Literary works like Frankenstein explore the “human condition” or experiences that humans encounter. The study guides for Frankenstein offer several “Real Life Considerations” meant to help you critically analyze the applications of the work’s themes in today’s world. Now, you will choose one of these topics and explore it using secondary resources to learn more about the novel and its relevant social topics. You might find information about social issues in familiar sources such as magazines, newspapers, or social science journals. Make sure your sources are credible – you do not want a random website or an encyclopedic website such as Wikipedia.2 Your sources will preferably be scholarly ones. Here are some ideas of places where you might find appropriate sources for this assignment:
- Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/ (note that this is different from regular Google)
- Microsoft Academic Search: http://academic.research.microsoft.com/
- Cornell University’s arXiv (open access sources in math, biology, physics, and other fields): http://arxiv.org/
- Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE): BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine): Basic Search
- Your local library
Your thesis statement and paper must address both the literary qualities and the social issues as you evaluate the novel, Frankenstein. However, keep in mind, your essay does not have to answer ALL of the questions listed under each topic. Only answer the questions you feel are the most relevant to the thesis statement you choose. Develop your essay so it has a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Ensure that each of your claims is supported with valid evidence from the novel, Frankenstein, and at least three other credible external sources.3
Using proper MLA style, insert parenthetical citations and signal phrases for all borrowed information in addition to a Works Cited page for Frankenstein and your chosen external sources.
You have several options for this assignment:
Option #1: Can science go too far?
There is an ongoing battle between faith or spirituality and science that has been active even before the time of Mary Shelley. What are some of the dilemmas she addresses that are still important today? What are some of the ethical questions she brings up regarding the scientific definition of life and death? What does she illustrate the power science has to blur the line between life and death? What is a current news item that is similar to this issue?
Hint: Develop a thesis that answers a question like this one: “How and how well does Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein address ethical issues of science and/or faith for audiences, regardless of when they read the novel?”