[Disclaimer: this post is not intended as a platform for personal stories as told on other platforms–as with the Facebook or twitter #metoo posts. Instead, it is an invitation to my students and other readers of this blog to offer thoughtful, respectful responses to the questions below, each of which grows out of Mary Shelley’s novel. I reserve the right to decide when this conversation veers too far from its intended purpose. I acknowledge the risk in publishing this post, and promise to monitor the conversation in a responsible manner. As administrator of this blog, I decide which posts to approve before they become public.]
A young woman writes a novel about a man whose passionate pursuits create unexpected misery for himself and those around him, including those he claims to care about. What he does not claim soon enough is responsibility for this misery.
What went wrong? What makes a monster? Who is a monster? What is monstrous? What influences how we respond to monsters and struggles, internal or external?
I have invited high school seniors in my literature classes to discuss the title of this post–in light of recent events, and in light of Mary Shelley’s novel, published two hundred years ago. If these students are not already old enough to vote and enlist, they will be soon. Why not encourage them to discuss and respond to significant social/cultural issues? Experience teaches me to trust their opinions and insights.
If you are not one of these students, you are welcome to contribute to this conversation, or simply to see what today’s young adults are thinking about an important moral issue.