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“I am a blasted tree; the bolt has entered my soul; and I felt then that I should survive to exhibit what I shall soon cease to be—a miserable spectacle.

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Presentation on theme: "“I am a blasted tree; the bolt has entered my soul; and I felt then that I should survive to exhibit what I shall soon cease to be—a miserable spectacle."— Presentation transcript:

1 “I am a blasted tree; the bolt has entered my soul; and I felt then that I should survive to exhibit what I shall soon cease to be—a miserable spectacle of wrecked humanity, pitiable to others and intolerable to myself.”

2 Some “ingredients” that will lead people to evil acts, according to Zimbardo:  the luxury of ignoring, minimizing, distorting, or disbelieving the impact of the act, making subjects freer to act without restraint  opportunities for diffusion of responsibility for negative outcomes; others will be responsible, or it won’t be evident that the actor will be held liable.”  “altering the semantics of the act and action, from hurting victims to helping learners by punishing them”; this involves dehumanization of the other

3 Plot Review  Clerval has been murdered by the monster. Victor is indicted but ultimately an alibi is proven, and he returns home. I am the assassin of those most innocent victims; they died by my machinations. A thousand times would I have shed my own blood, drop by drop, to have saved their lives; but I could not, my father, indeed I could not sacrifice the whole human race."  Elizabeth writes a letter inquiring about their marriage and his love for her. “I was possessed by a kind of nightmare; I felt the fiend's grasp in my neck and could not free myself from it; groans and cries rang in my ears.”  Plans are made for the wedding. In the meantime I took every precaution to defend my person in case the fiend should openly attack me. I carried pistols and a dagger constantly about me and was ever on the watch to prevent artifice,  "Be happy, my dear Victor," replied Elizabeth; "there is, I hope, nothing to distress you; and be assured that if a lively joy is not painted in my face, my heart is contented. Something whispers to me not to depend too much on the prospect that is opened before us, but I will not listen to such a sinister voice.  The monster appears on the wedding night and murders Elizabeth.  “I will exert myself, and if it is in my power to seize the monster, be assured that he shall suffer punishment proportionate to his crimes”  Victor’s story ends; Dalton writes on the conditions at sea; the final scene.

4 “And now, once again, I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper. I have an affection for it, for it was the offspring of happy days, when death and grief were but words, which found no true echo in my heart. Its several pages speak of many a walk, many a drive, and many a conversation, when I Was not alone; and my companion was one who, in this world, I shall never see more. But this is for myself; my readers have nothing to do with these associations.” from the 1831 Introduction

5 From Mary Shelley’s penned draft: “He sprung from the cabin window as he said this upon an ice raft that lay close to the vessel and pushing himself off he was carried away by the waves and I soon lost sight of him in the darkness and distance.” Percy Shelley’s edits: “He sprung from the cabin-window, as he said this, upon the ice- raft which lay close to the vessel. He was soon borne away by the waves, and lost in darkness and distance.” “Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos; the materials must, in the first place, be afforded: it can give form to dark, shapeless substances, but cannot bring into being the substance itself.” Mary Shelley, from the 1831 Introduction

6  “First be sure that you are yourself safe." I would have seized him, but he eluded me and quitted the house with precipitation. In a few moments I saw him in his boat, which shot across the waters with an arrowy swiftness and was soon lost amidst the waves.  I saw at the open window a figure the most hideous and abhorred. A grin was on the face of the monster; he seemed to jeer, as with his fiendish finger he pointed towards the corpse of my wife. I rushed towards the window, and drawing a pistol from my bosom, fired; but he eluded me…

7  Mirror Image – the formation of “I” or the ego; the move from a complete self/wholeness to a fragmented sense of one’s body. Upon looking in the mirror, the child identifies with the counterpart, the specular image – this leads to alienation.  How does this categorical division help us understand the monster’s development in Frankenstein? Victor’s? Where do we see these psychic realm at play?

8 Epigraph: Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay To mould me man? Did I solicit thee From darkness to promote me? –from Paradise Lost, Adam to God “The remains of the half-finished creature, whom I had destroyed, lay scattered on the floor, and I almost felt as if I had mangled the living flesh of a human being.”

9  Progeny  Equivocation, Deceit, Disguise  Archetype (Shadow)  Animal v. Human  Madness, Mental Illness, Agency  Genre, Truth, Evidence  Foreign, Other(s), Strangers  Gender, sexuality, temptation  Innocence, conditions / context, justified / unjustified violence

10  the pilgrims observing the Duchess’s banishment; the masque-madman scene; her looking in the mirror and Ferdinand appearing  The supernatural qualities of Lanval’s lover; her vanishing / appearing compared to the witches as apparition  the Porter’s address to the audience in Macbeth; Lady Macduff’s exchange with her son; the bloody child apparition  Puck’s “think but that you slumbered here” Epilogue  Swift’s beautiful Nymph, her dream, and the blazoned woman; the “landlords” in “A Modest Proposal”  The ending of Beowulf—his gaze upon the treasure and the wailing woman; the Christian narrator / pagan heroic age  Dalton’s interrupted letter at the ending of Frankenstein


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