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AS and A Level: Mary Shelly

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  1. Motif of Light and Darkness in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein

    Shelly emphasizes on alliteration to paint a dark and gloomy picture of the situation. Shelly elaborates the Victor Frankenstein's feeling at that point by unraveling his solitude to being "deep, dark, deathlike". The repetition of the sound 'd' adds to the melancholic mood. Darkness in Frankenstein symbolizes despair. Shelly furthers the idea of Frankenstein's upcoming upheavals and foreshadows his dangers by using dark imagery. Victor Frankenstein's willingness to overcome these dangers is also presented by means of Victor wanting to inspire himself "with fortitude" to fight against the turmoil that is to be experienced by Victor Frankenstein.

    • Word count: 1255
  2. To what extent do you agree with the view that, in Frankenstein, Mary Shelley is exploring 'the dark side of the human psyche'?

    Shelley includes this quotation in the novel as she is laying the groundwork for the reader, she wants her readers to understand the two sides of Victor, the beginning when he is very loving and happy, compared to the rest of the novel where he becomes distraught and bordering on mad, "nothing is more painful to the human mind..." This quotation shows the reader that Shelley meant Victor to be very hyperbolic, when he is happy everything is wonderful in the world and when he is unhappy, he feels emotionally corrupt.

    • Word count: 888
  3. Though Frankenstein was written by the daughter of a feminist, the women in the novel seem less important than the men.

    The story revolves around Victor Frankenstein in first person, which allows the reader to relate to him with more ease. With Shelley's decision of first person, it allows us to feel the emotions Frankenstein feels, which really complements the story as there are many extremes of happiness and sadness, allowing the reader to experience these as closely as possible. The first person perspective also gives way to bias, considering we are reading Frankenstein's personal reaction to events, rather than a third person view which gives an unbiased explanation of events.

    • Word count: 1017
  4. Discuss the sources of discontentment and/or despair in 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley

    Furthermore, Victor's guilt, thus his despair, is subject to Freudian interpretation, particularly in his dream immediately following the creation of the monster: on envisaging Elizabeth, Victor embraces her and her lips 'became livid with the hue of death' (Shelley, p. 39). In addition to foreshadowing the death of Elizabeth, alluding to Victor's guilt, a psychoanalytical interpretation suggests Victor's repressed sexual desires or, as an extension, as Kate Ellis argues, his fear of female sexuality inherent within the bourgeois society, as the subconscious source of despair.1 This notion of repressed desire as a source of discontentment is supported throughout the text through the allusion to the doppelg´┐Żnger; the monster can be interpreted as a externalisation of Victor's subconscious.

    • Word count: 1246
  5. Who is the real monster in Mary Shelleys Frankenstein

    As it 'stretched out' to reach Frankenstein, a 'grin wrinkled its cheeks', which indicates a need for its creator. The monster is behaving like a newborn baby needing the guidance of its mother. In my opinion there are no signs of monstrosity in its actions at this stage. After the creature's escape from Frankenstein's laboratory the reader is given the chance to empathise with it, as its own story reveals its true feelings. The narrator in these chapters is the monster itself and the events are, therefore, surveyed from its perspective. A dual narrative, such as this, gives the opportunity to explore events from different points of view and affects ouropinion of the characters.

    • Word count: 2974
  6. Frankenstein - the role of Safie in the novel.

    The structure of De lacey's family constitutes M.Shelley's ideal, an ideal derived from her mother's "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman". Infact, it is the character of Safie, the beloved of Felix De Lacey which best exemplifies to it which shall be discussed in the following paragraphs. Safie, the daughter of the Turkish merchant is appalled by her father's betrayal of Felix and by the Islamic oppression of women he endorses. Therefore, she decides to escape from the clutches of her father and flees from Turkey to Switzerland, seeking Felix.

    • Word count: 641
  7. Frankenstein. The creature in Frankenstein plays an important role in the novel. Mary Shelly writes good and bad aspects of the creature, that makes the audience sympathise for it

    This debate is at the heart of the book: the monster is born good but becomes wicked because people abuse and reject him. Worst of all, his creator Victor Frankenstein refuses to grant him his natural right of freedom, equality and fraternity. The creature in Frankenstein plays an important role in the novel. Mary Shelly writes good and bad aspects of the creature, that makes the audience sympathise for it. The monster was at first described ugly by the creator himself Victor Frankenstein in Chapter 5 "How can I describe my emotions of catastrophe" and where Victor describes the horrid complexion of each part of the creature.

    • Word count: 867
  8. analysis of Frankenstien

    The narrative is framed through Walton who refers to Victor as like 'a brother' whose 'constant and deep grief fills [him] with sympathy and compassion', (Frankenstein p. 15) guiding the reader to sympathise with Victor, described by Walton as 'a noble creature' who is 'so attractive and amiable'. There are many links between Victor and Walton and also between Victor and the Creature, creating a doubling effect, another gothic technique. Victor and Walton have both lost their mothers, are alienated from family and friends and are both exploring the unknown all helping strengthen the bond between them.

    • Word count: 1382
  9. English Literature - Frankenstein

    So, let us first look at this issue of Victor's and the creature's 'father-son' relationship. Of course, the common interpretation of this matter is that Frankenstein manages to usurp the roles of both God and the female. Indeed, 'like father like son' has a profound meaning here, and the creature is, in effect Victor's "own vampire" - his child. The most indicative portrayal of this usurping of the female (the mother) follows immediately after the creature's 'awakening', with Frankenstein's horrifically symbolic dream of Elizabeth - his potential and prearranged partner - being degraded into the corpse of his dead mother.

    • Word count: 1516
  10. How far do you think Mary Shelly.doc

    This complies with the conditions stipulated by Kingsley Amis, as the experiment carried out inspired 'Frankenstein'. The strategies carried out by an Italian scientist Aldini, are synonymous to the strategic thinking of Victor Frankenstein, however where as Aldini failed in making the ultimate breakthrough, Frankenstein succeeds. The intention behind both experiments are the same, however whilst Aldini, however consumed by his devotion to the experiment is aware of the morality aspect, Victor is not. Driven by his compulsive obsession to be successful in the experiment, 'so deeply was I engrossed in my occupation' for 'victory', 'wealth was an inferior object;

    • Word count: 1546
  11. The Afterlife of Frankenstein

    She cut what The Quarterly wanted removed from Lawrence's work. The novel is the first in the mad-scientist genre. Victor has now become more corrupt. The creature is more sensationalised and dehumanised. Playwrights recognised problems in translating the play. The internal reasonings of Victor and the monster were cut. Walton's framing narrative couldn't be portrayed. The story became more visual. The monster became the star with more visual violence. There were also comic versions. The plays stay a lot truer to the original than most of the films. Silent films found it hard to translate the story onto screen.

    • Word count: 986
  12. In Frankenstein(TM) it is generally accepted that the female characters and their values are presented in direct contrast to the ambitious, self seeking men. Examine the impact of two or more female characters in this appropriate sta

    This contrast can be seen as feminist by some critics since Elizabeth has the courage to humiliate herself in order to save Justine where the male character Victor does not. However since Elizabeth does not succeed as a pleading woman it reflects on how much society in those times would listen and be convinced by a woman speaker, and therefore the powerlessness of a woman. Elizabeth punctuates the novel with a series of concerned letters pleading with Victor for him to come home whenever he is away.

    • Word count: 2215
  13. [The] juxtaposition of the ghastly and the everyday suggests one of the defining characteristics of the gothic genre, that of the uncanny double, the shadowy world that is the complex underbelly of familiar experience(TM) "L

    This immediately implies that Walton is in possible danger on his journey and sparks the suspense that the reader will carry through the entirety of the novel. At this point the reader is also made aware that the novel contains a possible evil and that at any point this evil could appear and harm the only character that the reader has met so far, Robert Walton. It soon becomes clear, through reading Walton's letters home that he is a driven romantic and so the reader can expect the contrasts of the ghastly and beautiful which is typical of the romantic genre.

    • Word count: 2237
  14. Frankenstein contrasts his 'thirst for knowledge' with Elizabeth's interest in 'the aerial creations of the poets'.

    Implicitly she contrasted what she considered to be "good" science - the detailed and reverent description of the workings of nature- to what she considered "bad" science, the hubristic manipulation of the elemental forces of the nature to serve man's private ends. In Frankenstein, she illustrated the potential evils of scientific hubris and at the same time challenged the cultural biases inherent in any conception of science. Victor Frankenstein chooses to work within the newly established field of chemical physiology.

    • Word count: 505
  15. To what extent is ''Frankenstein' concerned with the theme of education and what does it have to say about the advantages and disadvantages of this?

    However, despite all of his academia, he is still astonished when he is told about Frankenstein's creature, and even more so when he views it for himself. This proves that despite formal education, there will still be gaps of knowledge, and the power to surprise will always exist. Victor relates to Walton all about how his education was formulated, what exactly he had learnt from his bad experiences with books and at Ingolstadt, and by focussing on outdated science such as those ideas thought of by Cornelius Agrippa and Albertus Magnus.

    • Word count: 1344
  16. Compare and contrast the ways in which Frankenstein and one other Gothic novel explore the meaning of the 'monstrous'.

    Frankenstein's creature on the other hand does not wish to harm others originally, but even before Victor could have a chance to witness the creature's true personality for himself, he condemned the creature as a 'wretch' and immediately 'breathless horror and disgust filled [his] heart'. This is not completely understandable, and makes the reader wonder whether if a living creature is monstrous on the outside, then wonder if the inner self, the personality of the creature will reflect its outer appearance.

    • Word count: 1563
  17. ''mistakes in frankenstein''

    When he comes across Victor Frankenstein he records Frankenstein's story in his letters home to Margret. Victor's story is supposed to communicate a warning to society. The warning is to not become so wrapped up in the pursuit of knowledge that contact with other people becomes unimportant. Isolating oneself from society due to science is a common theme in Frankenstein, Victor and Walton both do this and Victor learns the consequences of this the hard way. Victor has been through a lot in his quest to create life.

    • Word count: 954
  18. Frankenstien;In her 1831 introduction to the novel Shelley explained how she wanted to 'curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart'. Do you think she achieves her aim? Look closely at chapter 20.

    It has been considered however, that the way in which Shelley may have 'curdled the blood' of readers at the time of the novels publish may differ to that of contemporary reader. The alteration in priorities of values in society has greatly changed meaning so may the reader's responses. Shelley creates many running themes throughout the novel, most of which are traditionally for gothic literature pieces, chapter 20 seems to be a crucial point in the novel in which many themes are concentrated to give the chapter a true sense of gothic terror.

    • Word count: 1868
  19. comparison, victor and monster

    As the character of the creature, Shelly provides us with some information about the monster before it has even been created. Things such as that he is being created from parts taken from morgues and graves. We also know that his limbs have been stitched together as we also told that he is going to be eight feet tall. These facts show that his physical appearance will obviously be repellent and terrifying. The reason I am mentioning the physical description of the creature is because when imagining a monster with such features, a horrific and frightening 'thing' would come to mind; however we later find that the outcome of Victor's horrid invention turns out to be completely different.

    • Word count: 873
  20. Feminist critic Anne K. Mellor argues that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an attack on masculine Romanticism. To what extent do you agree with Mellor's assessment?

    And through Frankenstein's narrative, Shelley hopes that the readers can "deduce an apt moral" being that over ambition corrupts. The characteristics of a masculine Romantic hero consist of a dominative egocentric personality with huge ambitions to pursue revolutionary ideas. These characteristics are represented in the novel through Walton, and Frankenstein. Walton has ideas to "tread a land never before imprinted by the foot of man". He is also convinced that his "voyage" can give "all man kind to the last generation", an "inestimable benefit". Similarly, Frankenstein has ideas to challenge "the principle of life" and find out "how nature works in her hiding places".

    • Word count: 1019
  21. Feminist critic Anne K. Mellor argues that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an attack on masculine Romanticism. To what extent do you agree with Mellor's assessment?

    Also, it must be noted that her husband has these traits of a masculine Romantic hero, so she would want to highlight these characteristics to attack her husband as well. However, many of the features of the novel are reflected in her life such as the deaths of her mother and children. This solidifies the opinion that the novel is an attack on the masculine Romantic hero but also shows how she might have used the novel as therapy to deal with difficult life events as well.

    • Word count: 1447
  22. Shelley uses 'The Modern Prometheus' as a subtitle to the novel. Explore the ways in which the idea of the 'Modern Prometheus' is important to the novel as a whole.

    It is also very likely that she had the comtempory Romantic version of Prometheus in mind when alluding to this myth. Percy Shelley, Mary's husband wrote 'Prometheus Unbound' around the time when she was doing much of the background reading for her own novel. In this Prometheus is depicted as a Romantic character who sees himself as a suffering champion of humanity impelled by pure motives for the noblest ends. The fact that Mary Shelley uses the term 'Modern' would imply that it is quite likely that she would take this point of view into consideration when using the subtitle.

    • Word count: 1305
  23. What views of 'mankind' does the Romantic writer, Mary Shelley, present in Frankenstein?

    and he sees the importance of friendship and feels the lack of it has a serious disadvantage 'I bitterly feel the want of a friend'. Shelley has used the epistolary style of writing in this part of the novel and this enables the reader to quickly get into the story and creates an air of realism. Walton's ambitions are a mirror of Frankenstein's and we see two characters who have become obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge believing that they are doing it for the good of mankind rather than any material wealth.

    • Word count: 827
  24. Explore the way that Shelley presents the relationship between Frankenstein and his creature.

    They are both extremely lonely and feel isolated in their world. Frankenstein cannot talk to anyone about his feelings and what he has done. "...But now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart." This shows how his realization of what he has done has affected him and made him feel guilty and shocked for what he has done and created, and for the knowledge he has. Once you have acquired knowledge you cannot loose it, therefore it sticks with you and you cannot forget it.

    • Word count: 952
  25. Consider the roles and the importance of Safie in the novel - 'Frankenstein', Mary Shelley

    Therefore, it is seen that Shelley uses Safie to introduce the older female with `a countenance of angelic beauty and expression' to the creature, and also allows him to witness romantic love and the power and importance it holds. The strength of love is again demonstrated in the De Laceys story when Felix risks his life to increase his chance with Safie. When Safie arrives at the De Lacey's house, she is unable to speak their language, and thus has to be educated by the householders.

    • Word count: 1811

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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