Presentation on theme: "Mary Shelley. Frankenstein Modern Prometheus 1931 The author, Mary Shelley, was born Mary Wollstonecraft in London in 1797 and died in 1851 at the age."— Presentation transcript:
1931 The author, Mary Shelley, was born Mary Wollstonecraft in London in 1797 and died in 1851 at the age of 54 from a brain tumor. Shelley was 19 years old when she wrote this Gothic novel in 1816. At the time she was married to a poet, Percy Shelley, who helped her with the editing process of this novel.
1931 Mary wrote the novel one summer while she vacationed at Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The weather was unseasonably cold. For entertainment, Mary Shelley, her husband (poet) Percy Bysshe Shelley, (poet) Lord Byron, and Jane Clairmont would sit around reading ghost stories.
1931 On June 15, 1816, a challenge was issued among the four of them to see who could write the most terrifying story. Mary Shelleys story is based on her life experiences, her dreams, and scientific research and experiments of that time period.
1931 Mary Shelley had previously suffered with nightmares in 1815 after her daughter died two weeks after birth. Repeatedly Mary dreamt her baby was just cold, and that she herself brought her daughter back to life after messaging the infants lifeless body while sitting next to a warm fire.
1931 On June 15, 1816, Mary experienced a different nightmare in which she dreamt, a pale student of unhallowed arts creates a living being from dead parts. (Frankenstein p.x) [unhallowed: against what is considered holy and sacred; immoral and unethical according to societys standards]
1931 That dream was the basis for her gothic story. Ironically, Mary Shelley was the only one out of the group to finish her tale of terror. Mary Shelleys gothic novel was published in 1818 when she was just 21. She went on to publish other works, but none ever matched the popularity of FRANKENSTEIN.
Mary Shelleys novel wasnt based on her dreams alone. In the early 1800s, scientists were obsessed with finding a way to bring the dead back to life. Mary found this idea fascinating and kept current with all new science experiments taking place during her time. Luigi Galvani was one scientist that believed that electricity was the life force for living beings.
He would take dead animals and shock their bodies with high currents of electricity. The corpse would jolt when shocked with electrical currents. Luigis nephew, Giovanni Aldini, took the experiment one step further. In London, on January 17, 1803, he publicly performed this experiment on the corpse of a human being, a prisoner that had been executed by hanging.
Giovanni attached live wires to the corpse: 120 plates of zinc and 120 plates of copper. Giovanni reported, the jaw began to quiver, the adjoining muscles were horribly contorted, and the left eye actually opened.(Frankenstein, p. xx)
The muscles of the corpse were shocked to such a degree that the corpse appeared animated to the public. With Frankenstein, the sci-fi era began. The novel contains the 3 elements essential for all science fiction work: (1)its based on valid scientific research; (2)gives a persuasive prediction of what science might achieve in the future; (3) and it offers a humanistic critique of the benefits and dangers of either the achievement or scientific thought. (p. xx)
Structure and Point of View Epistolary – carried by letters Frame Story
Romantic Movement: (1770-1870) This movement is not about romance or love but about disillusioned liberals who were tired of the common people being oppressed by tyrant rulers. This time period happens simultaneously with revolutions around the world: the American R. 1776, the French R. 1789, the French Reign of Terror 1793, Napoleon is crowned Emperor--1804. Nature imagery is a key element in Romantic literature because human tyranny could not control nature. For the Romantics, nature represented peace and they believed that all emotional healing came from nature. [Nature imagery is abundant in Frankenstein.] Mary Shelley
1997 Gothic Literature: Its an offshoot of Romantic literature. Along with nature having the power of healing, Gothic writers gave nature the power of destruction. Many storms arise in the book, including storms the night the creature comes to life… The most common feature of Gothic literature is the indication of mood through the weather. When bad things are going to happen in a Gothic novel, the reader knows it because there is inevitably a storm outside. (Grudzina)