Study Questions on Johanna M. Smith, “‘Cooped Up’ with ‘Sad Trash’: Domesticity and the Sciences in Frankenstein”
1. Why does Smith think that, “despite Victor’s insistence on his perfect childhood,” his “reaction” to how he was raised was “conflicted”(366)? What conflicts does Smith identify as having emerged from how his parents raised him? What role does she suggest these conflicts might have played in Victor’s life after he left home?
2. How and why does Smith connect the specific kinds of science that interest Victor with the issues of gender that are the overall focus of her essay?
Study Questions on Warren Montag, “The ‘Workshop of Filthy Creation’: A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein”
1. What does Montag mean when he says that Marxist critics “do not leave the work in search of its historical meaning but seeks the meaning of its historical existence within it”? How does his discussion of Frankenstein seek to show the “historical existence” that exists “within” the novel?
2. Montag says that Frankenstein “protects itself from the reality that it describes by covering a veil over that reality”(478). What, specifically, is the “reality” that Montag argues the novel “describes,” and why might protection be needed from this reality? What is the “veil” that covers this reality, and how does it offer protection?
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