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AS and A Level: Mary Shelly

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Analysis of Frankenstein Extract pages 101 103

    The strong nouns ?rage? as well as ?horror? show how Frankenstein despises his creation. Additionally, as he ?tremble[s]?, it portrays an uncontrollable hatred towards the monster because he physically is unable to contain himself. The thirst for vengeance and inability to maintain calm is seen as he states ?My rage was without bounds; I sprang on him, impelled by all the feelings?. The act of springing on the monster with impulse suggests that Frankenstein feels that the only way to sate his emotions is by killing the monster. Moreover, the ?horror? is accentuated by Frankenstein being taken aback by the monster?s appearance.

    • Word count: 1391
  14. Through Victors narrative in Volume 1, what social comments about parentage and responsibility is Shelley making?

    This notion of Victor?s upbringing is further questioned as Shelly comments that his parents were ?possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence?. Within Chapter 1 Victor notes that to his parents, he was simply ?their plaything and their idol, and something better?; he is notably sheltered from trouble, and it is hinted upon that his parents wish for him to remain as an ?innocent? child, despite his thirst for knowledge, with one instance when his father remarks that he should ?not waste (his)

    • Word count: 1683
  15. Consider the ways in which Mary Shelley uses different Gothic settings to contribute to the gothic effects of the novel

    To better allude to the Gothic Shelley focuses on the dangers or consequences of over-reaching discovery, which contrast with the disillusioned Walton whose ?ardent? and ?restless? desires prompt him to pursue the ?acquisition of knowledge?. Isolation is revealed as a result of Walton?s transgression, he complains of being ?in great need of a friend? who would console him in times of trouble. This establishes pathos effectively as ?Frankenstein? is a collection of first person narrations, thus we can better empathise with Walton?s situation, rather than to an omniscient narrator.

    • Word count: 1372
  16. To what extent is Frankenstein a criticism of societys attitude to accommodate what it sees as monsters, aliens and exiles?

    Shelley ensures that the audience feels pity for the exiles as they are mistreated. The monster is perhaps the most obvious ?exile? and is mistreated in many instances. Firstly by his creator ? Frankenstein ? which means, in his childlike state, he has no guidance in the world. The first time the monster encounters humans is a jarring way to be introduced to the world of men ?some attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons, I escaped to the open country?. The monster, having spent months preparing for the moment, is then cast out by Felix which is perhaps the worst encounter the monster has as even a fellow exile refuses to help him.

    • Word count: 1083
  17. Compare and Contrast the ways in which rejection is presented in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

    The narrator, the monster, is aware of the great importance that this scene holds for his future, and as a result, the reader is also able to appreciate the significance of this particular event. A similar technique is used by Ian McEwan in his novel ?Enduring Love?: the narrator Joe Rose goes into great detail about the setting of an event and the significance of an event before explaining the plot; before he tells of the balloon crash and his meeting with Jed Parry, Joe describes this incident as pivot in order to present its significance, and he heightens the scenes importance by going into great detail concerning the setting of the event of which he is explaining.

    • Word count: 1680
  18. The creatures shift in attitudes regarding society, justice, and injustice is finalized in the final chapter of Shelleys "Frankenstein", but it had been occurring since he very first opened his eyes.

    The creature quickly learns that the beautiful, fair world he had so wished to believe in cannot exist, especially for someone as appalling as he. Even though the monster?s first ventures into human civilization are met with rejection and horror, he persists in the belief that he might someday be accepted by the same people that scream in terror at his approach. The definition of justice is, to the creature at this point, acceptance. He was created into this world, so it seems only fair to him that he receive a rightful place in it alongside his human counterparts.

    • Word count: 1206
  19. Human curiosity in "Frankenstein"

    (Oxford English Dictionary) People start to learn everything about the surrounding world from their childhood and never stop it. But why are people curious from their childhood? The evolution of all living creatures is determined first of all by changes in the environment and changes in the living conditions of living creatures. The peculiarity of the existence and the evolution of rational beings is a fact that they are reasonable and they are very curious; therefore, these creatures always want to improve their living conditions. However, only human beings are rational beings on the planet Earth. Therefore, curiosity is one of the main parts of the human nature, and that is why people are curious.

    • Word count: 1941
  20. Analyse chapter 4 of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and explore the extent to which it fits into the genre of the gothic novel and reflects the fears and concerns from the era in which the novel was written.

    Chapter 4 starts immediately with a main feature of the gothic. Pathetic fallacy is a technique that Shelley uses well throughout this chapter as it creates an atmosphere and the reader can emphasise the setting. ?It was a dreary night of November.? Where Shelley describes it as a dreary night the reader gains an understanding of the setting of the scene and it is always in the back of the mind. The description of the weather undermines Frankenstein?s excitement as he is about to create the monster, this is effective as we can already conjugate an understanding of Frankenstein?s attitude towards the monster which becomes more evident further on in the passage.

    • Word count: 1034
  21. How does Shelley convey the concept of monstrosity?

    This led the characters in both novels to horrific consequences and drastic measures. The monsters appearance is one aspect that portrays monstrosity physically. ?His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! ? Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of pearly whiteness; but these luxuriance?s only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight back lips.? This description of the creature is very gruesome; it describes him as a wretch.

    • Word count: 1389

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