Letter Writing for Understanding

In grade 10 English, students read the Victorian era novel, Frankenstein, often popularized around Halloween-time. Students are usually surprised by the true identity of the creature in the book, and they discover that the novel is more than a horror story; it has themes of the pursuit of knowledge, the dangers of isolation, the power of friendship, the importance of acceptance, and the struggle for identity.  Misrepresented in popular culture, the monster is in fact a character of great depth and feeling and students come to understand his condition.  Understanding his character leads to understanding deeper societal issues of bullying and rejection.

Through the antiquated art of letter writing, which is a narrative style of writing used in the book, students get into the minds and hearts of the characters by composing letters from the monster and other characters. Through writing, students explore the feelings of rejection, anger, fear, and hope; and by channeling the character, students reflect their own understanding of the themes and ideas in Shelley’s 1818 novel. See the letters on display in the MHS Library.

The grade 10 English team