Importance Of Education In Frankenstein

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Frankenstein is an educational novel, one that is constantly analyzed by scholars and critics who attempt to unfold its abstract frame narrative into something concrete and understandable. It is used in high schools and universities around the globe, encouraging young thinkers to delve into its contents and to question the motives of its characters and the complexity of its structure. Although the novel’s primary purpose is to educate, perhaps its most interesting aspect is the education that occurs within its pages. Within its “frame narrative” is “frame teaching,” and this is so distinct in that it directly affects the reader. We are certainly subject to this education, just as the characters in the novel are, by observing how they learn …show more content…
Wallstonecraft herself critiqued many of these works, one of the most important involving Olaudah Equiano, a slave who had learned to read and write in an attempt to assimilate into what he called “white society.” Equiano rejected his African-American appearance when he realized that it was his skin that made him inferior in the eyes of his white authority figures. He inquisitively watched his master read and made an assumption that books talked to his master, almost as if they were telling him secrets that Equiano could not know. This is what Henry Louis Gates Jr. called the “Trope of the Talking Book;” slaves like Equiano thought that they could not read because they were inferior, due to the color of their skin (Bugg 660). Bugg compares Equiano to the Creature in Frankenstein; the Creature is a slave isolated by society, and like 18th century slaves such as Equiano, the Creature equates education with high-society …show more content…
He quickly notices his appearance and realizes that he does not look like the family and experiences his first real sense of inferiority and exile. He knows that it would not be fit for him to talk to the clearly “superior” family until he is fluent in their language. The Creature then begins to learn language by observing Felix De Lacey when he is teaching Safie. This is Bugg’s concrete proof to the argument that De Lacey is the center of the frame narrative. Bugg describes De Lacey as having a “syllabus” and “curriculum,” implying that De Lacey is in fact a teacher to both Safie and the Creature (662). It is De Lacey’s knowledge that enables the Creature to tell his story to Frankenstein using a mutual language. They both then tell their tales to Walton, who tells them to his sister and the readers of the novel. Each layer of storytelling is meant for interpretation; the Creature pays close attention to his “teacher” when Felix is reading of Ruins of Empire, of the Asiatics and the Greeks (Bugg 662). Frankenstein studies the Creature’s emotions, wondering how he could have created something so plainly destructive. Walton plays a neutral role, listening to both sides of the story with patience and retelling the facts exactly as he hears them. This ends once more with the reader and prompts many questions for “classroom” discussion. Who is the most credible author? Who is the true monster

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