Week 7 (p.121-148):
Chapters 19-23
1. Find a picture online of the Orkneys ‘hardly more than a rock, whose high sides were continually beaten upon by waves' - why does Frankenstein, after travelling the whole country, settle here for making the creature's companion? Why is the setting important?
After travelling around the whole country, Victor decides he wants to "finish my work in solitude" (p.125) and therefore settles at the Orkney's. Shelley has chosen to set the creation of the creature companion here because it was an island with "three miserable huts" and "all the sense of the cottagers been benumbed" (p.125). Here the idea of being ‘benumbed' and deprived of physical or emotional feeling must have been appealing to Frankenstein since the thoughts of creating this companion "possessed" (p.124) Frankenstein and caused him to feel "miserable, and overcome by a thousand fears" (p.124). It is important because it is not well known and is a place that Victor can be ‘benumbed' and will help stop him thinking about what he is doing as it is a place of solidarity.
2. Why, when so close to completing the female creature, does Frankenstein destroy it? Does he do the right thing?
Frankenstein realises how the creation of the creature could "inflict this curse upon everlasting generations" and argues that although the creature had "sworn to quit the neighbourhood of man and hide in deserts…she had not" (p.126) and Frankenstein began to consider the fact that if he created the creatures companion "she might become ten thousand times more malignant than her mate" who "might refuse to comply with a compact made before her creation" (p.127). Although Frankenstein is right in considering the effect that this may have on humanity, he doesn't fear the effect that this will have on him. This proves to be unfortunate when he is accused of the killing of Clerval .
3. Consider the conversation between Frankenstein and the Creature on p.128 - what are the most important things that happen in this conversation? Who do you think has the power in this conversation (justify your answer).
The most important things that happen in this conversation is that the Creature is no longer open to compromises as he has once again been lied to by Frankenstein and shown false hope of having a companion created for him. At this point in the novel, we see the power shift that has been building up throughout the novel. Frankenstein began by fearing "the effects of the daemon's disappointment" (p.124) which shows how much control the Creature already had over Frankenstein. It is then clear that the Monster has the power in this conversation as he tells Frankenstein "You are my creator, but I am your master;-obey!"(p.128) and then refers to him as "slave!" This is also important because we know that Frankenstein created the creature with his intentions being to control it however ever since the creation, Frankenstein has allowed the Creature to contr ol and have power in his life.
4. How is Frankenstein's laboratory described on p.130? How does Shelley present science here?
Frankenstein ' s laboratory is described as a "chamber" (p.130) which suggests that it is a place of imprisonment for him especially when he was creating the Creatures companion Also, we see how Frankenstein had "summoned sufficient courage" (p.130) to enter his laboratory, this makes it clear that it is very disturbing and therefore presents the pursuit of science as something that results in being unpleasant and horrid .
5. How does Frankenstein react to Clerval's death? (p.135)
When Frankenstein sees that it is Henry who lay dead in the room he cried and struggled to "reflect on that terrible moment without shuddering and agony" (p.135) and then Frankenstein falls into a two-month feverish illness which is the same reaction that he had to the Creation of the Creature. As a result of Clerval's death, Frankenstein "called myself the murderer of William, Justine and of Clerval " (p.135) and also wished the death of himself, asking himself "Why did I not die?" (p.135)
6. How does Mr Kirwin treat Frankenstein throughout the process of the trial? Why? Is this fair?
Throughout the process of the