• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Literary theory- new historicism applied to Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

New Historicism What is it? New Historicism Criticism attempts to relive a textual work through the time of the author who created it, taking into account norms, ideals, prejudices, and any other subjective experiences that the author of the time would hold. Basically, a literary theory that suggests that literature must be studied and interpreted within the context of both history of the author and history of critic and time period. Historical Context New Historicism is the modified and contemporary version of Historicism and challenges literary critiques to evaluate a text not only based on how it mirrors the historical background of society and literary qualities of a work of literature but also the social sphere and cultural aspects of the text. New Historicism Historicism The social environment in which the author lived How a literary work reflects the society and time period it was created in. Psychological background of writer (mental state) Books and literary theories that influenced the author The beliefs of the critics? beliefs, social status and prejudice New Historicism focus on analyzing and critiquing text through knowledge of the social, political, historical and cultural forces that interrelate with the text and with the writer of the text. ...read more.

Middle

Literary analysts believe that Shelley?s novel acted as a tool for her to reflect her personal experiences into her writing. This personal revelation of Shelley?s mental and familial state allow readers to comprehend the depth and true meaning of Frankenstein by understanding the hardships faced by the author that caused Shelly to produced a literary masterpiece. Using New Historicism one is able to conclude that Shelley used her beliefs on the French Revolution, beliefs of feminism, and familial ties as an advantage to create Frankenstein. French Revolution of 1787 is said to be the most controversial historical act in the classification of what constitutes what human beings deserve and what they receive. Shelley?s novel discusses the aftermath of the iconic revolution. Since Shelley lived in England during the publication of Frankenstein, she witnessed the impact on the public of Europe, and the freedom sensed once the oppression of the middle class or bourgeoisie was lifted. Shelly connects the French Revolution to her literary masterpiece my painting the scene of the outcome of the revolution in her novel. Furthermore, Shelley evidently displays ?the idealistic desire to liberate all men from the oppression of tyranny and mortality? (Boyd). ...read more.

Conclusion

Mary Shelley?s challenging life is portrayed through her novel by showing her value of family and life. In Shelley?s private journal she writes about a peculiar dream; ?Dreamt that my little baby came to life again; that it had only been cold, and that we rubbed it before the fire, and it lived. Awake and find no baby. I think about the little thing all day.? In this passage Shelley had a dream in bringing her deceased child back to life through ?fire? Shelley creates a tone of pity and compassion, she appeals to mothers and describes how the loss of a loved one can make one think the impossible. Much like Victor, Shelley dreamt to play God and take fate into her hands, to make something so unnatural seem acceptable. The monster that Victor sought to create is a direct reflection of what derives people to insanity. The affect of loneliness and the desire to create compelled Victor and Shelley to defy nature and the difference between logic and emotion. Boyd, Stephen. "Frankenstein as a Novel." Mary Shelley: Frankenstein. Harlow, Essex: Longman and York Notes, 1994. 52-55. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    while providing an accurate model for understanding the contemporary experience of the world as a series constructed systems (7). In reflecting on the significance of metafiction, he goes so far as to say that it provides an "unlimited vitality: which was once thought introspective and self-referential is in fact outward looking" (Currie 2).

  2. A Critique of Society in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

    believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater that his nature will allow.'. The Romantic period, from which the gothic movement derived, and in which Shelley wrote the novel, delved even further into philosophical ideas and questions such as those that Mary Shelley's father, William Godwin, a radical philosopher and novelist, wrote about.

  1. Published in 1792, twenty-one years before Pride and Prejudice, Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of ...

    Her refusal surprises both men. If Darcy had worded his proposal in a romantic way, emphasizing his love, Elizabeth would have reacted differently.

  2. To what extent do the works of Shelley, Carter and Coleridge reinforce traditional masculine ...

    Geraldine says, "But now unrobe yourself" and in response to this, Christabel states, "so let it be". Because Christabel agrees to do so, there are also parallels between herself and the heroine in bloody chamber. Once they are married, the Marquis is in total control over her and she obeys his every command.

  1. Comparison between scientific advancements in Frankenstein and Dorian Gray

    man from clay and water to directly repel against the laws of nature. The figure of Prometheus was the subject of a poem published by Lord Byron in 1816 who explored and harnessed the secrets of nature. Shelley immensely uses the theme of Prometheus throughout Frankenstein, and Victor's creation of the monster is almost identical to that.

  2. How far can a feminist reading be applied to The Yellow Wallpaper?

    Interestingly, Bronte?s Jane Eyre promoted gender equality; the protagonist declared ?women feel just as men feel? requiring ?exercise for their faculties? a field for their effort? resisting conventional domestic roles involving ?making puddings and embroidering bags?[8]: whereas Jean Rhys? prequel Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), featured Bertha, a feminist protagonist, controlled

  1. Similarities between "Frankenstein" and "In Cold Blood"

    The monster mentions that this is how he himself learned much of what he knows despite the fact that he never came into direct contact with either party rather listening in from his adjacent barn. Such circumstances demonstrate the monster?s psychological isolation from the cottagers since he never actually interacts with them.

  2. With detailed analysis of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and with wider reference to Bram Stokers ...

    The word ?convulses? also suggests electricity, interestingly this suggests Shelly may have been influenced by scientific advantages like Galvanism. The colour ?black? emphasises the gothic lexis and links to death and evil. This entrance to the world is presented as unnatural as Victor hubristically usurps the role of God with

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work