Presentation on theme: "Anticipation Guide Technology will eventually solve most of our problems. Everyone has the right to become a parent. Companionship is a basic need that."— Presentation transcript:
Anticipation Guide Technology will eventually solve most of our problems. Everyone has the right to become a parent. Companionship is a basic need that is important as food or shelter. Every child needs “mothering” in order to become “human.” People make judgments about a person based on his or her appearance. Science should explore every possible angle for the progress of humankind even if the advancement appears to go against religion or nature. Being ambitious in reaching your goals is more important than family, friends, and having an intimate relationship.
Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus DECHS 2014 Mary Shelley’s
Introduction Written by Mary Shelley in the early 1800s Classified under two genres: Gothicism and science fiction.
Frankenstein the Novel Written between the Romantic and Victorian periods Written by Mary Shelley, wife of author Percy Shelley A number of Shelly’s own viewpoints and opinions are found in the novel.
Structure and Point of View Epistolary – carried by letters Frame Story
Major Characters Victor Frankenstein – protagonist, product of an ideal education; fueled by possibilities of science and a desire for fame!
Major Characters The Creature - never named; is Victor’s doppelganger (alter ego); Creature rationally analyzes the society that rejects him; sympathetic character, admires people and wants to be a part of human society; only results in violence when he is repeatedly rejected
Major Characters Henry Clerval – Victor’s childhood friend; true romantic, wants to leave mark on the world, but never loses sight of “the moral relations of things: Elizabeth – adopted as an infant by Victor’s family; marries Victor Robert Walton – Arctic explorer who’s obsessed with gaining knowledge and fame; rescues Victor in the Arctic; tells the story
Themes Consequences of irresponsibility in the pursuit of knowledge Consequences of pride Consequences of society’s rejection of someone who is unattractive Destructive power of revenge Parent-child conflicts Sympathy
Other Literary Elements Irony – 2 major ironies Creature is more sympathetic, more imaginative and more responsible to fellow creatures Creature has many pleasing qualities but is an outcast because he’s not physically attractive
Symbols White/light= knowledge Water = knowledge Ice = danger Lightning = nature’s power Nature = acceptance, nuturing, calm Mountains= sublime in nature
Allusion Paradise Lost by John Milton – story of man’s fall from innocence to painful knowledge; Victor can be compared to Adam, Satan, and Eve The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, like narrator, tells story as a warning and a confession
Influences on Frankenstein: Prometheus Prometheus was a titan who had sided with the Olympian gods in the rebellion against Kronos, the ruler of the titans. And though he chose the Olympian gods over the titans, he never had true respect for them. As Zeus, after the revolution, became the almighty ruler, he took his interests in the celestial, and ignored the human race on Earth. He intended them to be primitives, with no gift of knowledge, and forbid any god to impart them with enlightenment. Prometheus looked upon these mortals with pity, and gave them various gifts of knowledge. But of these gifts, the most valuable and the most damning for Prometheus was fire, which enabled men to overcome ignorance and become enlightened. Once Zeus saw that men had overcome ignorance through the rebellious act of Prometheus, he had Prometheus chained to the Caucasus mountains with shackles, and had carnivorous birds swoop down to peck out his liver. And because he was immortal, his liver would grow back during the night, and his torture would continue on every day. But in Ovid's version of the story of Prometheus, Prometheus is not the savior of men, but creator of men who manipulated them to his will.
Paradise Lost The epic detailing the fall of Lucifer by Milton was of a great influence to Frankenstein. In Milton's piece, Adam, God's creation, questions his creator, "Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay/ To mould me Man, did I solicit thee/ From darkness to promote me...?“ The lines were even used in the 1818 edition of Frankenstein, and covers the attitude of Frankenstein's creation.
Rime of the Ancient Mariner A seven part poem written by Samuel Coleridge, a friend of Mary Shelley's father, it is often alluded to in Frankenstein, and has much influence over the story. According to accounts, Mary Shelley would stay up late at night to hear Coleridge himself recite the poem at her house. The poem itself is about a mariner who after killing an an albatross, a sea bird of good luck, undergoes a torturing experience that is meant to be reparation for his deeds. Mary Shelley alludes to the albatross in her story, and the idea of an outcast scorned and enduring suffering is again repeated.
Letters 1-4 Allusion to “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” Structure of the book arranged (epistolary =“letters”) Stranger = general narrator Walton = substitute for audience THEME: Quest for Knowledge can lead to self-destruction Walton suffers from “hubris” ; believes he is invincible Walton’s values are questionable; does not honor his father’s dying request
Letters 1-4 “epic hero” like, Walton is consumed by a need to be immortal Jumps from dream to dream, experienced or not and refuses to let the dream go, no matter what the cost THEME: Humans have a basic need for companionship. Walton has no connection with others; thinks he is “above them” Sees Victor as a “kindred spirit”
Letters I-IV (Prologue) Epistolary The narrator Robert Walton writes to his sister, Margaret Saville Walton embarks on a Romantic Quest Wants to discover a passage near the North Pole to Asia Wants to discover the secret of the compass magnet
Letter I December 11th Walton is far north of London in Saint Petersburg, Russia Imagines the North Pole not as the “capital of frost and desolation” but the “region of beauty and delight” Reveals his Romantic Quest Has dreamed of being an explorer since he was a boy, but his father forbid it Inherited cousin’s fortune, which allowed him to pursue exploration
Letter II March 28 th Surrounded by frost and snow Expresses desire for friendship Surrounded by people, but no one is his equal Wants someone who is gentle, courageous, educated, intelligent, well-mannered, and with similar tastes Alludes to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner “…I shall kill no albatross. Therefore, do not worry about my safety or about my coming back to you as scornful and woeful as the ‘Ancient Mariner’…I have often attributed my attachment to—my passionate enthusiasm for—the dangerous mysteries of the ocean to that poem by Coleridge” (13).
Letter III July 7th Writes to assure Margaret of his safety Mentions floating sheets of ice that continually pass—indicating dangers ahead Tells her that he will be “cool, persevering, and prudent” (15).
Letter IV August 5 th A week prior, nearly surrounded by ice and fog, which was dangerous Mist cleared and Walton and crew saw low carriage, fixed on a sleigh and drawn by dogs, moving north, half a mile away. “Being” that had the shape of a man, but was gigantic, sat on the sleigh. Disappeared among the distant glaciers Two hours later, ice broke and freed ship Spent night at location to be safe
Letter IV (Continued) Next morning, found someone else in a sleigh Drifted toward ship on slab of ice Only one dog remained alive Human being inside the carriage Not savage, like other “being” on previous sleigh, but European Spoke English, but with foreign accent Man was on brink of death
Letter IV (Continued) Man inquired where Walton was headed; satisfied with Walton’s response of North Pole and agreed to come aboard Man’s limbs nearly frozen, body emaciated by fatigue and suffering Man slowly recovered, under Walton’s care Two days later, stranger finally spoke Walton describes him as having eyes which express wildness or madness, but whose face lights up when someone is kind to him. Stranger is generally melancholy and despairing, crush by weight of woes
Letter IV (Continued) Stranger tells Walton that he has traveled upon the ice “‘To find someone who has run away from me’” (19). Walton tells the stranger that the crew had seen the man whom the stranger pursued the previous day Stranger asked questions about where the “demon,” as he called the giant, had gone From then on, stranger was eager to be on deck, watching for the sleigh Walton describes the stranger as being polite and gentle, and though he is a wreck, appealing and friendly. Remarks that the stranger must have been a noble creature when he was better off Says that he has begun to love the stranger as a brother, and feels sympathy and compassion for the stranger
Letter IV (Continued) August 13 th Walton says that his affection for the stranger grows, as the stranger stirs his admiration and pity Stranger speaks eloquently and listens attentively Walton confides in him Walton mentions how he had sacrificed everything for the sake of discovery, even his life or death This displeased the stranger greatly Stranger burst into tears Said, “‘Unhappy man! Do you share my madness? Have you drunk from the cup of your imagined power? Let me tell you my tale, and you will throw the cup from your lips!’” (21). Stranger says that he has lost everything
Letter IV (Continued) August 19 th Stranger said, “‘I have suffered great misfortune…I had decided that the memory of these evils would die with me, but you changed my mind. You seek knowledge and wisdom, as I once did, and I deeply hope that it will not become a serpent and sting you, as it did me…I think you may learn from my tale’” (22). Walton will tell the stranger’s story to his sister. He says, “So strange and harrowing is his story—so frightful the storm that embraced the gallant vessel on its course and wrecked it—thus!” (23).
Chapter 1 THEME: Family and kinship; parenting Victor speaks in 1 st person; everything is in relation to him Traditional family structure (parents Alphose and Caroline) Raised in a loving happy home with loving parents; we assume that Victor would have the same instinct. For those who have been created and abandoned, it is required that someone are for them; to do otherwise is unthinkable. (adoption of Elizabeth)
Chapter 2 THEME: Quest for knowledge leads to destruction Victor is predisposed to secrecy (even as a young man) Foreshadows how experiments come into play Father tells him that Agrippa is “trash” but doesn’t explain why; this book influenced his later work
Chapter 3 THEME: Parenting For Victor, knowledge substitutes for people –disconnects This attitude is dangerous He “doesn’t do well with strangers” We learn his last name; removal of first name makes him less personal; “scientific self”
Chapter 4 THEME: Boundaries/ trespass Two years go by without him going home; why? This doesn’t speak well for his character Either Victor is normally kind and has become demonized by scientific knowledge OR he is actually a selfish character How is he like Macbeth in this instance? Victor has no respect for natural boundaries; contempt for restraints Lost the ability to feel anything; no remorse
Chapter 4 THEME: Boundaries/ trespass To poke around something more powerful than yourself is dangerous He has an epiphany (he has discovered the secret of life) He hesitates to begin research; indicates that he isn’t fully convinced it is “the right thing”; like Macbeth Driven to reanimate; why?
Chapter 5 THEME: Abandonment/ parenting Fickleness of human nature; Victor is horrified by what he’s done Creature emerges in a non-violent state; happy and shy We are supposed to see him as a child
Chapter 6 1 st time we learn of Victor’s brother Elizabeth shows herself to be gentle like Caroline Victor wants to forget; desire to be reborn He is unable to act directly unless confronted. His character allows him to see only what is before his eyes, not beyond; immature though full of knowledge
Chapter 7 Victor is still self-centered We are inclined to see the Creature through Frankenstein’s eyes Victor keeps creature secret in order to preserve reputation and save face
POP QUIZ: Ch. 7-9 What happens to William? Who does Victor see in the storm? What does he realize What has Justine been accused of? Why doesn’t Victor tell anyone about the creature? What happens to Justine?
Chapter 8 Frankenstein’s selfish desire to conceal the truth causes Justine’s death The word “creature” is used to refer to Elizabeth and Justine Shelley challenges us to ask how much we can trust language; words can be manipulated
Chapter 9 Victor is suicidal; “oh poor victim” Revolts him to the reader “romantic” images; nature
Chapter 10 Meets creature; will ultimately bring misery upon him Victor’s conversation with creature “fallen angel”; supreme innocence with evil Sees himself as Adam = creature begs for compassion THEME: parenting Creature is like a sheep gone astray If Victor hate the creature, who will love him? Victor’s abandonment is what makes the creature what he is
Chapter 10 THEME: parenting No one to foster kindness in him “How dare you sport thus with life?” Lack of looking ahead and unwillingness to care of consequences If the creature is evil, so is Frankenstein
Chapter 11 Creature begins narrating Creature is very infant-like; experiences the world as a child might Creature weeps out of fear and pain Does not kill anything to obtain nourishment; truly peaceful; truly innocent The more we learn about the Creature, the more our opinion of Victor falls
Chapter 12 THEME: Knowledge brings destruction (“ignorance is bliss”) When the Creature sees his reflection, he is horrified The reader knows the can never over come the obstacles of his appearance We are intended to identify with the creature as an outcast We understand that he will NEVER integrate into human society
Chapter 13 Creature asks “WHAT am I?” not “WHO am I?” Consuming desire to belong to this family Identifies with them; they were exiled as he was exiled Creature is ignorant of human nature; humans cannot get along with each other, let alone a new species THEME: parenting Creature contemplates the lack of guidance in his life Victor’s neglect is horrifying
Chapter 14 Shows attachment to the family; portrays various types of human interaction The tale of the family contains the best and worst traits of human nature Danger: if creature is not well-received, he now has tools to wreak vengeance THEME: basic human need for companionship From his hovel, the Creature cranes his neck to hear every word from his “friends”
Chapter 15 Creature is becoming more “human” Extreme rejection is ironic; never has he been more learned, never more “human” Creature realizes how he came to be; no love in his creation
POP QUIZ: Ch How does the Creature feel when he realizes how he was created? How are the Creature and Satan different? The same? What happens when he rescues the little girl? What does the Creature want from Victor? What does Victor agree to do?
Chapter 16 Image of fire is prevalent; anger/ fire is unleashed Vengeance unleashed=logical target is Frankenstein Essentially declares war on all humans Problem: how he chooses his victims If the creature looks to reproduce marriage, if that is his ultimate goal, how will William’s death achieve this? Creature looks to reproduce marriage
Chapter 17 Frankenstein is back as the narrator Frankenstein is convinced to make another creature by the Creature’s reasonable tone (“you are my creator”) The Creature begs Victor to help him not to hate, to banish evil from his body. Even Satan was loved by his creator; he CHOSE to reject his creator; the Creature had no such choice Why did God make Eve?
Chapter 18 Puts off marrying Elizabeth Victor goes to England Doesn’t alert his family to the danger Only acts when a stimulus is applied or when disaster has already struck and it is too late to take precautions; failure to plan ahead Until Creature is happy, Victor will not be happy THEME: Secrecy Victor is enslaved by his secret
Chapter 19 Image of blasted tree=chaos, destruction Frankenstein felt a “bolt”=severed, cut off; relishes his sorrow Decision to create 2 nd creature=selling his soul forever (“in cold blood”) Creature threatens to kill his family, not him
Chapter 20 Frankenstein breaks his promise; noble or stupid? Makes an aggressive stand for the first time and refuses to sell his soul; abandonment of commitment?? Chooses to save himself and not his family?
Chapter 21 Ironic that he is accused of Clerval’s murder; why? He is actually “guilty.” Acquittal by man is meaningless; he is guilty in his heart. Frankenstein slowly dies with each murder Frankenstein has low emotional intelligence.
Chapter 22 Lack of control; last happy day of Frankenstein’s life Involvement of Elizabeth in scheme is selfish Frankenstein is “entranced” in magic; does he stand a chance? Why does he think HE will be murdered? Creature CAN deliver on his threats Creature sees himself as “less than human” “Gap” between Frankenstein and Creature is closing
Chapter 23 Reader knows Elizabeth will be killed; why doesn’t Victor (very “scripted”) This is the one murder he had the chance to prevent and doesn’t Victor and his creature have never been more alike; both utterly alone in the world; parallel situations
Chapter 24 Victor lives only for revenge Cat and mouse game with Creature Creature has what he has always wanted: Victor’s absolute attention Power inversion: the Creature is now in control Walton returns as narrator Frankenstein loses his strength and his soul bit by bit
Chapter 24 How do we view his story? Has Victor changed at all through the course of his story? Has Walton? If the purpose of scientific research is to help mankind, how has Victor helped? Victor told his story to Walton to advise him not to be foolish in his pursuit of knowledge; Walton has not learned anything from it. He still desires to pursue knowledge at any cost, though he agrees to go home.
Chapter 24 Creature’s final scene is touching He views Victor as his father, but his father never gave him a name. What does this say about Victor? “Frankenstein” has become associated with the idea of “monster” Who is the monster?
Conclusion Though Frankenstein was written almost 200 years ago, many of its themes are still applicable to today’s society. Some themes – man playing god, for instance – are even more pertinent to today’s world than to Mary Shelley’s. Mankind is growing more and more powerful in terms of scientific discovery, through its understanding and manipulation of biology and of DNA in particular. With great power comes opportunity for great corruption and turmoil. Frankenstein helps us understand that it is not, necessarily, bad people we have to fear– a greater danger might come from good people with good motives, like Victor, who are capable creating monsters. Are we destined to lose control over the monsters? For this reason, understanding the significance of Frankenstein is essential for today’s youth, to be aware of both the benefits and the consequences of science.