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Background Information

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Presentation on theme: "Background Information"— Presentation transcript:

1 Background Information
Frankenstein By Mary Shelley Background Information ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

2 Contents of Presentation
Frankenstein Background Information Contents of Presentation Goals of Unit Narrative Elements Themes Thinking Critically History Summary of Novel Characters Plot Overview Historical Background Brief Overview of Background Information About the Author Resources/Bibliography Websites ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

Frankenstein Background Information Goals of Unit The main events that make up the beginning, middle and end of a story. Understand WHAT HAPPENS in a story is crucial to figuring out WHY things happen. What is PLOT? Essentially the setting is WHERE and WHEN the story takes place. Frankenstein takes place during the late 1700s in Europe at a time of new scientific discoveries and these greatly influence the novel What is SETTING? As the characters develop we see changes that are reflections of the plot. As things happen they learn things and move on, hopefully keeping the reader’s interest in the process. What is CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT? ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

4 Background Information
Frankenstein Background Information Theme, Vocabulary, Critical Thinking and History Theme refers to the main idea and the purpose of the work. What is the novel trying to accomplish and/or teach the reader? What is THEME? Frankenstein makes use of many words that you may not know. If you do not know the word you will not be able to understand the plot, setting, characters or theme. Therefore, this unit will focus on regular vocabulary improvement. Improve VOCABULARY! You will learn how to question why authors make decisions about the words they use, the decisions of the characters and the events of the plot and how these things tell the reader an important message. Think CRITICALLY! This novel documents society’s scientific discoveries and the moral questioning that arose with science. Be prepared for history lessons! Learn HISTORY! ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

5 Background Information
Frankenstein Background Information To help your understanding of the novel you will be first introduced to: Characters Plot Events Background Information Themes & Symbols The Author ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

6 Background Information
Frankenstein Background Information Introduction to the Novel Victor Frankenstein Protagonist and Narrator Fascinated with science Creates monster Many different emotions Significant personality changes The Monster Assembled from random bits and fueled by electricity Giant body but underdeveloped brain Avenges his creation with a rage-fueled attack on society Not entirely evil Robert Walton Letters at beginning and end of novel “frame” the narrative Meets Victor and this is how audience finds out story of Victor’s life The Main Characters ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

7 Background Information
Frankenstein Background Information Plot Sequence Frankenstein LETTERS 1-4 Robert Walton travels through Arctic on expedition and meets Victor Frankenstein. Frankenstein offers his tale to motivate Walton to continue his journey. Allusions to “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. CHAPTERS 1 & 2 Victor’s early life and history are chronicled in these chapters. Readers discover how Frankenstein wants to learn “the secrets of heaven and earth”. Victor searches for the “philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life”. A bolt of lightning changes how Victor thinks. CHAPTERS 3-5 In university, Frankenstein rediscovers his love for science. He immerses himself in it and spends days studying decaying bodies. After two years he brings a creature to life. However, the creature is so grotesque that Frankenstein immediately abandons it. ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

8 Background Information
Frankenstein Background Information Plot Sequence Frankenstein CHAPTERS 6-10 The consequences of Frankenstein’s actions are the focus of these chapters. The monster seeks revenge for its abandonment while Frankenstein attempts to recovery from illness caused by his guilt. At the end, he is willing to hear how the monster feels. CHAPTERS 11-16 In these chapters, the reader discovers the monster’s tale. The creature learns like a baby would and finds comfort in nature. He learns to read, enjoy the arts and tries to help people but is rejected because of his looks. He suffers because of his loneliness and “vows eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind”. He also says he wants a female companion. CHAPTERS 17-24 Frankenstein attempts to create a companion to protect his family. He stops when he realizes he is creating “a race of devils”. This angers the creature and causes it to kill and then run away. Frankenstein then vows to chase it, only stopping when the creature is dead. This is where he meets Walton. ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

9 Background Information
Frankenstein Background Information Plot Sequence Frankenstein WALTON’S CONCLUSION - LETTERS Walton summarizes the change in Frankenstein’s character, from calm to angered. At the same time, moral reasoning becomes the focus of this section – and of the novel – as the question of ambition vs. scientific discovery is noted. At the end, Walton meets the creature, who vows to destroy itself. ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

10 Background Information
Frankenstein Background Information Major Themes Isolation Dangerous Knowledge Romanticism: Power of Sublime Nature “Inner Monster” -The Creature -Frankenstein -Overstepping bounds -Moral reasoning -Healing power of nature -Romantic movement -Nature and moods -Literal “monster” -Figurative “monster” ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

11 Background Information
Frankenstein Background Information About Mary Shelley Wrote Frankenstein during ghost story contest Common themes and motifs in her works include autobiographical elements, travel, enlightenment (science) vs. religion, Romanticism, and equality of women Born August 30, 1797; Died February 1, 1851 Inspired by husband, Percy Shelley and friend, Lord Byron. (Bryon is regarded as greatest of Romantic poets) Married Percy Shelley against father’s wishes and abandoned by family Surrounded by philosophy and literature her entire life: Mother and father famous historical philosophers, husband is famous poet, many friends are important Romantic poets/authors/thinkers ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

12 Background Information
Frankenstein Background Information Resources and Bibliography Mayer, Laura. Penguin Guide to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Online. Accessed 24 September 2011 SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Frankenstein.” Online. SparkNotes LLC Accessed 24 September 2011 Wikipedia Editors. “Frankenstein.” Online. Accessed 24 September 2011 Wikipedia Editors. “Mary Shelley.” Online. Accessed 24 September 2011 ENG3U: Mr. S. Wilson

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