Reflection: High Expectations Leaving Literature Tracks: Open Mic Discussion of "Frankenstein" (focus on chapters 1-4) - Section 1: Teacher to Teacher: Lesson Context and Time Frame


What is metafiction? A simple way of thinking about metafiction is to think about it as the way an author draws attention to the act of writing w/in a text or the act of story telling in a text. While Frankenstein doesn't technically qualify as metafiction in a postmodern sense, it does make the reader think about writing and story-telling. Some ways it does this include:

  • Walton's letters to his sister,
  • Walton's journal recounting Victor's story,
  • The creature learning language through reading Paradise Lost.

I think teachers need to help students become aware of these moments of "self-consciousness" in a text so they can see that reading is a self-conscious, personal experience. 

It's this reading awareness that gave me the idea for using S, which is a nonlinear text that creates a unique reading experience. In contrast, Frankenstein uses a more linear structure to tell multiple stories:

  • Walton's experience as an explorer and his friendship w/ Victor,
  • Victor's story as the creator of a nameless creature,
  • The creature's story of social and familial rejection.

Of course, as the Crash Course episode illustrates, Frankenstein is also an allegory, which gives it yet another layer of storytelling.

  On Metafiction: The Story in the Story
  High Expectations: On Metafiction: The Story in the Story
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Leaving Literature Tracks: Open Mic Discussion of "Frankenstein" (focus on chapters 1-4)

Unit 12: What Makes a Monster?: "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus"
Lesson 4 of 9

Objective: SWBAT lead discourse on chapters 1-4 of "Frankenstein" through an open mic discussion.

Big Idea: "With how many things are we on the brink of becoming acquainted?" --Mary Shelley ("Frankenstein")

  Print Lesson
9 teachers like this lesson
English / Language Arts, Literature, British literature, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus, S by J. J. Abrams, Metafiction, Open Microphone Discussion
  65 minutes
s book trailer
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