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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein A Message on the Irony and Danger in the Quest for Power.

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Presentation on theme: "Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein A Message on the Irony and Danger in the Quest for Power."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein A Message on the Irony and Danger in the Quest for Power

2 Overview  Images of Frankenstein—Why is it a Classic?  Thesis  The Romantic Period  The Gothic Novel  Scientific Research of the Time  The Author - Mary Shelley  Shelley’s Purpose—A Novel Analysis... (a.k.a. the rest of your unit!)

3 Images of “Frankenstein” 1 2 3 INTERACTIVE TASK: What is your image of “Frankenstein”? Draw it or jot down a list of descriptive words.

4 Why is it a Classic? It speaks truths It reveals human fears It warns us of human’s relentless search for power

5 Thesis  Influenced by the Romantic Period, the scientific inquiry of her time, and her own life, Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel, Frankenstein, presents a clear message on the irony and danger in the quest for power.

6 Setting the Stage... What influenced Shelley to write this novel?  The Romantic Period  The Gothic Novel  Scientific Research  Her own life

7 The Romantic Period  Time of political revolution and new ways of looking at the world (especially in the light of the French Revolution)  A time of expression.  Britain was becoming the most powerful nation in the world. Britain’s prosperity (Industrial Revolution) eventually created a sense of British righteousness.  Critiqued the single-mindedness of the Enlightenment period; much more self-conscious. –“Whereas the Enlightenment period saw man in common, that is, as creatures endowed with Reason, the Romantics saw diversity and uniqueness... Discover yourself -- express yourself, cried the Romantic artist... instead of the motto, "Dare to know!" the Romantics took up the battle cry, "Dare to be!" The Romantics were rebels and they knew it” (Kreis).

8 The Gothic Novel  Out of the late Romantic social climate, the Gothic novel grew: “a new and fearful genre for a new and fearful time. A crumbling way of life emerges as a crumbling and haunted Gothic manor; the loss of English social identity becomes the Gothic hero or heroine's search for identity.” (Ruotolo)  The revolutions in America and France helped developed a culture of fear present in society and represented in Gothic literature-- * fear of imprisonment or entrapment, *fear of rape and personal violation, *fear of evil triumphing over good and chaos over order. Gothic literature gets its name from the Gothic architecture that often makes up its settings.

9  Writing style is filled with: innovation, spontaneity, freedom of thought and expression, idealization of nature, etc.  A lot of mysterious disappearances as well as other supernatural occurrences.  The main protagonist is usually a solitary, egocentric character.  Nature is used frequently to create atmosphere.  Evoke terror.  Show the dark side of human nature. Characteristics of the Gothic Novel

10 Scientific Research of the Time   In the Victorian period, “[s]cience begins to dominate public discourse, and even, according to some writers, partially displaces religion as a coherent world view. A[n outcome] of scientific dominance is the belief that when science advances, so does human society: science and progress, in other words, go hand in hand. Through most of the Victorian Era... science is not so specialized into isolated disciplines that the ordinary, well-educated citizen cannot follow its movements” (Drake).

11 Scientific Research of the Time  The Industrial Revolution led to massive leaps forward in engineering.  Formalization of the study of science at university; many men focused on the study of natural history.  Concept of Electricity and warmth led to the discovery of the Galvinization process (term for current electricity produced by Volta's battery invented in 1799)--key to the animation of life.  Scientist Johann Konrad Dippel (1673-1734) a mad scientist who studied human anatomy.  The late 18 th century saw a revolution in Chemistry— change from alchemy to Chemistry (atomic theory of matter). This new theory suggested that elements could be put together to create matter.

12 The Author - Mary Shelley  “ The desire to acquire knowledge and the intense passion for research and study is evident throughout the novel, Frankenstein and is demonstrated through the three narrators... the narrators’ quest for new knowledge and knowledge of origins parallel Mary Shelley's lifelong scholarly pursuit and her interest in her own biological origins due to her birth causing her mother's death” (Woodbridge). < Her Parents: Philosopher William Godwin; Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft Her Husband:> Writer Percy B. Shelley

13 Timeline of Mary Shelley’s Life  Aug. 30, 1797 Mary is born to well-known parents: author and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and philosopher William Godwin. Mary Wollstonecraft dies giving birth to Mary.  1813 Mary meets the young poet Percy B. Shelley, a devotee of her father`s teachings  1816 They go to Geneva, this time spending time with Byron and his friend Polidori  1816 William is born.  1816 In Geneva, Byron suggests they should all write a ghost story. Mary begins writing Frankenstein, the only story of the four that was ever published as a novel.  1816 Percy`s wife drowns herself; Percy and Mary marry in December.  1818 Frankenstein Tragedies after Frankenstein  1819 Mary suffers a nervous breakdown after the death of William.  1819 Percy is born; only child of Mary`s to survive childhood.  1822 Percy Sr. drowns during a sailing trip in the Bay of Spezia.  1822 She has a dangerous miscarriage.  1826 She writes The Last Man, which depicts the end of human civilization.  Feb. 1,1851 Mary Shelley dies in London, possibly of a brain tumor. (“About”) (“About”)

14 Shelley’s Purpose As you read the novel, be sure to ask: GGGGiven all of these influences on Shelley’s life, why would she write a novel like Frankenstein? Is it more than just a simple ghost story? Have fun analysing!!!!

15 Works Cited  “About Mary Shelley: Timeline.” Cyber Studios Inc. 2005 5 Mar. 2005. 5 Mar. 2005.  Drake, Alfred. “Romantic and Victorian Characteristics.” Alfred J Drake. 26 Mar. 2005.  Kreis, Steven. “Lecture 16: The Romantic Era.” The History Guide. 2000. 26 Mar. 2005. 26 Mar. 2005.  Ruotolo, Christine. et. al. “The Gothic: Materials for Study.” University of Virginia. 5 Mar. 5 Mar. 2005. 2005.  Woodbridge, Kim, A. “The Life of Mary Shelley.” Kim Woodbridge 2001. 26 Mar. 2005 26 Mar. 2005


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