English Literature - Frankenstein

"Frankenstein and his creature are in fact the same person". Discuss When considering this question one must first take note of the discrepancy between the literal presentation of the relationship between Frankenstein and his creature, and the figurative presentation of that. Are Shelley's intentions predominantly to bring our attention to the fixed sequence of events - to perceive the story in a literal manner - or to a more implicit message; an analogy of bodily union between the two antagonists? Of course, today, when one utters the name 'Frankenstein' the first image thought up is that of a detestable, monstrous, green entity with bolts through the neck. This is indeed erroneous when taking Shelley's novel into account, yet it still offers us an allusion to the idea of the double. It has frequently been suggested that the creature assumes the role of a doppelgänger - or alter-ego - to Frankenstein. That he is merely an extension, or reflection of his creator (indeed 'creature' implies 'creator'). They both assume various synonymous roles throughout the novel; for example, their corresponding isolation, the omission of female influence in their matters, their juxtaposed intentions to take revenge, and of course the simple fact that Victor is presented as a solitary 'parent' to the creature - the only person with whom the creature has an emotional bond. So, let us first

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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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?

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? I agree that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein does indeed attack masculine Romanticism however not totally. Typical Romantic characteristics include heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and imagination, and rebellion against society. She attacks this through her use of language, setting, characterization, narrative structure, doubling and literary allusions. Firstly, the characteristics of the masculine Romantic hero as displayed by Victor Frankenstein and Walton and why Shelley would want to attack these characteristics must be established. Frankenstein displays the traits of a Romantic hero in that he is seeking for something spiritual in nature that is perpetually just out of reach (as does Walton), for example, his desire to conquer death and nature because of his mother's death. Victor is often at odds with society, and is alienated from it because of this strong desire. Also, he is entirely wrapped up in himself and his own problems and indulges, if not wallows in, his own feelings. It must be noted that the main trait of a masculine Romantic scientist would be his thirst for knowledge and leading to ambition and an appreciation of beauty is also a trait. Shelley's

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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Analysis of Frankenstein Extract pages 101 103

Close Analysis of Frankenstein Extract page.101 – 103 The confrontation between Frankenstein and the monster in Mont Blanc contains distinct themes as the presence of the monster post William’s death causes Frankenstein to want to engage in “mortal combat”. The idea of revenge is very common in the gothic genre as seen in Wuthering Heights. However, the concept of vengeance is futile due to the newfound power that the monster possesses and this is present through the use of imperatives and general dominance over Frankenstein. The conflict between the monster and Frankenstein also provides an insight into the key theme of religion against science because Frankenstein’s creation (science) is now the “daemon” suggesting religion is being affected due to actions resulting from the thirst for knowledge. The meeting in an isolate surrounding provides an ideal opportunity for the monster to express his views and to convince Frankenstein to hear his side of the story. William’s death causes Frankenstein to feel responsible for his death and he channels the guilt into anger towards the monster. The presence of the monster overwhelms Frankenstein with hatred and disgust as seen by “it was the wretch whom I had created. I trembled with rage and horror”. The strong nouns “rage” as well as “horror” show how Frankenstein despises his creation. Additionally, as

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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How does Shelley convey the concept of monstrosity?

How does Shelley convey the concept of monstrosity? Compare this to your partner text. Mary Shelley conveys the idea of monstrosity through the creature and Frankenstein. She does this emotionally, psychically and mentally. Monstrosity does not just mean a physical appearance it is also how you act behaviour wise. This is why Frankenstein and the creature come across as monstrous characters as they behave in an monstrous way; there actions also affect other people. Frankenstein shows he is monstrous by acting in a selfish manner throughout the novel. Whereas the creature has monstrous features but he also has a monstrous personality within him which is slowly unfolded as the novel progresses. The idea of monstrosity also plays a huge part in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This is because like Frankenstein Dr Jekyll’s actions have an effect on other people. In Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Jekyll was merely experimenting on potions in his private laboratory and decided to drink the potion whereas in Frankenstein wanted to experiment on humans to create a new race for his own gain. This idea is used by Shelley to explore how Frankenstein wants to create a new species of his own, that will worship him. This is the first clue we are given by Shelley to recognise that Frankenstein wants to be god-like, so by creating a new race he will be able to be god to them. This led the characters in

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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analysis of Frankenstien

Discuss the extent to which you feel sympathy towards the characters in relation to Frankenstein. In Frankenstein we see many moral issues being raised throughout the novel with various realist and non-realist techniques being used. We can see Sedgewick's list of Gothic rules within the novel seeing these gothic techniques and realist techniques working together with each other, helping the reader feel sympathy for the characters and their situations. Frankenstein is written in an embedded narrative with the story beginning in the epistolary style in Walton's letters to his sister. One effect of this narrative is that we get to 'see' Victor's character before his telling of the story. This narrative structure used makes it quite easy to forget exactly who is relating the story, which in turn helps to create sympathy for characters as the reader imagines that they are hearing the story directly from the person concerned. This should also make the reader aware that the accuracy of each account is to be questioned due to it being told through someone else. On opening, the novel conforms to the realist genre with character names, dates and recognisable places mentioned within the letters while also using the gothic technique of embedding the narrative. The narrative is framed through Walton who refers to Victor as like 'a brother' whose 'constant and deep grief fills

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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Consider the ways in which Mary Shelley uses different Gothic settings to contribute to the gothic effects of the novel

Neema Daniel 13AXS Consider the ways in which Mary Shelley uses different Gothic settings to contribute to the gothic effects of the novel Settings are central in generating a mood or atmosphere and even symbolising literary themes. Through Shelley’s presentation of extreme settings like the Arctic and Mont Blanc, in Switzerland, the Gothic effect of isolation is introduced; even simple domestic scenes like the De Lacy’s home can reveal the Gothic notion of dichotomy between the normal and the abnormal. Yet arguably Shelley intertwines Romantic values in her depiction of settings which can intelligently coincide with the Gothic genre, exploring notions of discovery, awe and pursing higher aspirations, but also exploring their futility, which in turn contributes to the Gothic. Shelley’s portrayal of the barren Arctic wasteland in Walton’s letters, paralleling to the main setting in Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient mariner, cleverly contributes to the concepts of discovery and its dangers. The “seat of frost and desolation” presents itself as not only a source of ‘delight’ but as a perilous path to make man “ascertain the secret of the magnet”. Clearly the reader is introduced to the power of the sublime, a force that makes man gape in wonder at the beauty of nature. Yet this does not fully qualify a Gothic criteria fully in that discovery pertains to

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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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?

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? In Frankenstein, education cannot simply be considered as an ordinary theme, because there are so many differing angles which are represented throughout. It primarily depends however on what actually counts as education in the first place; does it have to be necessarily formal, or does it also count if it is information passed on from one family member to another, or even if it is simply something gleaned from the environment that surrounds us. This is the question that must be answered, as well as deciphering what methods Shelley uses to convey the fact that education is essential for the books' events to occur. In Frankenstein from the very beginning, whenever Victor is mentioned, it is in the context of learning, or of having learnt something crucial. This is in comparison to Walton, whose knowledge appears to come from his exploration, from his search for a true companion who can accompany him throughout the rest of his life, someone who will truly understand him. Walton's knowledge is not just from experiences, but also from studying, from academia, as well as from his perceptions of the world around him, and from what his morals command him to either do or not to do. However, despite all of his academia, he is still

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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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.

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. An allusion to a myth enables the writer to make a point more clearly using fewer words, but in order for this to be successful it is necessary for the reader to have some knowledge about the myth or be interested enough to investigate the background to the reference. Shelley does not just mention Prometheus in passing but uses the 'Modern Prometheus' as a subtitle to her book and therefore it must be of some considerable importance to the themes she is trying to communicate to the reader. However, in order to discover the importance of these ideas it is necessary to explore what Shelley meant by the 'Modern Prometheus'. Historically two different versions of the Prometheus myth were in existence - Greek and Latin. The Greek version shows a rebel who steals fire from the gods to help humanity and is then eternally punished by Zeus. In the Latin version Prometheus creates man from clay and water. It would appear that Shelley may well have had a combined view of both of these versions in mind when using the subtitle to her novel. 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

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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Motif of Light and Darkness in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein

Frankenstein Motif Journal - Section 2 (Ch. 9-17) - Light/ Darkness Quote 1: "This state of mind preyed upon my health, which had perhaps never entirely recovered from the first shock it had sustained. I shunned the face of man; all-sound of joy or complacency was torture to me; solitude was my only consolation -- deep, dark, deathlike solitude. My father observed with pain the alteration and endeavored by arguments deduced from the feelings of his serene conscience and to inspire me with fortitude, and awaken in me the courage to dispel the dark cloud, which brooded over me." (85) In this quote, Shelly generates sympathy toward Victor Frankenstein by means of word choice. "Observed pain" and " torture" uncovers a miserable state and hence creates a grievous and upsetting mood. The use of dark imagery through out the passage reveals a forlorn tone of narration. 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

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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Discuss the sources of discontentment and/or despair in 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley

'Then the discontented wanderer is thrown back on himself - if his life is to become bearable, only he can make it so. And, on that spring evening, walking up the long, dark, murmuring street toward the boulevard, Eric was in despair. He knew that he had to make a life, but he did not seem to have the tools' (Another Country, pp.213/4). Discuss the sources of discontentment AND/OR despair in Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' The depiction of despair, in varying forms, is perhaps predominantly engendered in its purest form within the individual character's guilt as a fundamental essence of their characterisation. In relation to Frankenstein, this inclination is explicit in Victor's tormenting guilt surrounding the murder of William, Justine and Clerval: 'But I, the true murderer, felt the never-dying worm alive in my bosom, which allowed no hope or consolation...Anguish and despair had penetrated into the core of my heart' (Shelley, p. 68). This 'never-dying worm' takes on symbolic significance in the creature, who acts as a physical representation of Victor's guilt synonymous with these murders, and is therefore a constant reminder of remorse, instigating the escalation of his profound despair. 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

  • Word count: 1246
  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: English
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