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Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

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Elaine Dolan

on 30 November 2012

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Transcript of Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Presentation by Elaine Dolan Who is Frankenstein? The Common Misconception Dr. Victor Frankenstein is the young 23-year-old who created the monster commonly referred to as "Frankenstein." The monster itself has no name. The Frankenstein Family Dr. Victor Frankenstein was born in Naples, Italy. His father, Alphonse Frankenstein, and his mother, Caroline Beaufort, met through Alphonse's friend, Beaufort. Beaufort was the father of Caroline before his death, leaving Caroline alone and distraught. Within two years of friendship and comfort, Alphonse and Caroline were married. Alphonse and Caroline traveled much of the time. Caroline and Victor were on an excursion in Italy when they found Elizabeth, a small child in a bundle with three others. Her poverty-stricken caretaker said that her mother was killed during childbirth so Caroline decided to adopt Elizabeth. Frankenstein Family Tragedy Elizabeth caught the scarlet fever in her early teen years and nearly died from it. Caroline nursed her back to health but then caught it from Elizabeth. Caroline's sickness was more severe than Elizabeth's and Caroline passed away soon after.

The tragedy took place
merely days before
Victor's departure for
college at age seventeen. Victor's Love of Science and Creation When Victor first attended the university of Ingolstadt, both of his professors (M. Krempe of natural philosophy and M. Waldman of chemisty) dismissed Victor's prior scientific knowledge. Victor argued his radical ideas of creating life with his professors which only further interested him in the topic. Why Did Victor Try to Create Life? There are a few different ideas. Victor could very well just be an egotistical, self-centered man. "A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me"(Shelley, 48). He could have just wanted power.

This ties into another idea, that is, he wanted the control over life that he couldn't have during his mother's passing. Victor, Think for a Minute! Victor created his monster with the 'raw materials' he'd gathered. Hooray!

Before he brought his creature to life, he tried to make it as beautiful of a being as he could. He did not think at all about how it would move after it was given life, because Victor was suddenly horrified by the monster after it was sentient. The monster did not threaten him but, Victor being Victor, he ran out of the room to spend the night in his bed, leaving the monster alone... In his laboratory. Victor, Think for a Minute! cont'd. Later that same night, Victor dreamt that his sister (or cousin, depending on the version of Frankenstein you read) Elizabeth was being murdered by the monster. Frightened, he awoke in his bed to find the monster standing over him. "His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks"(Shelley, 52). Victor then escaped the monster and slept in the courtyard outside of his apartment.

The next morning, he awoke and decided to take a stroll through the streets of Ingolstadt. Because really, wouldn't that be the first thing you would do after creating a monster and leaving it alone in your apartment for the night? Dearest Henry, I've Created a Monster... While strolling through the streets of Ingolstadt, Victor met up with his childhood friend, Henry Clerval. They hadn't seen each other in quite a while so they decided to catch up by seeing Victor's apartment, assuming Victor was sleep deprived when making this offer. When they reached the apartment, Victor checked his rooms before Henry could come up and found no monster. Henry then came up, only moments later to see Victor collapsing, fallen into a feverish illness from the sudden epiphany that he'd created a monster. Victor was unconscious for quite a few months, nursed back to health by Henry Clerval. When Victor awoke, he'd received a letter from Elizabeth telling him all the important news he'd missed back in Geneva. Victor then introduced Henry, who was studying oriental languages at the time, to the professors at the university. However, even the sight of medical instruments made Victor feel physically sick.

Victor decided to go return to Geneva. Before his departure, he received a letter from his father saying that Victor's little brother, William, had been murdered. Shocked, Victor left for Geneva immediately. When he arrived it was nighttime and the gates of Geneva were shut, so he spent the night walking through the woods on the outskirt of town. There he saw the monster lurking near the spot where William's body had been found, making Victor believe that the monster had murdered William. Face the Ramifications, Victor The next day, after returning home, Victor learned that Justine Moritz (a family friend who grew up with an emotionally abusive mother) had been accused of William's murder. Not wanting to sound crazy, Victor told no one that he believed a monster had killed William. Justine Moritz confessed to the crime in hope of gaining salvation, but confided in Victor and Elizabeth that she was innocent. She was later hanged and Victor consumed in guilt for the death of two loved ones. The Monster Is intelligent After Justine's death, Victor becomes depressed and considers suicide but restrains himself when he thinks of his father and Elizabeth. His father, in an attempt to cheer up Victor, takes him to their family home. After a while of temporary happiness, though, Victor gets depressed again and decides to travel to the summit of Montanvert(icy mountains). There he encounters his monster who persuades Victor to go with him to his ice cave. The monster then tells the tale of how he learned human behavior and language by watching a family through a crack in their wall.

The family consists of De Lacey, a blind old man; and his two children, Agatha and Felix De Lacey. By hiding in the De Laceys' barn, the monster was able to watch them interact and learned how to speak. The monster rifled through some of Victor's clothes that he'd stolen and found a leather book, inscribed by Victor and describing the creation of the monster. The monster then sets off to seek revenge on Victor for abandoning him. Still describing his story, the monster tells Victor that he came across William in the woods of Geneva. After learning that William is Alphonse's son, however, the monster strangles William to spite Victor. The monster finishes his story by imploring Victor to create a second monster as a mate for the first.

Victor is disgusted but easily persuaded as the monster tells of his plan to take his mate to the jungles of South America where they will never be seen by humans. Victor agrees and travels to Scotland to create the second monster. He is soon repulsed by the new creature he's creating and decides to cancel his work on it. The first monster is there and swears that he will appear on Victor's wedding day for vengeance. I Thought We Were Friends This is the Last Slide, I Swear After taking the parts of his second monster out to the ocean, Victor decides to rest in the boat that night. He finds that, the next morning, he'd drifted to land and is met by a group of townspeople greeting him rudely and accusing him of a murder. Victor is being tried for murdering one Henry Clerval. When Victor sees Henry's body, he's shocked to see the monster's hand marks on his neck. Sickened and in shock, Victor falls into convulsions and suffers a long illness. When he awakes after two months, his father has met him in his prison cell. Victor is soon found not guilty for Henry's murder and both Victor and his father return to Geneva, after a short stop in Paris. When they return to Geneva, Victor and Alphonse start planning Victor's wedding to Elizabeth. Victor is still afraid of the monster's threat but doesn't tell Elizabeth. The wedding night has come and the newly-weds retreat to the family's private cottage. Victor, now terrified of the monster, tells Elizabeth to retire to the bedroom as he searches the house. Victor then hears Elizabeth scream and realizes that the monster wasn't threatening Victor's life, but his wife's. This is the climax of the novel. Alphonse soon after dies of shock and grief, and Victor decides to spend the rest off his life hunting down and killing the monster he'd created. Recommendation Here are some reasons why you: Should read the novel Shouldn't read the novel Mary Shelley has a lovely writing style and can dissect human (and monster) behavior very well
(Almost) everybody dies, creating a gripping situation in and of itself
Proves the 'Jurassic Park' message: Just because you can doesn't mean you should Some scenes are pretty intense, I highly suggest not reading Frankenstein at night
You might, like me, be too caught up in Victor's idiotic decisions and actions not to realize what the paragraph you just read was actually about and need to reread it Symbolism In Frankenstein, light symbolizes knowledge; enticing and beautiful. Yet, though a flame may produce light, playing with fire can get you burned. Light and Fire Feeling Regretful, Now, Are We? Thank You!
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