Hunter's English 225


Schedule of Assignments
Frankenstein E-Text Link
Other Useful Links

Reader Response for Discussion

At least ten bullet points for class discussion - questions, observations or items of interest - typed.


1.  Personal Reading Response (2-3 pages)

As you begin reading Frankenstein, what is your reaction to the novel?  How do you feel as a reader when confronted with the style of language from the novel?  What frustrates you or to what do you react favorably?  What themes or symbols stand out to you and why do you consider them important?  How does the novel compare in content or style to other forms of writing to which you are accustomed?  Have you read the novel before?  If so, how is this reading different, if not, how does the story compare to your expectations based on your conception of the novel?  Ultimately, does this novel speak to you as a modern reader?  Why or why not?


2.  Placing the Blame /Free Will vs. Determinism (4-5 pages)

Who is at fault?  Are the creatures murderous acts the result of his circumstances (is he justified?) or does he have a realistic choice to live a different way?  How have others interpreted this theme?  Are there historical considerations? (such as the difference in social structure between 1818 and today?)  Why did Mary Shelley structure the plot the way she did? This is not an opinion paper; it is your first foray into critical analysis.  You will need to make specific references to the novel and include outside resources to make or prove your propositions.  This should be a complete, well defended argument and examination of the topic. Bibliography must include at least three scholarly articles.


3.  Research Paper (5-7 pages)

Science Fiction as Social Commentary

Choose a popular film, book or play that explores social themes and provides critical social commentary.  This requires close reading or viewing of the material and an exploration of how this relates to contemporary issues.  Evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment of the topic.  Scholarly research is an integral aspect of this paper.  Bibliography must include at least four scholarly articles.


Suggested Movies/Books:



Johnny Mnemonic

Jurassic Park                                         

Fahrenheit 451                          

Soylent Green

Planet of the Apes                                 

Brave New World                      


Invasion of the Body Snatchers               

A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)          

Total Recall

Minority Report                                     

Silent Running                           

The Matrix


Suggested Authors:

Ray Bradbury                

Isaac Asimov                

Bruce Sterling               

Michael Crichton

Robert Heinlein             

Carl Sagan                   

H.G. Wells                    

George Orwell

David Brin                     

William Gibson              

Aldous Huxley               

Robert Louis Stevenson


4.  Critical Analysis Paper (8-10 pages)

Choose one of the following analytical theories and apply it to Frankenstein in order to render what you feel is the most accurate interpretation.  This requires you to do a close reading of the text and also display a command of the theoretical approach that you are using.  Explore the characters and how they serve as metaphors that vary according to different interpretations.  Be sure to point out the pitfalls and shortcomings of your approach as well as the advantages over other methods.  Additional historical research will be necessary.  Bibliography must include at least five scholarly articles.


1   Freudian

2   Feminist

3   Marxist

4   Cultural / Historical

5   Gender


Pre-Writing Packs


These include all of the following:


-Outline (in proper Roman numeral MLA style)

-One paragraph summary

-Annotated Bibliography