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Transcript of Frankenstein
Emily, Emma, Eric, Gracie, Karlie, Natalie, Nathan, Ryan, Sarah, Sami
Story begins with a series of letters from Walton to his sister
Victor is born to a wealthy family in Geneva
They adopt a little girl, Elizabeth, whom Victor is very close to
Victor has a passion for science and alchemy as he grows up
Elizabeth becomes very sick with scarlet fever before Victor goes off to college
she gets better but Victor’s mother catches the illness and dies
Victor goes to college at Ingolstadt
throws himself into studying science and where life comes from
Works for 2 years trying to create life from dead bodies
-Protagonist (His POV)
-Thirst for knowledge and power-leads him to study biology at University at Ingolstadt
-"A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me." (32)
-Had a very happy childhood; felt empowered and believed nothing could hurt him because of it
-Criticized for his discipleship of the philosopher Cornelius Agrippa who claimed the study of magic was the best way to know God and nature (20)
-His father discouraged reading Agrippa without explaining why, so forbidden books intrigued him, leading to his later interests in forbidden and grotesque studies
-Affected by mother's death-wants to find way to bestow life (32)
-Antagonist; Protagonist during his POV (70-104)
-Has no concept of hate or reason to hate initially
-Learns through observation-observes loving family
-Very appreciative; not aware/dampened by poverty
-Observes happiness through companionship-ultimate goal
-Learns differences and hate from villagers/girl's father
-Realizes power/fear is a tool for achieving goals
-Sees no hope for life without companionship, but learns the value of revenge from Victor's desire to take revenge on him
-Childhood friend of Victor
-Always yearning for education and adventure, but his merchant father won't allow him to attend University at first
-"He was a boy of singular talent and fancy" (19)
-Brother figure to Victor since his biological brothers are significantly younger
-Victor & Clerval are separated during his study at Ingolstadt until Clerval finally persuades his father to allow him to study
-Arrives in time for Victor's extreme fever and nurses him back to health
-Later travels to Scotland with Victor as he works on the Monster's mate
-Represents the innocence and romanticism of the world to Victor
-Killed by the creature as punishment after Victor discontinues his work on the mate; represents Victor's loss of joy and hope
-Victor is arrested for Clerval's murder but eventually found not guilty
New Historical Lens
He succeeds and is horrified at the monster he created
He is in a fever for months and his friend Henry comes to care for him
Victor finds out that William has died.
Victor goes home to his family
Justine is convicted for the murder and executed.
Victor finds the monster and goes to his hut to hear his story.
The monster asks Victor to create a female monster for him, but later, Victor refuses.
Clerval and Elizabeth are murdered and Victor’s father dies.
Victor pursues the monster and ends up on Walton’s boat.
Walton ends in letters explaining how Victor died.
-Servant to the Frankenstein household while Victor is at Ingolstadt; still a part of the family
-Arrested for William's murder; found with his picture of his mother in her pocket
-Family is sure of her innocence
-Handles herself calmly at the trial and simply states her innocence-is still in shock of the accusation
-Execution amplifies Victor's mistake in creating the monster
Moss, Joyce, and George Wilson. Literature and Its
Times: Profiles of 300 Notable Literary Works and the Historical Events That Influenced Them. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1997. Print.
How does the New Historical Lens apply to
-England's Industrial Revolution:
-Within 1700 to 1800, population increased from 6 to 9 million inhabitants due to advances in agriculture, health, and heartier food.
-Decimated smallpox and typhus with inoculation and cotton clothing, respectively.
-Incomes and demand also increased.
-The Romantic Movement:
-Romantics appreciated natural beauty and criticized labor exploitation and pollution from Industrial Revolution.
-Science and Technology:
-In 1750, 100> patents existed; in 1780, 400< patents existed.
-Erasmus Darwin contributed a few inventions, but also discussed biological evolution and the generation of life.
-The French Revolution:
-The revolt led to a fiery passion for new beginnings within France's government.
-A fever of exploration set in as people tromped to the North in search of establishing the North Pole and finding interesting things (Moss and Wilson).
Young Frankenstein in Five Minutes
We now know about the current events during Mary Shelley's life, but how can we compare those things to
-The Industrial Revolution started all things.
-Victor Frankenstein craved knowledge of natural chemistry and studied the origin of life (21).
-Shelley and her husband Percy Bysshe considered new creations (as Darwin's followers) as not impossible; this idea turned into
-The Romantic Movement considered the beauty of Switzerland and Siberia (64- 65).
-The Arctic Exploration provided a proper, adventurous setting for Captain Walton (1).
-The Monster is modeled after the French Revolution as a profound achievement, but the resulting violence demonstrated its only faults (90, 97).
-Ingolstadt, Germany, where Victor studies, was the birthplace of revolutionary ideals.
-Frankenstein is NOT the Monster
-The Monster never receives his bride
-Igor does not exist in the book
About the Author
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, later known as “Mary Shelley”
born on August 30, 1797 in London, England
William Goodwin- father- philosopher and political writer
Mary Wollstonecraft- mother- famous feminist, author of The Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)
Her mother died shortly after her birth, so Shelley didn’t even have a chance to know her. Her father was left to care for her and her older half-sister, Fanny Imlay (the child of an affair between Wollstonecraft and a soldier)
Her father remarried, and Mary never connected with her stepmother. Her stepmother sent all of her girls to school, but felt no need to educate Mary.
Mary escaped her life through reading in her father’s library and imagining.
"As a child, I scribbled; and my favourite pastime, during the hours given me for recreation, was to 'write stories.'"
She published her first poem, "Mounseer Nongtongpaw," in 1807, through her father's company.
Shelley married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1816. At first she was ostracized for her relationship with him because he was a respected married man (He was still married to his first wife when he and the teenaged Mary fled England together in 1814).
Wrote her most famous novel, Frankenstein, 2 years after her marriage.
She said the idea came to her in a dream, where she saw a student putting together parts of a man’s body and trying to make it come to life. She released Frankenstein anonymously when she was only 21 years old. Five years later she was named as the author.
Lost three of her children prematurely until the birth of her only surviving child Percy Florence, who was born in 1819.
Died on February 1st, 1851 from a brain tumor.
Mary, Percy, and mutual friends such as Lord Byron and John Polidori were traveling in the Geneva region, where much of the story takes place, and they decided to have a contest to see who could write the best horror story.
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Starts adult life at the top:
-Set in his ways
-Acceptance of facts is shaken
-Victor's studies are obsolete
-Confidence is shaken
-He is disgusted with his own
Family and friends are killed off one-by-one:
-William, Justine, Clerval, Elizabeth, Alphonse
-Questions his own morality (This happens throughout the novel)
Begins life at the lowest level:
-Discovers his basic needs
-Learns to care for himself
-Builds a concept of family while
observing the cottagers
-Confidence is continually shaken, eventually asks Victor to create a female monster for him
-Later becomes confident in his vengeance
-Finally accepts facts and is ready to
die when Victor dies.
-Lord Bryon issued a challenge to write a ghost story.
The conversations about what to write sparked her imagination
-Her father wrote some books
Someone else haunts the main character because he knows too much
(Monster haunts Frankenstein because he is able to make another creation)
The main character’s knowledge becomes a curse
(Victor learns how to create life and it haunts him)
Only one of her four children survived to be an adult.
Her sister and Percy’s ex-wife committed suicide
Themes & Motifs
When her mother died, she felt alone and bitter as her father (her creator) expected her to take the place of her mother
Her stepsister, Jane/Claire (changed her name), followed her and Percy to Europe and was there on their wedding night, just like the monster
She had a love of reading, just like the monster
Her and Percy went to a lecture by Andrew Crosse, a British scientist
-Dr. Crosse did research about electricity and how it can bring life to a body
”man of research” (Frankenstein)
Summer of 1812, she lived with a friend of her fathers, William Baxter.
She experienced a lot of happiness and loved the close-knit family
1. Is it socially justifiable to destroy life if it would be beneficial for the rest of mankind? Explain the ethical factors of this decision.
Connection: In the text of Frankenstein, Victor destroys the second creature that he already begun working on and bringing to life (120-121).
2. Do women still today take a suppressed role in society? How should this issue be addressed or fixed?
Connection: The character of Justine fails to fight and instead allows to be overshadowed and sentenced to death for a murder she did not commit(56-57).
3. Should one solely be judged on their outward appearance? In what ways can society overcome this social stigma?
Connection: The monster created by Victor appears extremely grotesque and this causes others he encounters to judge him prematurely and they fail to see who he truly is as a person(69).
4. Following evil action, where is the line between proper judgement and forgiveness?
Connection: This correlates to the daemon from the story and begs the question of whether or not he deserves to be forgiven for the murders he committed in rage following his rejection by society(102-103).
5. Should we continue to pursue genetic engineering as a society in relation to both animals and humans? Consider both the potential benefits and risks.
Connection: The creation of the monster itself seems to be a rather controversial idea and really highlights the social issue of whether or not scientists should perform genetic modifications on life (34-35).
6. Is the thought and idea of revenge socially acceptable? Explain thoroughly why you support or reject this notion.
Connection: Following the murders of multiple close family members and friends Victor seeks vengeance against the monster he created (148-149).
7. Where should we draw the line in terms of interfering with nature? Does attempting to manipulate life and death create too much of a potential problem?
Connection: The thought behind this question brings up the social debate of whether or not science should attempt to interfere with the natural causes of life and death. Victor crosses this threshold when he brings a dead creature to life and then suffers from the results of his experimentation(35-36).
"Mary Shelley - Biography." Mary Shelley. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Jan. 2014. <http://www.egs.edu/library/mary-shelley/biography/>.
"Mary Shelley Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 2014. Web. 07 Jan. 2014.
Weinberg, Larry, Ken Barr, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Frankenstein. New York: Random House, 1982. Print.
Mary Shelley uses technological and scientific advancements as well as the trending Romantic and Darwinism ideologies as a source of inspiration for
Mary Shelley's personal life, specifically the interactions she had with friends and family, shaped the characters within
Mary Shelley develops her characters with underlying trials, insecurities and positive experiences, therefore exploring Jung's hierarchy of needs.
Capt. Robert Walton
- A lonely Captain on his way to the North Pole
- His letters written to his sister in the preface tell of his deep longing for friendship and his love of adventure
- His ship soon becomes stuck in the thick ice and him and his crew decide to wait to move until the ice thaws
- The next morning comes across a deathly ill Frankenstein and attempts nursing him to health
- Frankenstein tells Walton his life story and then dies, leaving Walton to mourn the man he was becoming friends with
- Revealed that whole story was composed of letters from Walton to his sister
- Is a parallel of Victor; both are pioneers trying to discover the unknown
- Walton also serves as a foil to Victor; Frankenstein is compulsive and chooses to put his desires before the safety of his loved ones, Walton is strong enough to put the safety of a crew he barely knows before his dream
- Orphan girl adopted by the Frankenstein family
- Elizabeth and Victor become close friends and his mother expects them to marry
- After Victor leaves, Elizabeth contracts scarlet fever which she gives the Victor's mother (dies)
- Is looked over by Victor for several years as she patiently longs for him
-A reluctant Victor soon agrees to marry
- Elizabeth is then killed by the monster on the wedding night
- Illustrates the novel's motif of passive women
- Youngest sibling of Victor and Victor's favorite
- Believed to be murdered by Justine
- Actually killed by the Monster in a fit of rage after he identified himself as a Frankenstein
- His and Justine's death perpetuate Victor's guilt
- Causes Victor to refuse to create a mate for the monster, thus leading to Elizabeth's death