Frankenstein Study Guide

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Study Guide for Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


To the Teachern
The Glencoe Literature Library presents full-length novels and plays bound together with shorter selections of various genres that relate by theme or topic to the main reading. Each work in the Library has a two-part Study Guide that contains a variety of resources for both you and your students. Use the Guide to plan your instruction of the work and enrich your classroom presentations. In For the Teacher you will find these time-saving instructor aids: • About the Work: pertinent background information on the work and a detailed synopsis of its plot. • Media Links: annotated listings of audio, visual, electronic, and print
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The story opens and ends with the letters of an explorer named Robert Walton, who is searching for the source of magnetism in the northern polar regions. There he finds and rescues Dr. Victor Frankenstein from certain death in the icy ocean. While he is recovering, Frankenstein tells Walton the story of his life. Set within Frankenstein’s narrative and Walton’s letters is the first-person story told by the creature Frankenstein created. Frankenstein, a young man from a happy family in Geneva, Switzerland, becomes obsessed with the idea of bestowing life on inanimate matter. He studies chemistry and new theories of electricity at a German university. With this knowledge and with body parts from corpses, Frankenstein creates a large manlike being and brings it to life with an electric spark. Finding the creature grotesquely ugly when it is animated, Frankenstein runs away from it. The creature quickly disappears. For months afterward, Frankenstein suffers from what he calls a “nervous fever” in which hallucinations of the creature torment him. After his recovery, Frankenstein learns that his young brother William has been murdered near the family home in Switzerland. A young woman who lived with the Frankenstein family is unjustly accused and hanged for the child’s murder. On his trip home, Frankenstein sees the creature and realizes that he killed the child. Frankenstein seeks solitude high in the Alps, and
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