The Beginning of the Doctor’s Tale

Last week in High School, the class began work on their first novel of the year: “Frankenstein.” Having read the preface and the first two chapters, students were given the ongoing assignment to aid them in their understanding of the novel as they work their way through it. The students were divided into groups of four and given a template for a study guide that they will complete, chapter by chapter, as they read. The requirements per chapter include a synopsis, vocabulary, chapter questions, and character analysis. The goal is that, by the end of their reading, each group will have a thorough and detailed study guide that they can utilize to complete any assessments or papers related to the novel.

Frankenstein follows a “frame narrative.” This means that there are three narrators that “frame” the story. The first, Captain Walton, the man who discovers the doctor chasing the creature across the arctic, was covered in the Preface. Chapters 1 and 2, which we completed last week, begin the doctor’s tale of tragedy and trauma made all the more awful by the retelling of the charmed and privileged youth he enjoyed in Geneva. The students will soon learn exactly why and how his life becomes the ultimate disaster that it does.

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