Purpose: Write an essay in which you compare an aspect of one of our class texts—preferably Frankenstein—to something from your personal experience, offering a careful analysis of both. (Interpret “personal experience” as something you know about because it happened to you or your friends, family members, or even acquaintances.) For example, you might examine how the narrator’s issues with his or her parents correspond to issues you’ve had with yours. You might compare situations, attitudes, decisions, or consequences.

Audience: An educated, college audience. To engage your classmates intellectually, you need to analyze your points in depth.

Comparing Yourself to the Text:

The most persuasive reason to study literature is to help you understand your own world. Use this assignment to explore something important to you.

To develop your thesis, consider your initial reaction to the play and other texts we’ve read. What did you find especially interesting or thought-provoking? Perhaps you got angry at the characters or sympathized with them. Perhaps the material gave you a new way to view yourself, your friends, or your surroundings—examine what you’ve learned through the comparison. To develop your analysis, use evidence from the text as well as evidence from your own experiences. (You might also refer to the experiences of friends or family members.) You might want to agree with the author’s or director’s views on a particular theme or show alternate ones.


Analyzing Your Theatre Experience

For this essay, you may also choose to analyze your experience of seeing our class play.

Analyze your expectations for seeing the play to the actual experience of seeing it. Your thesis might start: While I expected to like/dislike/enjoy (etc.) Frankenstein because ___________, instead _____________________________.

Analyze the setting of the play such as the theatre or the audience. (Choose one.) For example, what was the average age of the audience members? What was their attitude? When did they laugh? What did they talk about during intermission? Why do you think they chose to go to this play (other than for a class)? What did you learn by studying them? You might also choose to analyze the theatre itself. What details did you notice? Which seemed important and why?

Analyze the sets in the play. How did the director create a sense of space and time? What was your reaction to the scenery? How did the atmosphere help tell the story? Which elements of the set did you prefer? How might you have created the sets differently?

Analyze the acting in the play. Which actors were the most effective? Why? What did you notice about their performance? What surprised you? What did you like? What did you think might have been improved?

Have a better option? Come talk to me about it. I’m open to other possibilities, but clear your thesis with me ahead of time to make sure your idea fits the assignment.


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