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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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Irene Majer

on 9 December 2015

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Transcript of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The scenario
During the rainy summer of 1816, the "Year Without a Summer", the world was locked in a long cold volcanic winter caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815. Mary Shelley, aged 18, and her lover (and later husband) Percy Bysshe Shelley, visited Lord Byron at the Villa Diodati near Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

The competiton
Sitting around a log fire at Byron's villa, the company amused themselves by reading German ghost stories, then Byron proposed that they "each write a ghost story". Unable to think of a story, young Mary became anxious: "<<Have you thought of a story?>> I was asked each morning, and each morning I was forced to reply with a mortifying negative."

The nightmare

During one evening in the middle of summer, the discussions turned to the nature of the principle of life. "Perhaps a corpse would be re-animated", Mary noted, "galvanism had given token of such things". It was after midnight before they retired, and unable to sleep, she became possessed by her imagination as she beheld the grim terrors of her "waking dream".

The author: Mary Shelley
by Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley's Family
Mary Shelley was born in London in 1797. When she was 19 years old she married Percy Shelley, a romantic poet. In 1816 she wrote her best novel: Frankestein. She died in 1851 after a troubled life.

William Godwin was the father of Mary. He was an English journalist, political philosopher and novelist. He invited at home a lot of scientist and writer that influenced the daughter.
Mary Wallstonecraft was the mother of Mary. She was an English writer, philosopher, and she fought for women's rights. Mary had never know her because she died after pregnancy.
Who is Frankenstein?
A lot of people think Frankestein is the monster’s name. But it's the name of the protagonist. The name came from a german region where there was an alchemist who made experiment over dead bodies.

Where Frankenstein works?
The doctor create the deamon during his period of studying at university and not in a gothic castle

Is this a diary?
This book it isnt’t a diary but the story is told to the reader by the letters that capitain Wolton writes to her sister during his travel.
The plot
The frame
The story is not told chronologically because is introduced to us by a series of letters written by Walton, an explorer, to his sister Margareth. He met Frankenstein, a doctor who menages to create a human by dead corps. Depsite he create a monster that becomes a murderer. At the end of the story he destroy his creator.

Character Description:
Created by Victor Frankenstein
Rejected by society due to his size and appearance
Haunts his creator and causes him misfortune
Romantic Qualities:

The monster
Character Description:
Protagonist and narrator
Creator of "the monster", which he is repulsed by and keeps secret
Experiences a feeling of guilt and shame because of his creation's negative impact on the lives of others
Romantic Quality:
Mad scientist
Promethean, or villain-hero

Viktor Frankenstein
Character Description:
Orphan adopted by Frankensteins
Becomes Victor’s wife
Killed by the monster
Romantic Quality:
Innocent victim
Female heroine
Elizabeth Lavenza
Character Description:
British explorerer who is traveling in the arctic
Meets the weakened Victor Frankenstein and nurses him to health
Journey is documented through letters sent to his sister, Margaret Saville
Romantic Quality:
Seeks forbidden knowledge
Robert Walton
Who is the monster?
In all over the book we can read all victor’s ideas and emotion about everything. Victor is a very lonely man : "In a solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house, and separated by all the other apartments by a gallery and a staircase, I kept my workshop of filthy creation".
We can see this theme also with the deamon, that is not accepted by all the society for his features, this is the reason he asked to victor to make another monster like him.
At least, Robert Walton is another lonely man, he write: " I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy"

In the novel the reader can notice the change in all the characters personality tha is conditioned by the place and the actions. In this novel the journey is different by the classical viosion of it, for example in the precedent letereture like “ gulliver’s travellles “ the journey was something that cuold elevete humans", here we have three kinds of juorney:
revange travell
research trip ( scientific journey )
escape jorney
These three kinds of travell aren’t made for moral reason or to elevate the soul, but their goal is only based on the character interest.

Walton, Victor and the monster all begin their stories by expressing a deep desire to explain the world around them, which is like an unknown mystery waiting to be discovered. Each has a different focus. The monster wants to discover humanity in general. Victor and Walton, however, have lofty ambitions and are prepared to sacrifice human relationships in order to fulfil them. Victor’s desire to find the “hidden laws of nature” and Walton’s “ardent” passion to explore the “undiscovered solitudes” of the North Pole. Victor’s act of creation eventually results in the destruction of everyone dear to him. Walton ultimately pulls back from his treacherous mission, having learned from Victor’s example how destructive the thirst for knowledge can be.
“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.”
Life and death
Victor acts as a creator giving the priciple of life to the inanimate substance. We must think abuot these fact, is it right that men should have this power?
For us the answer is no: men are not allowed to have this power, the author tell this opinion in the book because at the end the deamon decide for peculiar type of death, he want to die burnt because in this way no one could understand how he had been created, so no one cold reeate him.

The scenario where Frankenstein was written, is importan for the scientific revolution, men understand the importance of science in all knowledge and activity. Anyway in the novel, Mary Shelley show to the reader that in some way the scientist couldn’t controll their discoveries.
The case presented in the books has drammatic conseguences: the main character adimts his errors and the problem of his discovery. The reason why he decides to tell his experience to Wolton is to avoid pepole in doing is own mistake.

Sublime nature
The sublime natural world is a source of strong emotional experience for the individual, initially offers characters the possibility of spiritual renewal. Mired in depression and remorse after the deaths of William and Justine, for which he feels responsible, Victor heads to the mountains to lift his spirits. After a winter of cold and abandonment, the monster feels his heart lighten as spring arrives. The influence of nature on mood is evident throughout the novel, but for Victor, the natural world’s power to console his decline when he realizes that the monster will haunt him no matter where he goes. By the end, as Victor chases the monster obsessively, nature, in the form of the Arctic desert, functions simply as the symbolic backdrop for his primal struggle against the monster.
"The storm appeared to approach rapidly, and, on landing, I ascended a low hill, that I might observe its progress. It advanced; the heavens were clouded, and I soon felt the rain coming slowly in large drops, but its violence quickly increased … While I watched the tempest, so beautiful yet terrific, I wandered on with a hasty step. This noble war in the sky elevated my spirits."
The monster begins its life with a warm, open heart. But after it is abandoned and mistreated first by Victor and then by the De Lacey family, the monster turns to revenge. The monster's actions are understandable: it has been hurt by the unfair rejection of a humanity that cannot see past its own prejudices, and in turn wants to hurt those who hurt it. But in taking revenge, it undersnd that it will never be accepted in human society.
Revenge does not just consume the monster, however. It also consumes Victor, the victim of the monster's revenge. After the monster murders Victor's relatives, Victor vows a "great and signal revenge on [the monster's] cursed head." In a sense then, the very human desire for revenge transforms both Victor and the monster into true monsters that have no feelings or desires beyond destroying their foe.
Viktor Frankenstein
"When I reflected on his crimes and malice, my hatred and revenge burst all bounds of moderation. I would have made a pilgrimage to the highest peak of the Andes, could I when there have precipitated him to their base. "
The monster
"Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me; my feelings were those of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants and have glutted myself with their shrieks and misery."
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
"I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on."
"So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation."
"I am alone and miserable: man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create."
"Seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries."
"we are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves -- such a friend ought to be -- do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures."
"For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart."
Created by Alessandro Allevi, Alessandro Previtali and Irene Majer
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