Unless you are stranded alone on a deserted island, you live in community with others. Your entire life is interwoven with the people around you. Your family provides love and support, giving you a sense of belonging and a place to be known. At work you are connected to coworkers, customers, and colleagues. Your children connect you to their teachers, administrators, and coaches as well as to classmates and their families. At church you see fellow volunteers, friends in your small group, and the staff that ministers to the whole congregation. And if these connections aren’t enough to overwhelm you, don’t forget about the seemingly endless network you’ve built online through multiple social platforms. In short, we cannot escape our connections to others and the way these connections shape who we are and who we will become.

This interplay we have with others is a major theme of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein, which is the foundation of our fall Persuasion‘s series, What We Make of Ourselves. In this episode, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the third reading (Volume II: Chapters 1–4), exploring the characters’ expectations of and dependence upon others. Shelley’s novel, while falling in the goth/horror genre, spends considerable time addressing the fallout we face when our connections with others are strained or severed. How does our family of origin shape us? What responsibility do we have to each other to create safe spaces of belonging? How do we take responsibility for our own reactions after being shunned by those we turn to for care and help? 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 bhpublishinggroup.com.


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
“How A 15,000-Year-Old Human Bone Could Help You Through The Coronacrisis,” Forbes

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

Theme music by Maiden Name.