is this a journal about literature? I promise it won't be boring;

Hello everybody who bumped in my journal,
My name is Nicole, I am 18 years old and this is one of my many school projects, thanks to my English Teacher. In this journal, diary, log (call it as you wish) I will talk about literature. I know, I know, you may think it is boring but I promise you we will work together to understand everything and reflect upon our existence. Do not close this window yet, the journey must begin.

Before we jump into business, here it is a little premise about Literature. I will not be the one explaining to you, but I think the video down below will help you enough to understand why we study literature and what is it for.

ps; you do not have to watch the video if you do not want to.

pss; but I recommend you to.

Let's start, shall we?

Meet Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, our first acquaintance.
Mary Shelley is one of the most influential figures in the British Literature, in particularly in the scientific area. She was highly intelligent and educated, a strong feminist as her father. She fought for the women’s rights to be classified as writers in every field, not just writing romantics stories, novels. She wanted a change, in fact she had it the moment she challenged two different male writers, where she won.
She investigated the meaning of life, thanks to her most famous work, that is “Frankenstein”.

( Mind you, Frankenstein is not the monster, it is the doctor in this novel. You had it wrong, kids. )

So that Science-fiction was born.

The Monster, as we know, is made of human dead bodies’ pieces – all assembled together. Anatomy at the time was very new, as was it the the terms science and scientist, in fact Mary Shelley does not use any of those.

Besides Mary Shelley is what you would never expect in a woman, she investigate the meaning of our existence, why we are born and why we are what we are. You know, she thought she was cursed, cursed by death – though she was very fascinated by it. Therefore she wrote about it, the monster was a dead man who came alive from the dead.

Mary Shelley is a fierce woman, who fought until the last of her days for equality and in my opinion she is one of the most deep and reflective writer of the 18th/19th centuries.

Life is less fascinating than death, if we think about it – we do know anything about death, or the after life. We could not possibly know what is like to be dead, if there is something awaiting for us or if it all just a big joke made by religious people. Frankenstein gave life to something which was pretty much dead, he gave life to something that should have stayed dead, however through this creature we could reflect upon different subjects we take for granted.

when son meets father;

Love is something overrated, people think, but it is not. We seek love, we crave it since we are little human beings – we seek for our mother’s warmth even though we are blind, that is exactly what our monster does, even though he receives nothing but hatred and fear from his father. He receives nothing but hatred and fear from everyone. He is lonely and alone, he needs someone and he wants someone, just like him, by his side – a woman. Human beings do not like to be left alone, lonely and abandoned by who you thought was the love of your life, in other words your mother and your father. Furthermore, the only human who accepted who the monster really was was a blind man, living in a lovely cottage with his sons, this should say more than any word.

Blindness gives us the power to go over someone appearance and seek for something deep, such as love, feelings, pureness, something. That is very much suitable nowadays, where our world is facing racism, prejudices and more. Is it enough to turn blind before a person or people? Or we should just try harder and go over everything that comes between what we think and what we feel?

Enjoy this beautiful trailer about Frankenstein and his Creature, brand new.

ps; with amazing actors in my opinion.

NEXT WRITER, SHALL WE?

John Milton

You may know him thanks to his most famous works, known as Paradise Lost, but I think that is highly difficult. Just let me tell you something about Milton’s life and then I’ll teach you something about his work.

John Milton was born in the 17th century, he represented a very revolutionary man, in fact he wrote in prose, he was a victim of censorship and he was against everything that was related to tyranny ( he pretty much hated it ). He even went to prison because of his writings, he was kind of a big deal if I want to be honest.

Let’s go to PARADISE LOST.

Before we do it, however I want to ask you a question, you probably not know the writer but what do you think means Paradise Lost and what it talks about?

Great.

Welcome to Paradise Lost, where there is an epic universe made of Heaven, Hell and Eden, in other words God, Satan and Christ. We have a hero, Satan and a villain, God.

Satan is a rebel, he has got leadership, courage, willingness and powerfulness. As you might know, Satan is a fallen angel, sent to Hell by the Almighty God, because he despised God’s tyranny. In Milton’s work we find his speech, as known as “Satan’s Speech” where the main issues are what is freedom really like and what does it means being a leader, what does it takes to have a powerful leadership. We could try to answer to those issues ourselves, so what is freedom really like? For example, freedom for Satan is being is own leader, losing everything he had in accord to be free, leaving his “co-workers” angels behind and God’s tyranny.

As every hero or villain, Satan's got his weapon and his Achille's heel. The power of his speech allow him to persuade his "fellows" angels to follow him, to turn their back to God and follow him where there is no sun, where they could be really free under his wing. Satan is persuasive, convincing, he is what we might think represents a "good" political figure. But he got his flaws. He is blinded by his thirst of power, by ambition and his arrogance, all of that will make him become a monster he hatred and he is moved by vengeance.

In my opinion, freedom is being allowed to be yourself, your own person, without anyone to judge you for what you are and in particularly for what your life choices are . Freedom is not feel oppressed by someone else. Freedom is being able to think with your own mind without the influence of someone else thinking. Freedom is being able to love someone else, in spite of his gender. Freedom is being able to make a bigger step than the one your legs could. Freedom is your safe place, where no one can bother you. However I cannot see any place in this world where we could be free, even though we try hard enough, even though there are now laws that authorise us to marry who we want, for example.

We got Satan, whereas we got humans – Christ, Eden, besides Milton write about it in Paradise Lost, in different books, such as the 8th one, namely “The Just-Created Adam”. In this prose work John Milton writes about us, human beings, or rather he writes about Adam and his birth.

Adam is son of God and he seek his creator in everything that surround him, such as nature, flowers, in fact they are the only eyewitnesses of his birth. We were not born from void, so there must be connections with our past (father – mother), we retrace our roots, for instance when we were kids, we resort to our parents.

we are not done yet.

Is that Daniel Defoe?
In Literature you will understand that very few writers had been successful, meaning of being linked to people, being surrounded by other people, rich or poor that is. Daniel Defoe is not one of them, in fact he was pretty much an outsider. He despised the Church and even politics. He had a strong attitude and he tended to judge everything in society, even the queen – unluckily, because of that he ended in prison. He wrote first pamphlets, then started working on a novel, a realistic novel, known as Robinson Crusoe.

Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders are two of the most famous works of Defoe.

You might remember Robinson Crusoe thanks to the movie called “Cast Away” starring Tom Hanks as the main character.

Let’s star with a little summary, shall we?

Robinson Crusoe was a seaman who was put ashore on a desert island in the Pacific Ocean and later on he will be rescued. He belonged to the middle class, the perfect class, where he could live happily without the need of luxury or without the hardwork of poor people. He was restless, in fact he searched for his own identity during his lifetime.

He sought God’s providence, he fought to be saved and tried to demonstrate how he deserved being saved, so that is what he did. On the island he organised a primitive empire, similar to the one in England, he was the coloniser. He tried to exploit nature and dominate it.

He was a self-made man, he had to find a way to survive and save himself, against hunger, against wilderness and what he did not know. He kept even a journal, a log (like this one – kind of I mean), where he wrote day after day what he met and what he did. How nature was against him, how everything he built was destroyed because of rains, for example. In every line of the books, he emphasises how strong he is, how miserable he is and how everything seems to be against him.

Until he met Friday.

Friday is the first person Crusoe introduces into the social order of the island. Crusoe gave him the name Friday because he met him that day, after he saved him from cannibals. Crusoe also teaches Friday to speak English, encourages him to eat goat (you know, instead of human flesh), and aids in his conversion to Christianity. All his actions are done to let people know he is a good Christian. We find the description of this poor man through the eyes of Crusoe, a white colonizer who traded slaves. Even after the conversion, Crusoe will see Friday as not his equal, as an inferior.

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