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Mary Shelley & Emily Dickinson
Women's oles Then and Now: A Dialogue between Mary Shelley and Emily Dickinson
Mary and Emily are having an afternoon tea at Emily's Homestead garden. In the midst of enjoying the different flowering plants that Emily had planted in the garden, the women talked about and compared their lives way back in 19th century Western society and in the present time.
MAY: I know I should not be surprised anymore, but news of another reprint and publication of my novel, Frankenstein, still amazes me. Imagine the literary and commercial success of the novel! And both critics and literary scholars hail me as one of the pillars of modernist thought in 19th century English literature. To think that during my time, they even doubted that someone like me, a woman, would be able to write a novel as groundbreaking, thought-provoking, and, as they say -- "modern"!…… [Read More]
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley conceived her well-known novel, "Frankenstein," when she, her husband Percy ysshe Shelley and their friends were at a house party near Geneva in 1816 and she was challenged to come up with a ghost story (Malchow 1993). Mary, then only 18 years old, produced the plot, largely drawn from her own experiences, perceptions and the personalities of the members of her family. These impressions are embedded in a Gothic horror romance woven through the letters of the Arctic explorer, Robert Walton, to his sister about the life of Victor Frankenstein and the monster he creates out of a desire to uncover the spark of being (James 1994). Most literature readers know the story about the monster's loneliness and rage, his victims and the guilt and torment of his creator. While terrifying in appearance, Mary also brings out the innocence, depth and longings of…… [Read More]
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Bakhtin distinguished the literary form of the novel as distinct from other genres because of its rendering of the dynamic present, not in a separate and unitary literary language, but in the competing and often cosmic discord of actual and multiple voices, thus making contact with contemporary reality in all its openendedness (Bender et.al., p. x). Bakhtin's definition of the novel is important because it serves to illuminate the reason why Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has come to be regarded as connecting important, but widely disparate, elements of nineteenth century culture in Victorian England (Fisch et.al., p. 186). ith many apparently conflicting themes such as the domestic ideology of the bourgeoisie family and parenting on the one hand, with fear of pregnancy, childbirth and forbidden emotions ranging from the desire to play God and incest on the other, Shelley's Frankenstein is often seen as a complex mosaic, which…… [Read More]
Mary Shelley and her Frankenstein Monster
Mary Shelley is the author of the famous novel Frankenstein and was born in London, England the year of 1797 (Merriman, 2006). Shelley came from strong genes as both her mother (Mary Wollstonecraft) and father (William Godwin) were considered philosophers and enlightened thinkers (Merriman, 2006). Shelley is credited (believed) to have started the science fiction genre during this time period. As a writer, Shelley was well versed in penned novels, short stories, dramas, essays, and biographies. Shelley's husband is famous poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was known to have been a radical, often encouraging the working class to rebel against the nobles in his works (Prentice Hall, 2006). Shelley also helped in editing and often times marketing her husband's (Percy Bysshe Shelley) omantic poems.
This essay will discuss background information about the historical period when Frankenstein was written and include a detailed…… [Read More]
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Mary Shelly's Frankenstein and the Consideration of Psychological Traumas Women Face in the Lack of Control ver Their Reproductive rgans
This section will state the study's objective.
This section introduces the topic and the context in which this topic will be examined. The various literature reviewed in this study will be introduced.
This section describes the study methodology, which in this case will be qualitative in the form of a literature review.
This section will be comprised of the literature to be reviewed in the study.
Bewell, A. (1988) An Issue of Monstrous Desire: Frankenstein and obstetrics. Yale Journal of Criticism, 2:1 Fall 1988. Retrieved from: http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/Articles/bewell.html
zdemir, E. (2003) Frankenstein: Self, Body, Creation, and Monstrosity. Ankara Universities Dil ve Tarih Cografya. Fakultesi Dergisi 43, 1 20033. Retrieved from: http://dergiler.ankara.edu.tr/dergiler/26/1009/12241.pdf
C. Cavallaro, D (nd) Cyberspunk and Cyberculture: Science Fiction and the Work of William Gibson. Retrieved from:…… [Read More]
Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" specifically how the novel from a Marxist point-of-view reflects the ideology of her times
Mary Shelly is known as one of the greatest horror writers of all time, even though it may be more accurate to refer to her writings as introspective social commentary on the human condition and the state of society. Shelly's Frankenstein has become far more than just a novel. The story of this created Monster has been retold countless times and has become a part of the modern archetypal mythology. Shelly herself was raised by parents with influential artistic, political, and social ideas that infiltrated her personal ideologies and incarnated themselves in her work. Her father wrote a book called Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, in which he taught "public realization of rational ideals of justice and benevolence." This may be one of the first influences which inspired the Marxist elements that…… [Read More]
After completing the task of reviving this inanimate being into a living entity, Victor admits that he is haunted by what he has done and that his heart is filled with "breathless horror and disgust" (Shelley, 52). Obviously, Victor has now entered the realm of true madness, due to realizing that his experiment with the dead has placed him in a very dangerous position. While trying to sleep on the night of his success, Victor sees the "miserable monster" staring at him through a shuttered window -- "His jaw opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks," and then, Victor calls the monster a "demoniacal corpse to which I
had so miserably given life" (Shelley, 53). Certainly, only a man whose mind and abilities would allow him to create such a hideous "monster" must surely be truly mad, considering that Victor goes so far as…… [Read More]
My attention was fixed upon every object the most insupportable to the delicacy of the human feelings. (Shelley, 1961, p. 44)
Frankenstein challenges the values of man that are based on fear and thus goes forward to create a beast that even Dante could not have conceived of. (Shelley, 1961, p. 50) He then chases the beast to his own death.
The Beast on the other hand exemplifies a helpless child in many ways, resenting the fact of his own existence and vilifying his maker for having made him without thought of what a lonely and destructive life he would face.
You, who call Frankenstein your friend, seem to have a knowledge of my crimes and his misfortunes. But in the detail which he gave you of them he could not sum up the hours and months of misery which I endured, wasting in impotent passions. For while I destroyed…… [Read More]
You are my creator, but I am your master; obey."
Like God, Frankenstein initially believed that his creation will
enhance society, will be a boon to natural science and that the rewards for
creating such a creature will be the adulation and bended knee of a
grateful mankind, but too late he discovers that his creation is just as
capable of untold evils as it is capable of gratitude and love. Dr.
Frankenstein dreams of the bows of society and all the riches that go with
that, 'working feverishly for more than two years day and night' in order
to accomplish something no one else had even seriously contemplated. His
feverish and obsessive desire to create what no one has ever created leads
him into a mindset that becomes a permanent part of his psyche. Much of
that psyche has to do with the overwhelming sense of guilt that he…… [Read More]
It is no surprise that this phenomenon shows up in her novel and that it symbolized evil. Lightening has been a dramatic voice from heaven in many works and the romantic poets thought it to be a revelation signaling dramatic change. Clubbe thinks every appearance of thunderstorms in Frankenstein have inner significance, and, for Shelley, it signifies what cannot be know, the secrets of the universe. That lightening could both create and destroy life is the central theme surrounding the novel, and that it, and all things in creation, can be used for either good or for evil.
This novel is almost Gothic, which was what followed the romantic period, and the description of stormy weather often set the dark, morose mood. Shelley uses thunderstorms to signal doom in three important spots in the novel, first in chapter two when Victor discovers he wants to study science, next in chapter…… [Read More]
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The writer of this paper uses several quotes and examples to illustrate the traits and personality characteristics that Victor and the monster share.
IN HIS ON CREATION
One of the most classic works of literature today, is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Her book, penned in an effort to support her family as a struggling single mother, has become one of the most studied manuscripts of all time. Classrooms are filled with heated debates over her use of metaphors and subtleties. One of the most interesting components of the story is the similar nature of the monster and his creator, Victor. hen one initially reads the book, one sees the two as enemies on opposite sides of the pole. However, if the reader peels away the topcoat and examines the underpinnings, he will see that the two had many things in common which can trace to the biblical…… [Read More]
Gender Relations in Frankenstein
In tracing the historical etymology of the word "monster," the Oxford English Dictionary offers a primary definition of something to be stared at or marveled over (from the same root as "demonstrate") but notes the second-most common use of the word is biological: "an animal or plant deviating in one or more of its parts from the normal type; an animal afflicted with some congenital malformation; a misshapen birth; an abortion." The O.E.D. cites Hoccleve in the early 1400s: "was it not eek a monstre as in nature that god i-bore was of a virgine?" To modern readers, there may be something almost comic in the idea of calling Jesus Christ a "monster" like the one created by Victor Frankenstein. But it is clear that, long before Mary Shelley wrote her famous novel about the "modern Prometheus" who creates his own monster, the very word "monster"…… [Read More]
Promethean myth holds a very strong hold upon the literature of the romantic era, a collected era of the rekindling of the ideas and ideals of classical antiquity. Though within each evolving age there is the incorporation of propriety and modernity into the stories and ideal of the old. Though not alone, in their fascination with creation and even the promethean myth, as the forbearers of the Romantics had a grand fascination with the messages of the Greeks, to some degree influencing the relative importance of any attention it has been paid through literary and philosophical history. The promethean myth has become such a common thread that the tradition continues to build in nearly every generation of writers. ithin this fascination there are many evolving interpretations of the reality of both, what the myth is and what it means to man and God.
Classical lessons spoke freely and openly to…… [Read More]
Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley
Pursuit of rationalism and science at the expense of humanism: Analysis of "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley
Since its inception in 1818, the novel "Frankenstein" had radically altered the horror genre of literature, for it introduced the horrors of humanity as a result of using science to attain power and control beyond humanity's capabilities -- that is, humans creating humans through scientific, not natural, production. Author Mary Shelley had introduced the theme of humanity's pursuit of rationalism and science to illustrate the state of society as she experienced it in 19th century: a society that was gradually becoming more rationalist, scientific, and objective to society's concerns and issues.
Evidently, "Frankenstein" is a novel that depicted the opposing nature of science and humanism. The characters of Victor Frankenstein and his creation, the Creature, represented science's objectiveness and detachment from human values and morals; however, Frankenstein's transition to being…… [Read More]
This is seen explicitly in the events that Shelley has expressed after the monster asks for a mate. The monster had promised to leave the human populated areas and go into the forests and live there. He only asked from Victor to make him a female counterpart with which he could sit and talk to and relate to. Victor at first thinks that it would be a remarkable idea and the society would be clean of the monster. However, when he thinks about the matter, he feels that giving the monster a mate could prove to be disastrous. Victor knows that the female would have a mind of her own to think and decide and if she would disagree to the agreement made before her creation, behind her conscious self, then that would create problems for everyone and more blood would be shed. The fear of man is seen here…… [Read More]
Deconstructivism in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"
Deconstructivism in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"
In postmodernist theory foundation in literature, deconstructivism is one theoretical framework wherein theorists depart from explaining phenomena in the world relating to sociological foundations. Instead, deconstructivist theory looks at the micro-social foundations of an artifact, explaining how ideological meanings in an artifact are formed and developed.
Take as an example the literary piece "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley. Through a constructivist foundation, Shelley's novel has the theme of the 'rebirth' of a new society, where Victor Frankenstein plays god and creates his own 'human' race through the character of "The Creature." However, deconstructivism explains why the theme of recreation can be contrasted with the theme of fall of human society or end of human civilization. That is, human civilization and society in "Frankenstein" is not reborn, but is instead going backwards in time. Deconstructivist criticism of the character of The…… [Read More]
Frankenstein in the Work of Mary Shelley
FRANKENSTEIN BY MARY SHELLEY
The focus of this study is to summarize chapters 16 through 20 in Mary Shelley's and to choose two to three particularly meaningful quotes or quotes that are provocative or significant. work entitled 'Frankenstein'. Chapter 16 opens with the exclamation of "cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live?" (Shelley) This exclamation importantly sweets the scene for the dilemma in this story as Frankenstein is wailing against the unfairness of his expectance and his loneliness and lack of a companion and goes on to relate how he has been chased as a beast and forced to hide from those who intend to harm him. Frankenstein goes on to tell how he was shot in the woods and suffered there for several weeks and relates being approached by a child that was beautiful and relates killing the child and noticing portrait…… [Read More]
Good and Evil in Frankenstein
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, who bored with his mundane life, decides to attempt to create a new life out of deceased human remains. Dr. Frankenstein's ignorance of the responsibility necessary to take care of the life that he has brought into this world leads him to abandon his creation; this abandonment leads to the Frankenstein's Monster to react violently as he attempts to find his way in the world. As a result of both Frankenstein's actions and behavior, it can be argued that the Monster's concept of and the distinction between good and evil has been blurred.
In Frankenstein, an argument can be made that there are two monsters within the narrative, Frankenstein and his creation. Frankenstein's monstrosity arises from his desire to have God-like control over the both the creation and the destruction of life. Frankenstein expressed this desire…… [Read More]
Freud and Frankenstein
Although psychoanalysis is not a popular method of therapy anymore (although there are still some practitioners), Freud's ideas are still very influential in Western society. He stands as one of the intellectual giants who helped to shape the modern world. A major contribution that he made was his belief that conscious awareness is not all there is, that there exists another deeper layer of consciousness, which he named the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind, he said, was a repository of repressed impulses and desires. Although the waking mind is unaware of what lies in the unconscious, the unconscious mind is actually quite powerful because human behavior is often determined by the unconscious mind. A lot of what resides in the unconscious is there as a result of early childhood experiences. Freud pictured consciousness as like an iceberg in the ocean with only the tip (or upper 10%)…… [Read More]
It is through Shelley's doubling between Frankenstein and the Monster, and herself and Frankenstein and the Monster, that Freud's uncanny and psychological concepts of the id, ego, and superego can be analyzed. Shelley demonstrates how an individual's outward appearance is not necessarily representative of their character and at the same time is able to come to terms with the psychological traumas that plagued her -- from losing her own mother at childbirth to losing her own children shortly thereafter. Furthermore, Shelley is able to demonstrate how an imbalance between an individual's id, ego, and superego can influence behavior and is also able to demonstrate how each of these is formed, either through instinctual behaviors, observations, and education. Ultimately, Shelley's understanding of the uncanny, and psychological constructs, paved the way for psychologists like Freud to investigate the constructs of fear and unease.
Freud, Sigmund. The Ego and the Id.…… [Read More]
"You, who call Frankenstein your friend, seem to have a knowledge of my crimes and his misfortunes. But in the detail which he gave you of them he could not sum up the hours and months of misery which I endured wasting in impotent passions. For while I destroyed his hopes, I did not satisfy my own desires," (Shelley, Frankenstein, Chapter 24)
Frankenstein's monster remains one of the most misunderstood characters in English literature. Part of the problem can be traced to the commercialization of the book and its adaptation for cinema. As Mary Shelley's work has been appropriated by the horror genre, the monster has taken on a new form as an evil and fearsome creature rather than being the tragic and lonely figure that he actually is in the novel. Film versions of Frankenstein have stripped away from the monster some of the core components of his…… [Read More]
The author characterizes each woman as passive, disposable and serving a utilitarian function.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein tells of the evaluation of the problems associated with gender identity via the development of a dreadful monster in a peaceful community. Considering the major characters of 'Frankenstein' which portray the perfect gender duties in those days, it is then quite intriguing that Frankenstein's monster was created and it calls for a thorough research into the societal status of the British in the 1800s.
Female characters like Safie, Elizabeth, Justine, Margaret and Agatha provide nothing more but a channel of action for the male characters in the novel.
They are on the receiving end of actions and occurrences, mostly because they are trying to get back at a male character or make him feel a particular way. Every female character in Shelley's Frankenstein has a unique role to play (Tan).
Let's start with…… [Read More]
Monstrosity in Frankenstein
Mary Shelly's Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus, which is considered by many to be one of the first science-fiction novels that was ever written, is full of anti-Enlightenment sentiments, many of which are still present in society today. Shelley's novel, published first in 1818 and then edited and republished in 1831, takes a look at the conflicts between science and religion. Through this examination, Shelley provides insight into the dangers of playing God and taking the forces of nature into one's own hands. Seeing as Mary Shelley was the daughter of two well-known Enlightenment intellectual figures, it can be posited that Shelley understood the arguments and beliefs of the movement and could provide a well thought out argument against the movement. Shelley's anti-Enlightenment stance takes a look at the dangers that may arise through unsupervised educational pursuits, which include the unharnessed exploration of science and denunciation or…… [Read More]
He notes that at the time of the novel's publication, there was growing concern and distrust for unregulated scientific experimentation. He claims that these beliefs "so successfully dominated the cultural sphere that the word "Frankenstein" was soon used to refer to the creature created by the scientist rather than the scientist himself. Frankenstein, therefore, became the monstrous and supernatural offspring of the practices of science" (illis 236). Mellor suggests that Frankenstein was the first creature that was created by a single man and Shelley created her myth "single-handedly" (Mellor 38). Victor teaches us some valuable lessons and the most important might be to never forget the law of unintended consequences. Victor never considered that his creation would be hideous and that oversight ruined everything for him and the creature. Victor's desire to know more lead to more destruction than he could have ever imagined.
Berry Laura. The Child,…… [Read More]
The monster knows right from wrong and he choice is one of desperation. Victor never realizes the difference between right and wrong because it is not within his nature to do so.
Frankenstein will always be closely examined when it comes to matters of humanity because of its subject matter. Victor has every opportunity to do something good with his life and the most he can muster is achieving his own dreams of glory by attempting to recreate life. Despite his education and loving family, Victor swerves off the normal path and skids onto the freakish one. The monster he creates encompasses more goodness than he does but he cannot see this because he is just like the rest of humanity - unable to see beyond the monster's appearance. The monster tried everything within his power to remove himself from the freakish path that Victor placed him on and gain…… [Read More]
He is over-confident and refuses to look at anything negative that could happen as a result of his endeavors. He fails to believe that any unintended consequences would be negative enough to make him regret his decision. He simply does not see what he does not want to see. e all do this at one point or another when we want something. However, Victor's choices involve other people and he demonstrates he does not care. He realizes he is "solely wrapped up" (36) with his experiment and does not care. Here we see how knowledge is dangerous because it becomes more important than life itself.
The thirst of knowledge is linked to destruction as we watch the events of Victor's life unfold. The most important fact we see as Victor recounts his tale to Robert is how Victor could not the danger he is now expressing to Robert while he…… [Read More]
It has "… taken on a life of its own independent of Mary Shelley's text, and indeed even independent of certain parts of her narrative." (Goodall 19) This has resulted in film and stage play versions of the novel.
The reason for this continuing popularity lies largely with the relevance of the themes; particularly with regard to the theme of man 'playing God' through his application of scientific knowledge and his need to manipulate and control nature. This then can be linked to many questions and issued of contemporary importance. One could, for example, take modern scientific attempts at cloning animals and the possibility of human cloning. The question arises whether science will create monsters in the future through scientific knowledge. As one critic notes; "The public debate on cloning continues to be littered with references to Frankenstein." (Goodall 19)
Furthermore, "Mary Shelley's story has been taken variously to illustrate…… [Read More]
Abandonment in Shelley's Frankenstein and Bronte's Jane Eyre: a Comparison
Abandonment is a substantial theme in literature written by women. It appears in the poems of Emily Dickinson, in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and in the novels of the Bronte sisters -- uthering Heights and Jane Eyre. It is not a theme that is only addressed by women in literature, to be sure, but it is one that seems to be utilized most evocatively by them. This paper will provide a comparative analysis of two literary sources -- Shelley's Frankenstein and Bronte's Jane Eyre -- to show how abandonment can cause depression, deep emotions and despair, but how it can also open up new doors for an individual; it will show how unprofitable it can be and yet how beneficial to one's life it can also prove in the long run.
Jane Eyre is a romantic-gothic novel by…… [Read More]
Mary Shelley & Ellen Moers
Creation and Abortion: The Creator's Dilemma in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" as analyzed by Ellen Moers
In the essay, "Female Gothic: the Monster's Mother," author Ellen Moers provided a new perspective in interpreting Mary Shelley's Gothic cum science fiction novel, "Frankenstein." In the essay, she discussed the parallelisms between the Mary Shelley and the character of Victor Frankenstein, which she both considered as "creators." One parallelism that stands out in the lives of Shelley and Frankenstein is their being both creators and destructors of human life. The 'creator's dilemma' is when Shelley and Frankenstein experienced giving "birth" to life while also being responsible for its death upon its birth.
This argument presented by Moers is given central focus in this paper. Using her argument that the novel "Frankenstein" presented the "creator's dilemma," where creators Shelley and Frankenstein both became creators and destructors of human life. This…… [Read More]
This section of the novel opens our eyes to the real monster of the story and, as a result, we feel sympathy for the creature. His desire to learn about life and the world around him is amazing and his encounter with the De Lacey family demonstrates just how much he wants to makes friends and be a part of his "community." He teaches himself to read and attempts to make friends with this family because he is aware of the importance of connecting with others. atching them, he is filled with "sensations of a peculiar and overpowering nature" (Shelley 93) and wants to be a part of their world. He is a good creature at first and Shelley does an excellent job of portraying him in this light. He only becomes evil after he suffers rejection and abuse from those that he is trying to connect with on a…… [Read More]
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and James Cameron's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines have come to occupy similar positions in American popular culture -- largely, for their iconic appeal -- but they are also comparable in more subtle ways. Specifically, each tale depicts the emergence of human nature within entities that superficially seem nonhuman. Frankenstein's monster and the T-101 both come forward as compelling and sympathetic characters because they learn and express themselves in terms that human beings are able to understand. The T-101's apparent progression from a methodical killer into an unwavering companion within the Terminator movies is mirrored by the monster's progression from an infantile murderer into a sensitive literature aficionado. Additionally, it is significant that both are brought into creation through clandestine scientific practices; thus, similar themes surrounding the T-101 and the monster make themselves apparent. Essentially, both characters represent the volatile nature of too much knowledge: they…… [Read More]
Bloom claims that Victor was a "moral idiot" (Bloom) when he shirked his responsibilities. Victor's actions reveal that he is a completely selfish individual, incapable of being aware of anyone else's existence. The monster undergoes a radical transformation in the novel, from a being with no sense to a being completely aware of himself. He is more aware of himself than Victor could ever be and this allows the reader to identify with him on a more personal level. It is his sense of self that makes him human and Victor's selfishness that makes him seem inhuman. The irony is what brings Bloom back to the Romantic mythology of self.
Bloom successfully proves his points in this essay. He could have used more quotations from the text itself but the essay is strong enough without them. Bloom's examination of the novel in the broader spectrum of the Romantic Movement is…… [Read More]
However, with the same aforementioned idea in mind, in Vitro Fertilization technology also has it's benefits. Being able to remove all disease from human kind would be an unimaginable thing to do. ith in Vitro Fertilization technology the possibilities are endless (Russell 2010). A new generation could be produced where life-debilitating illnesses would be free from them. They would not have to worry about passing certain genetic diseases on because they would be completely erased from their DNA. It makes the possibilities of medicine and health care seem endless.
The ethical issues involved in Vitro Fertilization lay hand in hand with the ethical dilemmas that Shelley was attempting to address in "Frankenstein." The very idea of creating an individual without fully knowing the consequences may not be the best way to go. It carries with it consequences that will affect an entire society, the parties involved, and most importantly, the…… [Read More]
His family worries about him, of course, but they have no idea what is actually the problem. If they did, would they see Victor as a monster? It is difficult to say. Families can overlook a great deal of things when found in a person that family loves. However, some things are simply too great to bear when it comes to what a person has done or what he or she might do in the future. Because of that, Victor avoids telling anyone about the monster until he is on his deathbed. There, he recounts his story to the captain of the ship that has rescued him. In telling the tale, it is possible that the monster is real and also possible that Victor is deluded and he is the monster.
Once Victor dies, the monster appears one last time to grieve for his creator. All he ever wanted was…… [Read More]
Emilia, Wife of Iago
Do not learn of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband.[footnoteRef:1] [1: Othello, Act II, Scene i.]
More than once, I think to myself how life could have been differed between that of my previous past to that which I have now. A woman whose prospects boiled down to nothing as important as marriage could not have many to begin with. But a husband whose soul blackens the very environment, whose tongue twists morality, whose plots send shivers down my little spine? No, even this I had not asked for, not one bit.
If my good mother was still alive, I would wager that her argument would play out as follows:[footnoteRef:2] [2: Theme: The hardships of mother-daughter relationships (Lucy by Jamaica Kinkaid)]
How now, Emilia, where is your sense? Was it really so bad to leave Mantua[footnoteRef:3], to head face-front to the catastrophe that is your…… [Read More]
He tells alton he was "surprised that among so many men of genius . . . that I alone should be reserved to discover so astonishing a secret" (37). Here Shelley illuminates the weakness of man with Frankenstein's inability to control himself in this situation. Shelley placed Frankenstein in this environment because he represented "modern scientist is search of the spark to animate lifeless matter" (right 14). Like Prometheus, he is penalized for "meddling in the work of the gods" (14). Shelley foreshadows the mood of the novel when she writes, "Frightful it must be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world" (Shelley xxv). Here Shelley is making a stand against certain aspects of knowledge. hile knowledge itself is not bad, the desire for knowledge to do great things for the sake of fame or…… [Read More]
Second, it provides an excellent introduction "to a unit on the Romantic Era in English literature" with its spirit in line with Coleridge, Wordsworth, Lord yron and Percy Shelley. Third, the novel is truly "the work of a gifted woman writer who merits study and recognition" (62). One aspect of Shelley's life which is quite extraordinary is that she heard Samuel Taylor Coleridge recite the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" which clearly influenced Shelley's use of the supernatural in her novel.
Fourth, Veidemanis maintains that the novel's central theme, being "scientific aims pursued in reckless disregard of human consequences," has much significance in today's modern scientific age related to biological and genetic engineering and raises the question "Should limits be placed on scientific endeavor?" A reference to Victor Frankenstein and his "reckless disregard" for the possible consequences of his experiments with the dead and the creation of a human monster.…… [Read More]
Ross (1988) notes the development of Romanticism in the late eighteenth century and indicates that it was essentially a masculine phenomenon:
Romantic poetizing is not just what women cannot do because they are not expected to; it is also what some men do in order to reconfirm their capacity to influence the world in ways socio-historically determined as masculine. The categories of gender, both in their lives and in their work, help the Romantics establish rites of passage toward poetic identity and toward masculine empowerment. Even when the women themselves are writers, they become anchors for the male poets' own pursuit for masculine self-possession. (Ross, 1988, 29)
Mary ollstonecraft was as famous as a writer in her day as her daughter. Both mother and daughter were important proponents of the rights of women both in their writings and in the way they lived and served as role models for other…… [Read More]
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley claims that the Publishers of Standard Novels specifically requested that she "furnish them with some account of the origin of the story," (16). However, the Publishers of Standard Novels did not simply want to know how the author had considered the main premise, plot, and theme of the Frankenstein story but that the story -- and its female authorship -- seemed contrary to prevailing gender norms. According to Shelley, the publishers wondered, "how I, then a young girl, came to think of, and to dilate upon, so very hideous an idea?" (16). If young girls were supposed to be sugar, spice, and everything nice, then a story about a monstrous creation would seem antithetical to the 19th century feminine ideal. Not only that, Mary Shelley intuited the publishers' surprise with the author's gender, for no sooner does Shelley launch into a carefully crafted response to their query,…… [Read More]
Victor and his creature are opposing forces that struggle because of their conflicts throughout Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. Conflict is the dominant theme of the novel—one that Mary Shelley herself experienced in her own life, being married to the romantic poet Percy Byshe Shelley, who struggled with his own romantic ideas just as Victor Frankenstein struggles with his vain desire to be a Creator in Frankenstein. While Victor Frankenstein does become a Creator, he accomplishes his task ironically because he is a creator of the monster (which becomes of a monster because of Victor’s own incapacity to love him). True, the monster comes into life looking hideous—but that is because he had an uncaring creator; the monster is actually very thoughtful and desires to love and be loved. He attempts to make friends but finds that he is rebuked for his ugliness and driven away into isolation. He then…… [Read More]
The rash, brash young soldier Claudio is betrothed to Hero, who adores him, but because of the male code of the military he has been raised to believe in, he tends to assume the worst of women rather than the best. On their wedding-day, he shames Hero unjustly, even though nothing in her manner indicates she has changed: "You seem to me as Dian in her orb, / as chaste as is the bud ere it be blown" (4.1). In this male-dominated society, where women are aliens and suspect, even the supposedly wise Don Pedro believes the slander at first: "hy, then are you no maiden" (4.1).
But mistrust and a refusal to sympathize with another are not limited to times of turmoil, or emotionally fraught relationships like marriage. Even the relationship of parent to child becomes perverted in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The scientist and doctor is so determined to…… [Read More]
Dominance of Humanity over Nature: Conflict and Change in 19th Century Human Society in the Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of the novel Frankenstein (1818), had introduced in literature a new genre and theme where human society and nature experiences conflict over time. The novel primarily depicts the state of humanity in the 19th century, where the effects of the Enlightenment period are reinforced through the study of the natural sciences (biology, physics, and chemistry, among others) and predominance of empirical thought, i.e., human knowledge acquired through experience and obtained through the scientific method.
With these state of events and forces dominating 19th century human society, this paper's analysis of the novel Frankenstein is two-fold: one facet discusses the issue of conflict and change happening in human society during the period, and the other facet looking into the dynamics of these changes, through exemplars and cases illustrated…… [Read More]
With this confession, Victor is telling Walton that he is a broken man because of his inner desires to explore the unknown and by pretending that like God he has control over his own destiny and that of the creature he created. Thematically, Victor is relating that the pursuit of knowledge can often be a very dangerous affair.
At the point when the creature begins to show some movement upon the laboratory table, Victor realizes that he has made an abomination to nature. Later on, he relates a portion of what he calls his "wildest dreams": "I thought I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health... I embraced her, but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death... her features appeared to change, and I thought I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her…… [Read More]
Though the Monster tries to refrain from interfering; "hat chiefly struck me was the gentle manners of these people, and I longed to join them, but dared not…[remembering] too well the treatment I had suffered the night before from the barbarous villagers" (142). The Monster learns how society behaves through the observation of the family, and through the reading of books. Much like Frankenstein, the Monster is greatly influenced by what he reads including Plutarch's Lives, Sorrow of erter, and Paradise Lost. The Monster's innocence and ignorance, at this point, does not allow him to fully understand or relate to any of the characters in the books (166). The Monster eventually relates to Adam in Paradise Lost, not considering himself a monster, because even "Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him" (169). As Adam was created in God's own image, the Monster is a "filthy type…… [Read More]
People generally focus on appearance when coming across a particular individual. This is perfectly exemplified by the meeting between the old member of the De Lacey family and the monster. The man initially welcomes the creature, as he is no longer able to see and is unacquainted with the monster's facial features and body.
Victor Frankenstein can be considered to contrast the monster through his behavior, his background, and because of the goals that he has. The scientist virtually had everything that the monster longed for, considering his family, his reputation, and the fact that he was generally seen as one of society's leading members. Instead of valuing what he had, however, Frankenstein gave it all away in favor of gaining reputation, as this was apparently the thing that he appreciated the most in life. hile most readers are likely to blame Frankenstein for most unfortunate events in the book,…… [Read More]
He had built a wall around him that was preventing his normal interaction with people. This was causing real suffering and sickness. "hat then became of me? I know not; I lost sensation, and chains and darkness were the only objects that pressed upon me." (p.168) He loses interest in life even more when his dear ones are killed: "I had formed in my own heart a resolution to pursue my destroyer to death; and this purpose quieted my agony, and provisionally reconciled me to life." (p.169)
Sickness is thus a multifaceted theme in the novel. It serves many purposes. On the one hand, we see it as a force fighting against the evil ambitions of Victor and on the other, it can also be seen as a compassionate force trying to restrain Victor. It is all a matter of perception. Had Frankenstein understood why he was falling ill so…… [Read More]
Enlightenment-era, Neo-Classical works with Romantic overtones 'Tartuffe," Candide, and Frankenstein all use unnatural forms of character representation to question the common conceptions of what is natural and of human and environmental 'nature.' Moliere uses highly artificial ways of representing characters in dramatic forms to show the unnatural nature of an older man becoming attracted to a younger woman. Voltaire uses unnatural and absurd situations to question the unnatural belief of Professor Pangloss that this is the best of all possible worlds. Mary Shelley creates a fantastic or unnatural scenario to show the unnatural nature of a human scientist's attempt to turn himself into a kind of God-like creator through the use of reason and science alone.
"Tartuffe" is the most obviously unnatural of the three works in terms of its style. It is a play, and the characters do not really develop as human beings because of the compressed nature…… [Read More]
Creation ithout Love: The Problem of Frankenstein
In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein assumes the role of God by attempting to create new life. He is not, however, prepared for the consequences, and the outward hideousness of his creation compels him to reject the monster. Inwardly, Frankenstein's monster possesses a soul and longs for love and learning. The fact that he must seek both surreptitiously (and is yet still rejected) compels him to lash out -- both at society and at his creator. Along the way, the monster identifies with Milton's Satan -- another creature who lashed out at his creator after feeling spurned. This paper will show how Frankenstein's monster feels rejected by "god" (both the actual God of creation and also Frankenstein in the role of creator-god for the Creature) and how this leads to tragic consequences -- namely, both Frankenstein's and the monster's eventual isolation and death…… [Read More]
" (Rossetti, 1886)
Mary Shelley is noted as having stated that it would require "…a mind as subtle as his own to understand the mystic meanings scattered throughout the poem." (Rossetti, 1886) Mary writes that rough the whole poem there "There reigns a sort of calm and holy spirit of love, it soothes the tortured, and is hope to the expectant, till the prophecy is fulfilled, and love, untainted by any evil, becomes the law of the world…" (as cited in: Rossetti, 1886) it is agreed upon by all Shelley critics, according to Ristic that the imagery of the "…lyric built drama is bold and original and that its lyrical splendor is one of the wonders of English poetry. Thirty-six different verse forms have been counted, "all perfectly handled," and the drama has been compared to symphonic music." (Ristic, 2000)
Shelley writes in the Preface to Prometheus Unbound that the…… [Read More]
Here the man understands his fate and realizes that he will have a difficult time trying to convince others not to follow in his path.
Not all is lost, however. Victor does influence someone in a positive way before he leaves this earth and that person is Robert alton. hile we only see him at the beginning and end of the novel, he is significant to the story because he, too, harbors a desire to know the unknown. Robert is also important because he is the only one through which Victor and his message can live. He tells Margaret that he cannot begin to describe the "sensations on the near prospect of my undertaking... I have often attributed my attachment to, my passionate enthusiasm for, the dangerous mysteries of the ocean to that production of the most imaginative or modern poets" (7). He admits to loving "a belief in the…… [Read More]
The foundational ideas of the limits of science and medical ethics goes back a very long way and as it has evolved over the centuries, certain laws, rules, regulations and taboos have been put in place to protect the human race from that sometimes blurred line between scientific discovery and human existence. Medical ethics created a system, bound by the ideals of many that came before them to control this blurring and attempt to stand between sciences desire to discover and the public and individual's desire to remain safe and in control of one's own body. A long time medical ethicist discusses the history of medical ethics as one that was founded on the principles of the ancients, but that has now become one where medical ethicists are demanding concrete answers, even laws to guide and demand decisions regarding medical ethics be enforced. "My new colleagues were polite enough, to…… [Read More]
character and nature of Frankenstein's creation, the monster. It aims to study the potential nature of the monster's evil deeds and to provide readers with understanding of the monster's "being" as told in the story. eing the creator of the monster, this paper also looks into the nature of Victor Frankenstein having to be able to create a monster that haunted his family, friends, and even his own life.
Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, shows how humans tend to be influenced by the major factors in their lives, such as people and the environment that they are living in. The novel shows how constant rejection can cause someone to become a monster. It also stresses an idea of human injustice towards outsiders, as the monster experienced from humans.
Throughout this paper, I will attempt to point out some factors in the story that made the two characters, Frankenstein and his creation,…… [Read More]
Kuwait language Arabic, consideration moderate English. I an essay 8 pages including a thesis statement MLA outline ( thesis outline a separated page). My Essay a comparison Frankenstein Mary Shelly (1831 edition) The strange case Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Robert Stevenson.
Comparison between Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and Robert Louis Stevenson's "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
The Risks of doing science
The connection between the two scientists
Society's tendency to steer away from the idea of evil
The scientist's understanding of his feat
Fast progress as a cause for death
Mary Shelley's book "Frankenstein" (1818) and Robert Louis Stevenson's book "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1886) are two historic novels that are widely known and appreciated as a consequence of the ideas they put across. Both books address the concept of a scientist attempting to manipulate the rules of the universe and eventually…… [Read More]
Furthermore, this brief introduction details the different types of legislation regarding men and women that Wollstonecraft supported. Next, this chapter moves onto Wollstonecraft's own life and actions, as well as a brief description of the time period in which she lived. These descriptions allow the reader to understand how Wollstonecraft was both revolutionary and conventional, in addition to how society encouraged and discouraged her various roles. Furthermore, I introduce these ideas to personify the struggle in which Wollstonecraft operated every day. It is this struggle that I emphasize during this chapter, giving the reader an idea of the challenging nature of Wollstonecraft's life because of it, in addition to its contribution to her struggle on paper. This chapter also introduces the reactions that others had to her work, as well as a tribute to its lasting contributions. I remark that Wollstonecraft is a strong voice among other female writers and…… [Read More]
Changes in and to children's literature mirror, as well as construct, changes in social norms. For example, the 1908 book by Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows, is a frolicking fantasy tale starring a cast of anthropomorphic animals. Themes of camaraderie, friendship, and adventure do not serve as vehicles for political discourse. When Jan Needle published Wild Wood nearly a century later in 1981, the author imbued the basic structure of Grahame's story with political awareness. Issues like social justice are explored in Wild Wood, issues that were not touched upon in Wind in the Willows. A similar vehicle of storytelling was used for a different literary function. Both 1908 and 1981 were times ripe for the exploration of labor issues and class-consciousness, and it is in many ways ironic that Needle would have been more overtly political than his forebear.
There seems to have been a deliberate awakening of…… [Read More]
Greek legend of Prometheus, the god that defied Zeus and brought fire to humans, is one that figures largely in the imagery of the later Romantic poets. There's Byron's Prometheus, Percy Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. For Percy Shelley and Lord Byron, Prometheus embodied the revolutionary, creative, and daringly original spirit, and a "courage and majesty and firm and patient opposition to omnipotent force" (Prometheus Unbound, Norton Anthology 734). Prometheus was the "champion of humanity" persecuted for his selfless desire to bring good to the world. Considering both men's hate for tyranny and zeal for social justice such a reading is not surprising.
However, Paul Cantor points out in Creature and Creator that, "the Romantics made a hero out of Prometheus by glossing over those aspects of the original legends which cast him in a bad light"(77). Mary Shelley's use of the Promethean legend,…… [Read More]
Feminism 19th and Early 20th Century America
riting and women's roles were unavoidably mixed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was a time in which many women protested their restrictions through novels, poetry, pamphlets, and speeches. By analyzing those creations, readings can begin to understand the lives of those forward-looking women. In their own time, people dismissed them as inconsequential complainers. Minority authors, like blacks and lesbians were even more ignored. However, by learning about their work, we can learn about the daily life of the social classes to which they belonged.
Many people feel that our socioeconomic status limits our understanding of others (McClish and Bacon). Because our understanding is limited by our own viewpoint from our socioeconomic status, patriarchal societies tend to limit self-expression to that which is compatible with the patriarchy. As a result, it's important to remember to ask questions based one's own experience,…… [Read More]
He writes, "Lucy Westenra, but yet how changed. The sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness" (Stoker 225). It is clear that wantonness is not a characteristic to be admired in Victorian times, because he compares her wantonness to cruelty, as well. Clearly, both these novels echo the time they were written and society's views on women. Women play insignificant and "wanton" roles in both books, and they are a source of motherly love and distress. One critic, however, feels the novel may be a beacon of change, too. He writes, "Dracula is not only a threat but also imaginative and physical vitality, a catalyst for change. The novel suggests that a new understanding of sexuality and decay is necessary for any attempt to attain social order and growth" (Boone). What is most interesting about these two novels is that they portray relatively like…… [Read More]
Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in relation to man's dual nature
Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley when she was only nineteen years of age is considered to be one of the most fascinating novels in our literature. Such a fact is imaginatively approved in a strikingly fresh adaptation by Jonathan Pope for the Glasgow Citizens that takes off the congealed veneer of the horror film industry and makes out a truly attractive background of adventurism relating to scientific and philosophical levels. (Coveney, Frankenstein) Frankenstein relates to the duality of human nature and the manner in which humans are perceived by the society.
Mary Shelley is of the view that the treatment they attain due to societal perceptions will in the end draw out or contain some features of their nature. In brief, Frankenstein depicts the story of a scientific genius named Victor Frankenstein, whose studies made him to…… [Read More]
Yet, we also see that he still does not understand the true origin of the beast -- the human within. The fact that he dies before he is successful, yet the monster obviously goes off to end his own fate, indicates that the evil both originated, and eventually died with him -- the true source from which it sprang.
Victor Hugo's Hunchback: An Illustrative Device
In Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame, there exists a strikingly similar theme -- if different in form. Although it is definitely true that Hugo's famous Quasimodo is a bit more innocuous than the Frankenstein monster, he nonetheless evokes a certain horror if only in appearance. Yet, much like in Shelley's work, Hugo brings out the monster that is human nature within the other character's interactions, motivations, and actions in the story.
There is little question that Hugo fully intended Quasimodo to evoke horror in…… [Read More]