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Shocked With Knowledge

Advanced Honors English ll Takes Part in the Annual Frankenstein Trial

Photo by Laura Zaidan/Maclay Andalusian

Order in the Court!

Upper school English teacher Deborah Mayer held her annual Frankenstein Mock Trials on March 5 and 6 for her Advanced Honors English II classes. The trial was held after each student read Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” as a major part of the unit. To create the sense of a real trial, students analyzed and dressed up as their respective characters and played their roles in the courtroom. With this project, students could understand the book and its unique characters.

“I feel like the Frankenstein Mock Trial helped us understand the characters more and get into their headspace and what they were thinking at the time,” sophomore Sophia Brown said.

As students studied their characters to learn about their roles in the mock trial, they grasped a deeper understanding of the important piece of literature.

At the beginning of the trial, the plaintiff and defendant stated their opening statements. In this court case, Victor Frankenstein, the defendant, was charged with malpractice, negligence and emotional distress towards the Creature, the plaintiff. The Creature’s witnesses were called up one by one for interrogation. After affirming the oath given by upper school history teacher and Judge Timothy Fitzpatrick, the plaintiff started the interrogation followed by cross-examinations by Frankenstein’s lawyer. After the plaintiff’s questioning, the defendant brought up their witnesses, followed by cross-examinations by the plaintiff.

When the interrogations came to an end, the verdict was up to the judge and her jury. As they stepped out of the classroom, the room went silent with suspense. As the jurors walked back into the classroom, the students anxiously waited to hear their verdict. In Mayer’s 1B class, the final decision was that Frankenstein was guilty of negligence and emotional and physical distress, but was found not guilty of malpractice.

“I was not really nervous about finding out the verdict,” sophomore Justin Murphy said. “I was pretty sure of what it was going to be from the trial so I didn’t worry too much. I think if I was on the other side of the case I would have been a little nervous.”

With the students playing each character, they understood the various perspectives portrayed in the novel. This gave the students a better understanding of the characters and the book’s storyline. This project has been a favorite of Mayer’s previous students and will continue to be a big hit for the sophomore class.

“I think if you talk to some of the former students, they will tell you that it was probably one of the best experiences they had,” Mayer said.


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Andy Poll

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