His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscle and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same color as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips. —Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
This is one of the spookiest novels we’ve offered for a literary analysis class. Who’s ready? This class is great for students who are looking for something a little darker while still hanging onto all those juicy opportunities for literary analysis.
Important note: We invite parents to screen the book in order to determine if this story, its themes, and its characters are right for your family. Please be prepared to discuss sensitive topics with your teen.
Meet Victor Frankenstein: a young student with an obsession with bringing the dead back to life. One dreary night in November, Victor Frankenstein breathes life into his terrible creation. Centuries later, that same monster continues to haunt us with questions of ethics, and just how far science should go in the pursuit of possibilities.
Mary Shelley famously wrote Frankenstein at the age of 18 when challenged to come up with a ghost story on a night when everyone was kept indoors due to stormy autumn weather. This book is sure to please students who love the classics, and those who think that the classics are boring (it turns out that monsters usually make things a little more interesting).
Rich descriptive writing abounds in Frankenstein, while the knotty ethical question at the center of the book—how far should man go in pursuit of knowledge?—keeps students engaged and flexing their critical thinking skills. The pursuit of scientific knowledge, and at what cost, is a question we continue to engage with today.
Students will participate in lively, stimulating discussion about the book’s plot points, literary devices, and reflections on the readings for each week. They will also engage in student-to-student responses, connecting the dots and sharing what was impactful for them.
READING SCHEDULE: To stay in sync with the class, students should have read at least the first half of the novel by the time the class starts.
As with most classics, there are many versions of this novel. We recommend the 1818 edition.
Frankenstein is a classic novel that touches upon serious themes:
● The risk of “playing God”
We will analyze these themes (including an examination of biblical references in the book) as part of class.
In Brave Writer, we select a wide range of essays and literature that include a variety of perspectives. Please be aware that you may experience strong reactions as you read. By using literature as a teaching tool to foster understanding and growth, you and your students have the opportunity to explore literary style as well as challenging content.
For more information about how the classes are run, please read about online classes.
To explore our Brave Writer classroom, click here to access a sample class.
Class Structure Description
Brave Writer online classes are specially designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind. Classes last anywhere from four to six weeks. We offer courses that address a specific writing need so that you can take the ones that suit your family throughout the school year. Short class sessions enable you to work around family vacations, out-of-town swim meets, recovering from wisdom teeth removal, and visits from grandparents. We operate on the quarter system, including a summer session. Our most popular classes repeat each quarter, while others are seasonal.
Our classes meet in a customized online classroom, designed specifically to meet the needs of Brave Writer. Only registered students and the instructor have access to the classroom to ensure your privacy. Assignments and reading materials are posted by Brave Writer instructors each week (no additional supply fees necessary, unless otherwise indicated). Either you (homeschooling parent) or your child (homeschooling student) will visit the classroom daily at your convenience to read helpful information about the current topic or to find the writing assignment. We operate "asynchronously" (which means that the discussion is not live, but that posted information remains available to you in your time zone at your convenience). Instructors check the classroom throughout the day to answer questions and give feedback on writing.
Writing is done at home and then typed into the classroom, and shared with both the instructor and other classmates. You're not required to be online at any specific time of the day. We have students from all over the world participating in our classes so "live" discussion is impossible. Instead, the online classroom enables the instructor to post information and assignments when it is convenient to the instructor. Then, when it is convenient for you, you come to the classroom and read the latest postings.
Instructor feedback to student writing is offered for all participants to read. Writing questions are welcomed and encouraged! That's the point of class. We aim to give you immediate support as you face writing obstacles.
Brave Writer takes seriously the need for encouragement and emotional safety in writing. No student is ever at risk of being humiliated or mistreated. All online dialog is respectful and supportive of your child's process. This is the core of Brave Writer philosophy. You can read about Brave Writer values here.
What makes our program especially unique in the world of online education is that we value a corporate experience. Rather than teaching your child in a tutorial format, we prefer students to have the opportunity to both publish their work for an audience (other students) and also to have the chance to read other student writing. In no other setting is this possible. Schools-in-buildings rarely have students read each other's work. Homeschooled children are rarely in a classroom environment to begin with, so the opportunity to read peer-writing is nil.
Our classes provide an utterly unique experience in the world of writing instruction. Since most writers grow through emulation of good writing, it is a real advantage to Brave Writer kids to get the chance to read the writing of their fellow home-educated peers. They love it! They get to examine and internalize other ways of writing, analyzing and expressing ideas similar to their own. They have the chance to validate and cheer on their peers. And of course, the best part of all is that they receive the praise and affirmation of kids just like them.
Not only that, all instructor feedback is posted to the classroom for all students to read. That means your kids get the benefit of instructor comments on many papers, not just their own. We've noted that this style of instruction is especially effective and hope you'll agree!