LESSON 2: BEGINNING FRANKENSTEIN VIA GOTHIC CONVENTIONS
Grade: 9-12 (Elective course)
Duration: 54 minutes
Objectives: By the end of the lesson, students will…
- Discuss implications of changing a character’s setting.
- Review conventions of Gothic literature.
- Analyze beginning of Frankenstein in terms of Gothic conventions.
- Discuss the “Letters” section of Frankenstein in a literary context.
- Discuss the “Letters” section of Frankenstein in a thematic context:
- “What are the possibilities and pitfalls inherent to tremendous ambition?”
- Guiding excerpt: “One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought, for the dominion I should acquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race” (Shelley 24-5).
- Devices (laptops/tablets) for writing
- Gothic conventions handout [Click here to access!]
- Slideshow presentation [Click here to access!]
- Copies of Frankenstein
- Students will be given the opportunity to read the one-page narratives assigned last class which asked them to place a dystopian character in a Gothic setting (or vice versa).
- After all willing students have read, the class will discuss the implications of changing a character’s setting.
- At this point I will collect the narratives and transition into the next activity.
- As a class, we will use the slideshow to review the conventions of Gothic literature covered earlier in the year.
- We will first identify the conventions, and then work as a class to describe them.
- At this juncture, the class will be divided into five groups, each responsible for analyzing the “Letters” introduction of Frankenstein in terms of the Gothic conventions.
- Using the provided handout, each group will identify at least two excerpts containing its assigned convention, and then speculate about its role in the novel.
- The class will reform, and each group will report its findings.
- Read chapters 1-5 in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein!