Presentation on theme: "Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Mary Shelley’s background (August 30, 1797-February 1, 1851) Born on August 30 th 1797. Mother: Mary Wollstonecraft a famous."— Presentation transcript:
Mary Shelley’s background (August 30, 1797-February 1, 1851) Born on August 30 th 1797. Mother: Mary Wollstonecraft a famous feminist author who died 11 days after giving birth to Mary Father: William Godwin A famous 19 th century philosopher who believed in the rights of the individual.
Shelley’s marriage At 15 years of age Mary met her future husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, a disciple of William Godwin and a famous poet. At age 16, runs off with Shelley, who was already married After his first wife commits suicide, Percy Bysshe Shelley convinces Mary to elope with him in France when she was 17.
The Rest of the Story Percy and Mary were outcast from their society, spending the remainder of their life in Italy Percy drowned when Mary was 24 Mary spent the rest of her life dedicated to her mother’s work, the rights of women Mary died of a brain tumor in 1851
The Making of Frankenstein On 19 March 1815 Shelley recorded in her journal, after the death of her first child: "Dream that my little baby came to life again--that it had only been cold & that we rubbed it before the fire & it lived."
Byron’s Challenge In the summer of 1816, Percy and Mary visit Lord Byron’s estate in Switzerland. The summer of 1816 had cold weather because a massive volcano in Indonesia erupted. Because of the gloomy weather, Byron challenged his guests to create the best horror story.
The creation of Frankenstein At Byron’s estate, Mary has a dream about a man who plans to bring life to the dead. She turns her idea into a story that wins Byron’s contest. Mary’s husband encourages her to turn the story into a novel. In 1818, Shelley publishes the novel at the age of 19.
The Title of the Novel The name “Frankenstein” originates not from the Creature, but the Creator, Victor Frankenstein. Victor, like Shelley, suffers the loss of many loved ones at an early age. He creates his creature as a way to bring back the dead.
The Modern Prometheus Mary Shelley’s subtitle for Frankenstein is “The Modern Prometheus” In Greek Mythology, the titan Prometheus stole fire from the sun and gave it to humanity. This angered the Greek god Zeus who did not want humans to control fire. He was punished by being chained to a rock while an eagle would feast on his liver. The Prometheus Myth has become a metaphor of what happens when humans get a hold of something they cannot control and reach beyond their ability.
The Characters Victor Frankenstein – the science student The Monster – Frankenstein’s creation Robert Walton – explorer and ship captain Elizabeth Lavenza – Victor’s fiance Henry Clerval – Victor’s friend The DeLaceys– French family
The Creature Unlike the Hollywood stereotype, the Creature is an intelligent being whose rage stems from his neglect from Victor.
The Doppelganger The story is a Doppelganger, or German word for “double image.” Both the Creature and Victor mirror each other in their effort to destroy the other. The Doppelganger represents a divided self, or two alter egos who are more alike than different.
The Structure of the Novel 3 layers of storytelling –Walton’s Letters –Victor’s Story –Monster’s Story WHY? –Credibility –Levels of reality –All three cross unknown boundaries
Central Questions in the Novel 1.To what extent are we responsible for our own actions or the actions of others? 2.Can we recreate the past? 3.What is the source of the conflict between reason and feeling? 4.What is the nature of evil? 5.What are the consequences of defying the laws of nature?
Read the Book, then the Sparknotes! You will be required to read 20+ pages a night. I realize there are websites like Sparknotes that summarize the book, please use this as a resource. To pass you must read the book!!!