Summer Reading Assignment 2021

Alan Chadwick Garden

Summer Assignment - Part 1 - Frankenstein Paper

Please choose ONE Prompt of three following prompts and write about some of its questions in a two-page paper (min. 500 words). Be sure to include at least three quotations from the text to support your assertions. Note that each Prompt includes several micro-questions to get your thinking started, but you are never meant to address all of them.

You will be asked to submit it online to Canvas after the first class of Crown Core, Sept. 27th or Sept. 28. Give it a compelling title, and use a standard, 12-point font. Be sure to use at least two quotations and several detailed examples to support your analysis and interpretation, and feel free to refer to the footnotes.  Please write from your own experience of reading the novel, NOT from analyses written by others.  We have read them all.  Now we want to see what you think.

Prompt 1.  Victor Frankenstein

Frankenstein is the story of the trajectory of a scientist--from student to creator--and what he learns through reading and experiment and what goes well and what goes wrong.  What are Victor Frankenstein's ideas about science, and how does he practice science?  Note the type of knowledge he seeks, how he uses experimentation to carry out his hypotheses, and what the results of his experiments are. What does Victor tell Robert Walton about knowledge?  How does Victor's practice of science change over the various stages of Victor's life? Does Victor himself ever learn the lessons he should?  

Prompt 2. The Creature’s Growth and Development

Think of the Creature as a sort of scientist himself. What type of knowledge does he seek? Where does he go in order to get knowledge ?  What are the consequences of his numerous attempts to gain knowledge?  What positive and negative results occur as a result of his quest for knowledge? How does his learning change over the various stages of the Creature's life? What can readers learn by looking at the world from the point of view of the Creature? What is the significance of Mary Shelley placing the Creature on a north trajectory, heading to the North Pole?

Prompt 3. Elizabeth, Safie, Justine

Think of these characters in relation to power and authority, and on what basis they have it or lack it. How do their circumstances (and the plot) raise questions about justice, equity, and difference? Do any of them suffer from gender exclusion, stereotyping, class, or religious oppression? What does Safie's situation tell us about the Eurocentrism of Shelley's worldview--or the text's. Or you could go even further and ask, "What does Safie's situation tell us about Shelley's and (standard, late nineteenth-century) Islamophobia?

Summer Assignment - Part 2 – eFast Log (handwritten)  

Be prepared to share a highlight from your Log with your peers on the first day of class.

Choose a 24-hour period, and record its date and time in your handwritten Log. Begin your eFast after you are disconnected from all digital devices. In your Log, record the details of your eFast--and some of the changes you experience—in your routine, your expectations, your social relations, and your mindset. 

Do not text, email, or access the Internet, and do not post to, or view, social media, gaming sites. No cell phones, computers, pads, tablets, or any other Internet-connected device (FitBit, AppleWatch, etc.); no content streaming (NetFlix, etc.), and no television or radio.

However, during the fast, you may read as much non-electronic media—print books, articles, newspapers, magazines, etc. as you wish—or write as much as you want with pencil or pen in a (non-electronic) paper notebook, pad, index cards, etc.

Hint: Be sure to tell your family and friends in advance that you will be offline for 24 hours, so they don’t worry about your digital absence.