Moral Choices

Topic: Our focus for class discussion has been on the moral choices that the main two characters make in the novel, and to what extent these choices make them sympathetic or unsympathetic characters for the reader. For critics this issue has often rested upon the following trifecta of questions posed by critic Lawrence Lipking:

Is Victor an idealistic hero or a destructive genius?
Is the creature a natural man or an unnatural monster?
What moral are we to draw from this strange story?(422)

Prompt: Analyze ONE of the two main characters in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—Victor or the being he creates (the ‘monster’)–in light of the following: to what extent is this character sympathetic and/or unsympathetic to the reader based on the choices and reasoning they demonstrate?

Introduction: introduce the novel, identify the issue at stake, and culminate with a theme statement (a thoughtful generalization).

Organization: it makes sense to trace your character from the beginning to the end of his life, his life history as it were, focusing on key select moments/examples/choices/ reasoning as you go. Also be sure to reflect on outcome, especially in the end of the novel—that is, the results that issue forth from the choices that the character makes.

Body Paragraphs: begin body paragraphs with a topic sentence, and then as you work through your analysis integrate relevant quotes to support them. .

Conclusion: draw your analysis together into a final assessment of the character as related to the prompt.

–MLA Format for Quote Integration: As Victor states at this point in the novel, “The creature . . . “(Chapter 14). Works Cited Page not needed.

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