Stories are the framework of our existence. They tell us about the foundations of the universe, the history of humankind, and the family we belong to. We tell stories about our daily lives and escape them by taking in stories on the silver screen. We read bedtime stories to our children to usher them off to dream stories of their own. Stories are powerful conduits of information, intimacy, and truth. But we also use stories to frame the narratives we want to be true, even if they have a shadow side.

Stories and storytelling are central to Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein, which is shaping our fall Persuasion series, What We Make of Ourselves. In this episode, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the fourth reading (Volume II: Chapters 5–9) and the stories shared by each of the characters. Shelley uses a brilliant, nested frame novel structure, taking us to the feet of three storytellers: explorer Robert Walton, scientist Victor Frankenstein, and the creature created by Victor. Each one shares their perspective about life and the happenings that create their personal narrative. What stories do we tell others about ourselves? What stories do we inherit from our families, our communities, and our nation? Who should we trust to hear our most personal stories? How do we work through the stories playing out in our lives? Listen in for dialogue on questions like these as we take a look at what we make of ourselves. Then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

If you’d like to read along for this series, check the reading schedule posted below. We recommend B&H Publishing’s Frankenstein: A Guide to Reading and Reflecting (Karen Swallow Prior, Mary Shelley). Whether you read along or not, listen in for conversation weaving the themes of identity, formation, creation, and community.

Conversations for our fall series will center on Mary Shelley’s original 1818 edition of Frankenstein. We will be reading from the recent release from B&H Publishing, Frankenstein: A Guide for Reading and Reflecting, edited by Karen Swallow Prior. Here’s the reading schedule (page numbers match the B&H edition) if you want to read along with us:

  • 9/28 EP 223 Reading 1: Volume I, Preface–Chapter 3 (pp. 27–78)
  • 10/5 EP 224 Reading 2: Volume I, Chapters 4–7 (pp. 78–121)
  • 10/12 EP 225 Reading 3: Volume II, Chapters 1–4 (pp. 129–162)
  • 10/19 EP 226 Reading 4: Volume II, Chapters 5–9 (pp. 162–206)
  • 10/26 EP 227 Reading 5: Volume III, Chapters 1–4 (pp. 211–256)
  • 11/2 EP 228 Reading 6: Volume III, Chapters 5–7 (pp. 256–306)

This episode of Persuasion is sponsored in part by B&H Publishing Group, publisher of Frankenstein: A Guide to Reading and Reflecting (Karen Swallow Prior, Mary Shelley). B&H Publishing seeks to provide intentional, biblical content that positively impacts the hearts and minds of people, cultivating lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ. Learn more at


Erin Straza: Web / Twitter
Hannah Anderson: Web / Twitter

Twitter: @PersuasionCAPC
Instagram: @PersuasionCAPC
Facebook: /Persuasioncapc


Frankenstein: A Guide to Reading and Reflecting, Karen Swallow Prior, Mary Shelley

“The empirical structure of narrative identity,” Kate McLean

Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give the series a listen:

Persuasion 221 | Imposter Syndrome (but with books)
Persuasion 222 | What We Make of Ourselves: A Read-Along Series
Persuasion 223 | What We Make of Our Time
Persuasion 224 | What We Make of Our Suffering
Persuasion 225 | What We Make of Others

Theme music by Maiden Name.