Werther, a young artist of a sensitive and passionate temperament, to his friend Wilhelm.

Milton's "Paradise Lost": This epic poem discusses evil, its origins, and the consequences of evil behavior. These books point to major themes of the novel.

The creation says, “I learned from Werter’s imaginations despondency and gloom: but Plutarch taught me high thoughts; he elevated me above the wretched sphere of my own reflections, to admire and love the heroes of past ages” (91). He goes on, “But Paradise Lost excited different and far deeper emotions” (92). In reading Milton’s masterpiece, the creature realizes his position as part of a creation: “Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence; but his state was far different from mine in every other respect. He had come forth from the hands of God a perfect creature [. . .] but I was wretched, helpless, and alone”

His brief (and rather incomplete) course in the humanities allows the monster to understand his own position in the world, a position he tries to establish by observing the cottagers to no avail. After gaining language and reading (which many critics cite as a hole in Shelley’s story—how does this creation learn to read without tutorial?), the monster finally becomes able to decipher papers that discuss his creation. Reminding the reader of the journal he finds in the pocket of what are now his clothes, he says:

At first I had neglected them; but now that I was able to decipher the characters in which they were written, I began to study them with diligence. It was your [here he speaks to Victor Frankenstein] journal of the four months that preceded my creation. [. . .] Every thing is related in them which bears reference to my accursed origin; the whole detail of that series of disgusting circumstances which produced it is set in view; the minutest description of my odious and loathsome person is given, in language which painted your own horrors, and rendered mine indelible. (92-3)

Now armed with knowledge, the monster renders himself able to colloquially “put together the pieces” of his quasi-humanity and understand his mind and spirit. Source


  • ASAP go take the Class Reflection Survey.

  • Read Frankenstein, Chapters 17-24 and complete the Starting Points workbook questions.