The science of words and letters

So soon as he had finished, the youth began, not to play, but to utter sounds that were monotonous, and neither resembling the harmony of the old man?s instrument or the songs of the birds; I since found that he read aloud, but at that time I knew nothing of the science of words or letters.? (86)

In this paper, you will conduct a sustained analysis of the usage of a single word or group of related words in the novel Frankenstein. Using the OED online, you will consider questions of the word?s etymology, usage, semantic value, grammatical position, social and historical value, and other relevant dimensions, all as they relate to the major themes Mary Shelley investigates in her work. Your thesis will contain original insights about how the recurring appearance of a word or related words in the novel express and develop its main ideas.

You will want to select a word that has a central importance to the novel?s themes. Be sure to select a word that also appears several times throughout the novel and not just at the beginning. As a specific requirement for this paper, I am asking for a minimum six quotes with at least two from each volume of the book. I would also like you to make at least two to three references to the OED entry on your word.

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