What Are Some Good Study Notes for "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley?


Quick Answer

Examples of study notes for "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley that coursework on the subject is likely to draw upon include the way the novel shifts in narrative perspective and the role of the written word in the novel. Additionally, students studying the novel should be familiar with its portrayal of women.

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In Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," narrative voice shifts between Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein and the monster. Readers gain new information about the story and the characters' personalities with each shift as it occurs because each character adds important information only he knows. These narrative shifts highlight important themes such as the subjective nature of morality; Victor believes the monster to simply be evil and mindless, while the monster's account shows that it is a sentient, emotional creature.

The novel's story takes place within the letters Robert Walton writes to his sister. These letters contain additional letters that frame Victor's perspective throughout the story. Shelley uses this device to enable the narrative voice of the novel to shift while still following the format of a standard contemporary novel.

In the novel, women are typically represented as innocent, pure and passive beings. Both the monster and Victor view women as ultimate companions, but degrade this assessment by turning women into objects of desire and then objects of revenge.

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