More Questions for the Reader's Guide
While you can’t always tell a book by its cover, you can tell a lot by its reader’s guide. The discussion questions for Frankenstein’s Monster have been described as some of the best that readers have seen. In fact, the book gives rise to so many questions that there wasn’t enough space in the printed for all of them.
Also, readers have come up with some of their own as well, as good questions often lead to other good questions. If you or your reading group found other points to talk about, e-mail me and I’ll include them here.
Here are just some of the extra questions that didn't fit in the book:
1. Whether they realize it or not, and whether for better or worse, many of the characters have an opportunity to let go of at least some of their past.
• When and why does it happen?
• What are the consequences of what they do or don’t do regarding their past?
• How often does that happen in everyday life?
• Why do people, including you, sometimes refuse to take that opportunity?
2. After discovering some of the deeds by major characters, Victor thinks, “Such was humanity, which I would become.”
• What does he mean? Why might he still want to be human anyway?
• How do these things influence his later behavior?
• What events or deeds show the “inhumanity of humanity” for you?
• Do they or don’t they influence your behavior, and how?
3. Throughout the novel Lily’s behavior is so erratic it seems to surprise even her.
• Which of her actions seem fated or inescapable? Which freely chosen?
• What would she be like if she were not so erratic? How would that change the story?
• Have you ever acted as erratically yourself? Could you find a reason for it later?
4. The author has said that there is a bit of “monster” in all of us, in how we are perceived by others and in how we perceive ourselves.
• What do you think that means?
• Do you agree or not, and why?
5. The minor characters reveal different aspects of Victor, whether to echo them or act in contrast.
• How did you see the role of the minor characters in this regard?
• Which of these characters made the greatest impression on you?
• Who would you have liked to have a bigger role in the book?
6. One theme is the search for one’s father. Like all of us, Victor cannot control who has given him life. Like many of us, he unconsciously searches for a substitute.
• Has he found one in Winterbourne? Why or why not?
• How do Winterbourne’s actions shape the novel?
• How do you see the search for one’s father or mother as shaping part of your own life?
7. Where do you think Victor is five years after the novel ends?
8. What questions did you think of? E-mail me and I’ll add them here.