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Transcript of Frankenstein
Summary of Novel: Published 1818
Creation as Destruction within
God Made v.s. Man Made Human
Also a Byronic hero
Edward, John, and Jordan
The Author: Mary Shelley
The novel, Frankenstein exudes the concept of creation as destruction for the creator (Victor). That the monster, as well as Dr. Frankenstein can be seen as Dark, Byronic heroes caught at crossroads and even much more significant than the average man. Finally, that playing God is man's downfall, to do so ultimately leads to pain, suffering and even death.
How do you think the Monster may have been different if he had been nurtured by Dr. Frankenstein instead of treated like an evil creation?
-What do you think makes this text so iconic and everlasting throughout time
nd even now?
Thank You For Listening!
- Comparison of Creation between God and Dr. Frankenstein.
- God created the heavens, the earth and all life.
- Victor created a monster.
- God creates flawlessly.
- Victor created a flawed being.
- God created us in love.
- Victor created the monster for the sake of achieving a
Victor feels Guilt:
- When the Monster leaves his home.
- When he kills William and Justine Moritz.
His guilt takes control of many of his actions, causing him to adapt his life in order to find or avoid the Monster.
Victor Experiences Terror:
- when he saw that William had been strangled to death.
- when he trashes the beginnings of the second being in sight of the Monster.
+ This is arguably the turning point of the novel.
- When the Monster threatens Victor that he will be with them on his wedding night.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Family/Parents: William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Mother, Mary died.
Father remarried to Mary Jane Clairmot.
Husband: Percy Bysshe Shelley, had son Percy Florence in 1819.
Major works: Frankenstein, Matilda, Valperga, The Last Man, Posthumous Poems.
Consistent themes: Human isolation, Gothic and Romantic elements, Dark heroes.
Sources of inspiration: her own personal struggles, Percy shelley, Lord Byron, and parents.
Philosophy of art, life, and literature: Enlightenment, Romantic, Gothic, Frankenstein “first science fiction.”
Autobiographical elements: German ghost stories, dates used in novel similar to major life events, mother's death, her own birth, childhood, marriage, miscarriage, children, and the summer the novel was written.
- A Dark hero, more emotional than Victor and others in the text.
- Contrasting views, and tries to figure out right and wrong.
- Past filled with pain and suffering.
- Tremendous pride and willingness to continue on even through oppression of the others in the text.
- "This is who I am" attitude as he accepts himself as a monster to others.
- Epistolary/Storytelling style novel:
Victor tells the beginning of his life/personal story with Walton on his ship in the Alps.
The Monster then tells Victor his story.
Stories within stories:
1. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
2. Walton’s letters
3. Victor’s Story
4. Creatures Story
5. Felix’s and Safie’s stories
As Victor tells Walton about his life, studies and families he also goes into detail about the Monster.
Victor discusses his creation process and the Monster coming to life.
The Monster tells Victor his story of how he came to learn because of the De Laceys. He learned who he was though Victor's writings. How he came to hate man for not understanding/accepting him. As well as his murder of William and framing Justine.
The novel ends with Victor passing away and the Monster going off to die alone.
-Considered a "Gothic Classic" and a best seller in the 17th century.
-Mary Shelley wrote as a contest amongst Byron and Percy mostly for fun, but later turned into the novel we know today.
Dr. Frankenstein may also be seen
as a Dark hero throughout the novel:
-Difficult decisions with right and wrong.
-Much smarter than the average man: successful scientist.
-Tortured past=loved ones passing away and dying.
-Driven by desire to destroy monster that eventually ends in his own death.
- Acquisition of Knowledge
- Creation and Evolution of Monster
- Efforts to Destroy Monster
- Frankenstein's and Monster's Destruction
Does the Creature's emotional and intellectual evolution play a role in making it easier for the reader to sympathize with it? Why or why not?
Victor blames his demise to his relentless search for knowledge. Do you think this is accurate? Is Shelley correct in warning about the dangers of knowledge?
Frankenstein draws heavily from Book X of Paradise Lost:
- Adam complains to God about not having a companion.
- Eve proposes to Adam that they refrain from procreating.
-“Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay to mould me man, did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?”
- This quote appears in Paradise Lost and reappears in Frankenstein.
- It is published on the title cover of many editions of the novel.
Freud’s Oedipal Complex:
Oedipal Complex: states that a man desires to kill his father in order to be with his mother.
+ This is seen through the relationships of Victor, his mother, and the monster.
Frankenstein Model of the Oedipal Complex
-Mother: Caroline (Primary object of Victor’s affection)
-“Father”: The principle of life and capability of bringing someone back from the dead (Primary object of Victor’s scientific labors)
- Negative Oedipal Complex.
Frankenstein paved the way for the genre of Science Fiction.
When the novel was published, its subtitle was “The Modern Prometheus.”
-Prometheus was a titan who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to man.
-While fire was the new discovery of the time, electricity was the new one of Shelley’s time.
Frankenstein in Pop Culture
-Frankenstein. 1931. Starring Boris Karloff as the monster.
-Van Helsing. 2004. Uses the character of the monster.
-Death Race. 2008. Race car driver goes by the name of Frankenstein.
-Hotel Transylvania. 2012. Frankenstein is a guest staying at the hotel.
-Young Frankenstein. 1974. Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder comedy.
-The Rocky Horror Picture Show. 1975. A musical parody of the story.
-Frankenweenie. 1984, 2012. Comedic tale in which a boy looks to bring his dog to life.
Are there instances in the text that you can also see where Shelley sets up a Byronic hero?
With Victor and/or the monster?
- Key Characters:
Victor - main character
Elizabeth - Victor's cousin/soon to be wife
William - Victor's younger brother
Monster - Victor's creation (doubles as antagonist/protagonist)
Clerval - Victor's best friend
Alphonse - Victor's father
Caroline - Victors mother
Justine - Family friend
De Lacey Family
Setting: Geneva Switzerland/across Europe (Englad, Ireland, Scotland, Germany.)
Significance: The novel maps out many different countries to show that anyone can be responsibe for playing God or going to far with creation and not just one man.
- "Should not play God/tamper with nature."
- "Secrecy is wrong-truth is everything"
- "Cherish your family and friends over work"
Sorrows of Young Werther,
Poetic/heightened language, perhaps to show the intelligence/suffering of both Victor and the Monster. (pages: 56-57, 91, 125,)