Frankenstein Allie kyber, mary ashlyn parker, & madison prince

Gothic Romance

  • Mysterious, supernatural-Frankenstein takes advantage of science to create life; mysterious as to how Victor obtains all of the parts and tools for his project, raising the dead, unexplored areas of science.
  • Gloomy setting-areas of Europe that had not been commonly explored during the period of its origin (Switzerland, Germany, the Arctic); Victor's laboratory.
  • Connection between living and supernatural-the creature constantly tries to meet and bond with his maker; creature's qualities are continually contrasted with those of normal humans (gigantic stature, superhuman speed).
  • Set in exotic places-Switzerland, Germany, England-obscure, the unknown areas of these regions.
  • Scenic nature-creature adores natural elements
  • Setting, creature, and hardships bring out Victor's emotion (romantic).

Historical Context

  • Influence from the Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries; reason and science; "truth" found through experimentation and evidence--Frankenstein experiments with creating life, defying God; discovery of the natural laws of the universe--Frankenstein's search for scientific answers; technological advancement--how did Frankenstein accomplish his goal? psychology--what is the nature of a mind like Frankenstein?
  • Written during Romantic Movement-early 19th century-ties in with individual aspirations and the consequences when they are achieved recklessly; "society transformed by the individual," "uniqueness," "self realization..."
  • Frankenstein symbolizes romantic disillusionment with the established order of society.
  • After French Revolution, monarchies rejected romantic ideals-led to disillusionment....Shelley's dream which inspired the novel; lived in an "irregular household filled with men," "illegitimate births," and "infant deaths;" Shelley, along with other romantics, depended on higher ideals to create a new world through liberation. In the French Revolution, intellectuals trusted in "divine creative activity," which aligns with Frankenstein's pursuit in creating life--Shelley reveals the consequences of exceeding one's powers.
  • The danger associated with the pursuit of knowledge described by Frankenstein is a direct reference towards the ambitious, romantic feelings of Shelley's time.
  • Man's authority over his environment.

Structure

  • Organized as a frame narrative: Victor's story along with that of the creature and Walton.
  • "Narrative distancing..." each character is isolated in their own way, geographically and emotionally.
  • Epistolary form-conveys stronger emotion, romantic elements
  • Walton parallels with Victor and the creature--links the narrative together.
  • Shelley bridges the gap between the believable and unbelievable.
  • Male dominance and ambition, pushes women aside--inspiration from Mary Wollstonecraft.
  • Reflections

Literary Connections

  • Ties in with Greek mythology in the epic, Theogony,┬áby Hesoid--story of Prometheus (idea of higher beings). Frankenstein defies God and manipulates science like Prometheus.
  • "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Coleridge-both told in flashbacks--the mariner hypnotized his guest to tell his story just as Victor mesmerizingly tells his story to Walton.
  • Influence from Coleridge-Shelley listened to Coleridge recite his poem as a child-like his mariner, Frankenstein must suffer the consequences of isolation and guilt; both stories involve a voyage through the Arctic and supernatural elements (albatross in strange mist, horrible creatures, eery ocean).
  • Dracula-supernatural, vampire preying on the innocent-murderous, invincible beings; exotic location-Transylvania (isolated, gloomy). Both Dracula and the creature try to assimilate into society by educating themselves.
  • Snow White and Flight Plan-two films that embody Gothic Roman

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