"Crusades Against Frost: Frankenstein, Polar Ice,
and Climate Change in 1818"
Discussion Questions: 502-3:
Summarize the debate between John Barrow and John Leslie
regarding Arctic exploration.
Explain: "Romantic discussion of climate change ... took
place on a fault line between cosmopolitanism and nativism,
and carried with them controversial implications regarding
humans' proper place in nature and Britain's proper degree of
involvement in the global networks of information, trade, and
Explain: "Frankenstein's response to the 'year
without a summer' is characterized less by a lack of faith in
humans' ability to modify nature than by a suspicion of
Europeans' willingness to fully embrace a supranational
identity that would make global administration both practical
and ethical" (505).
Explain Erasmus Darwin's beliefs about Arctic winds. Are
his views more cosmopolitan or nativist? Explain.
Explain Thomas De Quincey's views on the "crusades against
frost" (qtd. 508).
Explain the circumstances surrounding the "year without a
What, according to Carroll, did the summer of 1816
contribute to the debate about cosmopolitan and domestic
In what way, according to Carroll, did Percy Shelley link
"climate change to humanity's moral progress" (510)?
What changes does Carroll identify in Barrow's position in
his subsequent articles about Arctic exploration? How does
Carroll account for those changes?
In what way, according to Carroll, does Barrow invoke "the
balmy future envisioned in poetry as a sign of the Tories'
most un-British despotic ambitions" (514)?
With which side in the debate does Carroll identify Walton
at the beginning of Frankenstein? Explain.
How, according to Carroll, is the pathetic fallacy
associated with observation in Mary Shelley's History of a
Six Weeks' Tour and Frankenstein?
Explain the two responses to global crisis the Mary Shelley
presents in The Last Man.
Explain: "The Creature's reception by human beings loyal to
domestic and national forms of identity reveals ... that
Europeans are not yet willing to embrace the universal
brotherhood that would render cosmopolitan responses to
ecological crisis ethical and feasible" (521).
In what, according to Carroll, is Frankenstein
different from The Last Man?
What changes in perspective does Carroll identify in the