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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Transcript of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
-Connection to the
world. "Wishes to unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation."
Witches and monster gives the atmosphere a metaphysical atmosphere.
-Major theme of Appearance versus Reality
-Living with Guilt
What is Frankenstein About?
Text To Text Connections
Frankenstein and Short Stories:
Lamp at Noon
- Being Isolated corrupted Ellen and Paul's relationship, just like isolation corrupted Frankenstein's monster "inherently good" nature and provoked him to seek revenge on his creator. Paul's determination and quest for success could be compared with Victor Frabkenstein's quest for scientific success as well.
Boys and Girls
- In the story the daughter's one wish is to find
acceptance of self-identity
, and all of her actions can be traced back to this purpose. Frankenstein's monster has similar wishes. All of his actions are an extension of the hope he has to one day be accepted by the people around him, and find a place where he fits in.
Where the World Began
- The seasons in
Where the World Began
are obstacles in the story, and pushing beyond those obstacles are always worth it in the end because how we cope with those obstcales define who we are. In
both the protagonist and the antagonist have obstacles to overcome, that end up defining their lives. Victor goes through obstacles to push the boundaries of science and create the monster he did. The monster's biggest obstacle is the isolation he suffers from.
Real World Situations
Frankenstein's monster was isolated which was why he later was violent to innocent people. Feral children around the world who were isolated for many years had difficulty surviving in society once they were resucued. For example Genie Wiley was isolated for thirteen years and when they discovered her, she could barely stand up, eat, or control her bowel. Although therapists did work with her for years she was never truely normal.
Frankenstein: And The Modern Prometheus
Frankenstein is a story of societal insight that illuminates the extent to which our human
conscience can destroy is. Victor Frankenstein, is a passionate scientist in a pursuit of
knowledge, who pushes the boundaries of technology and natural philosophy to create life.
Frankenstein’s monster is left isolated and alone and longs to ﬁnd acceptance and
companionship, but ends up seeking revenge on his creator. As a reader you ﬁnd yourself
contemplating which character is the villain and which is the hero, the impact of our actions in
the world around us and the danger of mankind playing the role of God. Frankenstein is a poetic
and thought provoking novel of passion, love, friendship, and a hint of horror! !
Special Note: Frankenstein is a novel written in the Victorian Literature time period. The Victorian Period most often refers to the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). The reading audience grew during this period due to the increase in literacy rates and growth of the middle class. A theme in this type of literature is Idealism. It is often considered as an age of doubt and pessimism. The influence of science is felt here. The whole age is caught up in the conception of man in relation to the universe with the idea of evolution. Though practical, it is an idealistic age where the great ideals of truth, justice, love and brotherhood are emphasized by poets and novelists of the age.
Appearance vs Reality
Monstrosity and Humanity
Love and Belonging
Characters seem to automatically judge the monster based on his grotesque appearance. They believe he is evil when in reality all he wants is companionship and someone to understand him. Even the monsters own creator abandons him, therefore his pure intentions and inherent good nature was corrupted by lack of nurtre.
The monster is rejected by society because he is hideous. Monstrosity as well as humanity are huge themes in the novel but tie together. Most things about the monster is monstrous including the way he was made, from old body parts and chemicals. Throughtout the novel as a reader, you notice ironically that the monster is the most human out of all the characters and the real monsters are the people in society.
-The Protagonist in the story
-Swiss boy, who grew up in Geneva
-Stong Thirst for Knowledge and Natural Philosophy
- Creates a Monster, who he abondoned
-Keeps his creation a secret and lives in fear and guilt
- Son to Alphonse Frankenstein
-Cousin and later husband to Elizabeth
-Brother to William
-Victor Frankenstein's childhood friend
-Considered part of his family
-Henry's cheerfulness stands out in comparison to
-Victor Frankenstein's father
-A caring family man who takes
care of his children and Elizabeth
-Orphan who was taken in by the Frankenstein
-Victor's best childhood friend, cousin, and later
becomes his wife.
-Creation of Victor Frankenstein
-Made out of stolen body parts and chemicals
-Seeks companionship and someone to understand him
-Rejected by society, and
Text to Text Connections
The Great Gatsby:
-Frankenstein and Gatsby are similar in that their motives and actions are a result of being in constant pursuit of their dreams.
"Nothing is more painful to the human mind than after the feelings have been worked up by a quick succession of events." (Frankenstein, 85)
-Both Gatsby and Frankenstein are driven by hope and fear. Frankenstein holds on to hope to gain success in scientific discovery and ends up living in fear by what he has discovered. Similar to how Gatsby held onto hope, but his hope blinded him and he lived in fear of losing what he loved most.
* A technical similarity is the use of Pathetic Fallacy
The Nature of Human Nature
Recall the question; "As humans, are we inherently good or inherently evil?"
As you read Frankenstein, you are forced to ask yourself this same question repeatedly. The creature Frakenstein creates, expresses similar desires of the average human. He wishes to be loved by the people around him and to be accepted into the lives of the families around him. Some of the monster's decisoins and actions are not to be dismissed, as human lives were taken as collateral damage in his revenge. But the monster had to discover life all on his own and endure isolation and abandonment, and because of this his malice is justified. The monsters inherently good nature was corrupted by the lack of nature.
Food For Thought:
- How do you think you could possibly relate to a monster who has been isolated as much as Frankenstein's monster has?
- Think back your original answer to the "inherently good" or "inherently bad" question. Do you think you would change your initial opinion based on what you have learned about Frankenstein's monster?
Revenge comes our later in the novel, but it is at the core of all of the plot twists and action that takes place between Frankenstein and his monster. The monster may think he has no connection to anyone in the world because he is so different, but the act of revenge is a trait strong in both the monster and his creator. Revenge turns
Human or not, everyone wants to feel loved it is human nature and although the monster is not human he still desires the love of another. The monster wants to be loved and accepted and to feel like he belongs in human society.
Victor also craves the love of Elizabeth and his father and seeks the aproval of both.