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Frankenstein

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  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

  2. Mary Shelley (1797-1851) Father: William Godwin, philosopher & novelist, radical ideas Mother: Mary Wollstonecraft, feminist & author, died 10 days after Mary’s birth

  3. Growing up… Exposed to intellectuals – philosophy, politics, science, literature Great advances in science – contribution to novel Belief that science could improve life Missing link = mother Motherless, Mary & the creature suffer some of the same emotions Mary’s insecurities – maternal, as an author – translate to creature’s insecurities

  4. Marriage… Eloped to France w/Percy Shelley Mary was 16 Switzerland, Germany, & Italy 4 children w/in 5 years 3 died as infants Birth & death – related to Frankenstein

  5. The novel… Written w/in 1 year – published 1818 Lord Byron, Dr. John Polidori – Lake Geneva, Swiss Alps Galvanization – medical advances

  6. The novel… Gothic novel – Gothic genre was a phase in Romantic movement – Forerunner of modern mystery/science fiction -- supernatural -- horror -- mystery -- brooding atmosphere -- fear -- remote settings -- violent/mysterious events -- reveal the dark side of human beings

  7. The novel… Morally complex characters Provoking questions science society human nature destructiveness of human nature Cloning Genetic engineering Stem cell research

  8. The novel… Setting – 1700s – Europe – Switzerland, Germany, Arctic Published during Romantic period in England Optimism – human endeavors Hopeful, but turbulent times – Industrialism

  9. The novel… Elements of Romanticism Innovation Spontaneity Freedom of thought/expression Idealization of nature Individualism Imagination Emotions triumphed rational thought Passion Nature, beauty, societal rebels

  10. The novel… Addresses serious philosophical subjects in a fantastical manner Confronts recognizable human problems but not in a rational, recognizable world Literary tension = tension that existed between Mary and Percy

  11. The novel… Themes: nurture vs. nature good vs. evil ambition vs. social responsibility

  12. The novel… Subtitle: The Modern Prometheus Greek Mythology – Prometheus – stole fire from Zeus – punishment Prometheus plasticator – created mankind from clay Stolen fire – Fire of life Prometheus – creating aspect fused w/in novel Modern Prometheus = Victor Frankenstein Prometheus defies gods (Zeus) = punishment Victor defies God = punishment

  13. Characters… Victor Frankenstein Elizabeth Lavenza Alphonse Frankenstein Caroline Beaufort Frankenstein Henry Clerval the Dæmon