Chapter 2 (Vol. 1)

In this chapter, we find the 17-year-old Frankenstein experiencing two influential events: the tragic loss of his mother from scarlet fever, and the commencement of his studies with Professor Krempe and (especially) the genial Professor Waldman.

  • What does Frankenstein say about death when he talks about his mother’s passing? Note his mention of death as an “evil” (see quote below). This is an important puzzle piece for explaining Frankenstein’s motivations for his physical experiments in later chapters.
  • Why and how does Professor Waldman speak more to Frankenstein’s interests and desires than Professor Krempe does? Note the way he talks about science in a larger picture of human mastery. How does this resonate with Frankenstein, and how does it connect with his earlier interests in alchemy (see Chapter 1)?

Important quotes to consider in this chapter:

“She died calmly; and her countenance expressed affection even in death. I need not describe the feelings of those whose dearest ties are rent by that most irreparable evil [death], the void that presents itself to the soul, and the despair that is exhibited on the countenance. […] when the lapse of time proves the reality of the evil, then the actual bitterness of grief commences.”


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