2 Mary Shelley Born in 1797 to William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft Father was an influential political philosopher & novelistMother was a pioneer in promoting women’s rights and educationHer mother died shortly after Mary was born
3 Mary Shelley Received no formal education Married (scandal!) Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1816“romantic beyond romance”Frankenstein was published in 1818She died in 1851
4 “I busied myself to think of a story…One which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror.Introducing the Novel
5 Gothic Novel Main ingredients: mystery, horror, supernatural In literature the term applies to works with a brooding atmosphere that emphasize the unknown and inspire fearSettings: wild and remote (haunted castles, wind-blasted moors)Plot involves violent or mysterious events
6 Historical ContextTakes place in the late 1700s, various parts of Europe, especially Switzerland, Germany, & the ArcticPublished at the height of the Romantic movementEnlightenment (reason & logic) Romanticism (individual, imagination, emotions)Labeled “romantic fiction”- powerful work of imagination, exotic settings, and emphasizes the emotions of fear and awe
7 Structure and Point of View Robert Walton’s lettersFrankenstein's story to WaltonCreature's storyto FrankensteinFrame StoryEpistolary – carried by letters
8 Themes Consequences of irresponsibility in the pursuit of knowledge Consequences of prideConsequences of society’s rejection of someone who is unattractiveDestructive power of revengeSympathy
9 Major CharactersVictor Frankenstein – protagonist, product of an idealistic Enlightenment educationThe Creature - never named; is Victor’s doppelganger (alter ego);Robert Walton – Arctic explorer who’s obsessed with gaining knowledge and fame; rescues Victor in the Arctic; tells the storyfueled by possibilities of science and a desire for acclaim; becomes obsessed with creating life from spare body parts. Rational demeanor dissolves and by story’s end, consumed by primitive emotions of fear and hatred.
10 Major CharactersHenry 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;
11 Classwork Read Shelley’s Introduction to Frankenstein (734-737) Answer Recognizing the Gothic Tradition questions
13 Small Group Discussion What do you think spurs people to explore the unknown?list ways in which people throughout the ages have explored the unknown.identify some reasons why individuals devote themselves to a life of exploration and discovery.Does such devotion involve sacrifices?
14 Stylistic DevicesPoint of ViewFrame Story TechniqueWe “hear” the story from3 different points of view -these “versions” are framedwithin one another.
18 FrameRobert WaltonPoint of View #2Victor Frankensteintells his story toWalton -- who thentells it to his sister.Story
19 Characterization Flat Character Round Character Not well-developed Seems like a cardboard figure, stereotypeRound CharacterLife-like, three dimensionalDepth, experiences personal change, growth
20 Small Group Discussion How do you define personal responsibility?When something bad happens that involves you, how do you know whether or not you bear some responsibility for it?Evaluate these situations, in each case, discuss whether person B has a responsibility to person AA falls off B’s roof while mending itB walks by A, who is homeless and begging on the streetB lends A his car, which has faulty brakes, and A has an accident.
22 Focus ActivityWhat are some reasons why a person might be rejected by others?
23 AllusionParadise Lost by John Milton – story of man’s fall from innocence to painful knowledge; Victor can be compared to Adam, Satan, and EveThe Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, like narrator, tells story as a warning and a confession
24 Analyze the Creature’s Personality Discuss the different aspects of his character by addressing questions such as these (support your analysis by citing events from the story as well as quoting statements made by the creature):In what ways is he like any human being? In what ways is he different?What does he want most in life? Why does his goal seem unattainable?How have the creature’s experiences shaped his opinion of himself? Does he have the potential for good as well as evil?Do you think he is justified in declaring an “ever-lasting war” against the human species and his creator?
25 Do the monster's eloquence and persuasiveness make it easier for the reader to sympathize with him? Why do you think most film versions of the story present the monster as mute or inarticulate?
26 Literature GroupsEvaluate the character of Victor Frankenstein using evidence from Chapters Focus your discussion on the following questions as well as others that occurred to you as you were reading:What can you infer about Frankenstein’s character from his close personal relationships? His scientific project? In your opinion, is he an appealing person?Do you think that Frankenstein went too far in his quest for knowledge? Did he have a good motive for his project? Did he have adequate knowledge to begin his project? Did he consider possible consequences of his actions?How is Frankenstein affected by what happens after he abandons the creature? Why does he call himself the “true murderer” of William?
27 Debate Questions Is it better to be ignorant? Is Frankenstein the “true murderer” of Justine and William?