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Copy of Frankenstein Overview

A breif introduction to Frankenstein

Adriel Duncan

on 21 February 2011

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Transcript of Copy of Frankenstein Overview

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley What is a frame narrative? The Monster tells
a story to Victor Who tells that story
to Walton Who tells that story to his sister Influences The death and writings of her mother Scientific progress Galvanism: the reanimation
of dead tissue with electricity Some more helpful terms Gothic novel: writing involving
mystery,horror, and the
supernatural. Allusion: a reference in writing
to a work of art, piece of
literature, mythology, or Biblical
story or character. A story within
a story Allusions in Frankenstein: Paradise Lost Rime of the
Ancient Mariner Myth of Prometheus And the following allusions... such as... Mary Wollstonecraft From Greek mythology, Promethus was a Titan and champion of mankind. He stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals. As punishment, Zeus had him chained to a rock while a great eagle ate his liver every single day. His liver would then grow back to be eaten again the next day. It is a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It's a tale of an old mariner (sailor) who tells a strange tale to a wedding guest. In this story, the man's boat gets trapped in ice, and an albatross (bird) appears. The albatross guides the men out of trouble. For no apparant reason, he shoots it.
...smart move The crew makes the mariner wear the albatross around his neck. Terrible visions plague the mariner, and all his crew mysteriously die. Finally, he returns home and is compelled to tell his tale to a holy man. How does this connect? Right from the start, Walton references the poem. He tells Mrs Saville in a letter he won't end up like the mariner, but tells her he finds the writing of 'modern' poets alluring. Frankenstein also quotes the poem right after fleeing the monster. He hurries through the streets "not daring to look about him." Here he is frightened of a similar situation to the mariners' hellish visions. Ironically, the part of the poem Frankenstein quotes is at the end of the mariner's torture, while Frankenstein's is just beginning. Does Frankenstein fail to recognise the long-term consequences of his actions? There are also similarities in setting. Walton is writing from a ship which is (at one point) trapped in ice. just like the mariner. Why is it important? The monster bears some similarities to the albatross. Like the albatross, the monster itself is blameless. Although it bestows misery and torture on Frankenstein, it is through his own misdoing. In this way, the Mariner shooting the albatross is comparable to Frankenstein rejecting the monster. Like the albatross to the Mariner, the monster is 'attached' to Frankenstein. What differs is that Frankenstein is never released from the monsters 'curse' and eventually dies as a result. The poem and novel share a simlilar tone. Both start relatively happy but by their conclusion we look back on tragic stories with strong messages. These messages, like the endings of the pieces of writing, are different and this reflects the nature of the characters and the curse. It is an epic poem by John Milton. It describes the fall of Satan from heaven and his plot of revenge against God. Where are there links? Frankenstein owns a copy of the poem. Much of his knowledge about the world comes from a few select texts, so Paradise Lost obviously plays a role in shaping how the monster thinks and acts. He says, "Paradise Lost excited different and far deeper emotions" than the other books, suggesting it was the most important for the monster. Frankenstein compares himself to God. This happens on a number of occasions throughout the novel. Frankenstein is the creator of The Monster and therefore, like God, believes he is a greater being than his 'wretched' creation.
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