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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Elizabeth Wilks

on 9 April 2018

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Transcript of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
The Gothic Novel
• An atmosphere of gloom, terror, or mystery.
• Elements of the uncanny that challenge reality, including mysterious events that cause the protagonist to question the evidence of his or her senses and the presence of seemingly supernatural beings.
• An exotic setting isolated in time or space from contemporary life, often a ruined mansion or castle. The building may be associated with past violence and contains hidden doors, subterranean secret passages, concealed staircases, and other such features.
Literary Terms
Frame Story: The literary device of creating a larger story for the purpose of combining a number of shorter stories in unity.


Epistolary Novel: A novel which takes the form of letters which pass between the main characters
Anticipation Questions
1. It is a parent's job, more than society's, to nurture his/her child.
2. With the advent of genetic engineering and "designer" babies, parents now have less important roles in the birth process.
3. All children are innately good.
4. Every child needs "mothering" in order to become "human."
5. All parents love their children unconditionally, no matter how they look or act.
6. Children who are "deformed" physically or mentally should be isolated from society.

The Limits of Science
Myth of Prometheus
The central premise of the doppelgänger motif poses the paradox of encountering oneself as another; the logically impossible notion that the ‘I’ and the ‘not-I’ are somehow identical.
is an archetype that represents the unification of the unconsciousness and consciousness of an individual. The creation of the self occurs through a process known as individuation, in which the various aspects of personality are integrated. Jung often represented the self as a circle, square or mandala.
Romantics believed in the natural goodness of humans which is hindered by the urban life of civilization. They believed that the savage is noble, childhood is good and the emotions inspired by both beliefs causes the heart to soar.
Romantics believed that knowledge is gained
through intuition rather than deduction. This is
best summed up by Wordsworth who stated that “all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”
Romantics stressed the awe of nature in art and
language and the experience of sublimity through
a connection with nature. Romantics rejected the
rationalization of nature by the previous thinkers
of the Enlightenment period.
Romantics often elevated the achievements of the
misunderstood, heroic individual outcast.
Romantics legitimized the individual imagination as
a critical authority.

• Events, often violent or macabre, that cannot be hidden or rationalized despite the efforts of the narrator.
• A disturbed or unnatural relation between the orders of things that are usually separate, such as life and death, good and evil, dream life and reality, or rationality and madness.
• An interrupted narrative form that relies on multiple methods—inserted documents, letters, dreams, fragments of the story told by several narrators—to tell the tale.
1. How does Prometheus’s view of humanity’s purpose differ from that of Zeus?

2. Why did the gift of fire allow humans to advance faster than the other creatures on earth?

3. Why do you think Prometheus bore his punishment without complaint? What does this tell us about his belief in human progress?

“Promethean Ambition” is the trait said to be exemplified by both literary and real characters who strive beyond their mortal limitations, often to dangerous or tragic ends.
Originating in the British Gothic novel, the doppelgänger, like the vampire, was a product of early 19th century fascination with folklore; derived from the superstitious belief that seeing one’s double is an omen of death, the doppelgänger motif fuses supernatural horror with a philosophical inquiry concerning personal identity and a psychological investigation into the hidden depths of the human psyche.
Initial Exploration of Themes
The shadow exists as part of the unconscious mind and is composed of repressed ideas, weaknesses, desires, instincts and shortcomings. This archetype is often described as the darker side of the psyche, representing wildness, chaos and the unknown. These latent dispositions are present in all of us, Jung believed, although people sometimes deny this element of their own psyche and instead project it onto others.
1. Interest in the common man and childhood
2. Strong senses, emotions and feelings
3. Awe of nature
4. Celebration of the Individual
5. Importance of imagination
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