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Recorded HS
Monsters of Romanticism: Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Enjoy an in-depth analysis of these gripping novels and gain a deeper look at the stories — and how Romanticism can affect our thoughts and faith.

Total classes: 11

Prerequisite: The ability to read about 50 novel pages per week

Suggested grade level: 10th to 12th

Suggested credit: One full semester Literature or English


Both Frankenstein (by Mary W. Shelley) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (by noted children’s author Robert Louis Stevenson) are utterly gripping novels that a reader can barely put down. Each explores the evil caused by human pride and self-absorption. These horrific novels are a natural reaction to Romanticism’s hope that divorcing a man (or woman) from Christianity and traditional modes of behavior would leave the individual not only “free” but godlike. Both writers swiftly see the reality beneath that naïve optimism; perhaps Mary Shelley’s book is the deeper and more bitter disappointment (since her famous husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, was one of the most famous of the second-generation Romantics who were making a ghastly pretense of superior virtue). Mr. Stevenson’s novel later grows out a sense of the longer-term effects of the Romantic movement. Both books are a great antidote to false promises of progress. Enjoy analysis of the two books with a deeper look at the story and message.


Week 1: Romanticism and the Shelley Family

Week 2: Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus: Letter 1-Chapter 3

Week 3: Ch. 4-8

Week 4: Ch. 9-14

Week 5: Ch. 15-20

Week 6: Ch. 21-23

Week 7: Ch. 24

Week 8: Biography of Robert Louis Stevenson

Week 9: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Ch. 1-4

Week 10: Ch. 5-8

Week 11: Ch. 9-10

Materials and Homework

Course Materials: Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Signet Classics) 1978, ISBN #0451523636. It is best if we all use this edition so we can easily go to the same pages together to see what is being discussed. If your family already possesses the books, we can do our best with coordinating by chapters.

Homework: There will be about 50 pages of novel reading per week. Your familiarity with the broad vocabularies of these authors, especially Mary Shelley’s will determine your reading speed. Dr. Russell estimates between one hour and one and one-half hours. There will be weekly computer-graded quizzes, a midterm, and a final

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