Time period- 18th-19th century
Elements of the period-
Middle english: Time period full of political unrest and different invasions.
Romanticism:emphasis on imagination nature and emotions.
Naturalism: Scientific study of human relationships emphasizes evolution.
Magic realism: Reaction against expressionism
In this period writing was not extremely different from how it is now, Writing then expressed more about how times were back then. Writing now is about all kinds of different subjects. Writing in the 18th century could have different subjects but the variety of subjects were limited. Now the subjects are endless, The type of writing have become more simple.
Author- Mary Shelley
Author information applicable to this piece of literature
- Her Husband and son drowned.
- She got her Idea of Frankenstein from a dream she had.
- She kept her husband’s heart wrapped up in his poems.
- Mary shelley had a mental breakdown after her children drowned .
- Mary shelley did not publish the book under her name until 5 years after it was out.
- Her mother died when she was only a few days old.
- Three of her children dies.
- She fell in love and ran away at the age of 16.
- Rumor is she may have made love on her mother’s grave https://theportalist.com/mary-shelley
- She committed suicide
- Society issues- Frankenstein shows how back then they treated you horribly if you looked different. He was an example of that; Frankenstein was to them considered a big ugly monster. If he were alive today walking around would we think he was a monster or would we say except him because he was just born differently. Society has truly evolved it shows that back then being different was not excepted.
- Intelligence Growth- Humans capability was amazing back then, We just didn’t know how to use it. Over time technology has increased drastically, Scientist would have freaked out if they were able to witness all that has come.
- Language difference- Her writing shows how English has been spoken so many ways. Over the years english has just been becoming more and more simplified.
- Self awareness- In this novel she shows how selfish people were. She also shows the care of others but her writing shows how the world has become more caring of others but still has that bit of selfishness in us.
- Revolution- The novel was written and taken place in the 18th-19th century we can also see how the government or leadership has taken so many different turns now of days our leader or “king” would be known as House of representatives, The senate, and the President.
summary- Each chapter or group chapters of no more than 5
In the beginning of the story victor’s family is looking at orphanages to find victor a good women to soon marry. They adopted a beautiful young women named Elizabeth Lavenza. Victor knew he loved her when they were young. As Victor grew older he went on to college and studied Philosophy. After college victor wanted more, He wanted to figure out the meaning of life and how to create life.
Victor created his very own monster. He did not think about his monster having feelings or opinions. His creation was so amazing until he was alive, Victors creation backfired on him. He became ill for several months because of his terrifying creation. While he was recovering his best friend Henry Clerval was by his side helping.
Chapter 6-10 While victor was recovering back home in Geneva his youngest brother was murdered, Justine was accused of the murder. Victor did not believe that Justine killed him, he believed that his monster committed the murder. After Justine was executed. When victor finds out about both deaths he is devastated, he walks past where his brothers body was found grieving night after night. He watches the monster just waiting to seek revenge he knows justine was not guilty it was the monster. Victor couldn’t find the write words in time to save her life. Elizabeth thought Justine was innocent too but only Victor could have stopped the execution by telling them his monster killed his brother but he never did.
Victor falls into a depression that is taking everything out of him he doesn’t even want to live at this point. His father takes them on a little vacation the that mountains Victor feels a bit better but later falls back into his depression. He continues to try to better himself he takes a walk on the glacier then sees an object moving, the object is moving towards his faster and faster it turns out to be his monster,Victor is terrified and is screaming at him hysterically to get away. As victor calms down they go into a cave and talk about the things that have been happening to his monster.
In chapters 11-12 Is where the monster really realizes what his appearance is. He continues to try to meet people but he sees they keep shrieking and running away from him in fear he tells victor. All he wants is a friend but no one will even give him the time of day. He sees his reflection in water and is confused on why Victor made him like this because he looks so different no one wants to be his friend.
The monster begins to pick up on how people communicate by watching the cottagers Felix and Agatha saying different sounds with motions. He began to try so he eventually learned how to talk and have conversation. Although the monster is learning that does not mean he isn’t lonely and sad. He still has no friends and he literally has no one to talk to he begins to realize he doesn’t even have a real name.
Over time of the monster being by himself he has learned so much and now it is spring he is still watching the cottagers they are basically neighbors. A women shows up to the cottagers home they are so excited but the monster does not know who she is. He is still watching them he learns that her name is Safie and she does not speak their language so as she learns so does he. As the monster stays and continues to watch he learns that De Lacey and Safie are actually in a relationship they lost all their wealth when they were kicked out of France for trying to help safie’s father who was accused of murder escape from prison. After, the monster learns this information he becomes more and more eager to learn he finds books in the woods and begins to read them. He loves to read, in those books he found that his life was extremely relatable to the stories.
With the monster being able to read now he was beginning to read everything. He one day found a couple of victors letters in his pockets. The monster them realized the letters were about him and they were very hurtful made him pretty angry and sad towards victor for writing those things about him. When the monster finds victor on the glacier he tells him all of this then tells him he has a request for a female companion. Victor then continued to tell him not but the monster threatened him so of course victor then agreed. He is still hesitant because of all the work he has to do to create her and the outcome it may have.
Victor postpones the wedding to work on the monsters request. He quickly settles down and set up his laboratory in a small shed. As victor begins he work he is thinking of all the possibilities that could happen. Victor continues then takes a moment while he is thinking to just look around he then sees the monster in the window just giving him a horrible grin, Victor immediately regrets his decision of creating a companion for him because it could only make the situation worse. He then takes it upon himself to destroy his creation because he didn’t know what the outcome would be. The monster was extremely angry he swore he would see victor on his wedding day and he will get his revenge.
Victor then of course is scared he tries to flee he gets on a boat hoping the boat would just carry him off far into the sea. But he then hits land and is accused of murder.
Victor is accused of murder because a group of villagers said they saw the body on the beach then saw a boat that looked just like his sailing away. Victor then, was able to see the body he then realized it was his best friend Henry clerval. He was taken to prison in prison he was so devastated because of the loss he became ill again. He knew the monster had done it and framed him. After being in Prison for a while he is finally found not guilty. He returns back to Geneva with his Father Alphonse.
As victor returns home his father and him begin to plan Elizabeth and his wedding. He has fear in his heart that the monster will show up on his wedding day to fight him. As long as the feud between them is over he does not care who wins or loses. The night before the wedding victor and Elizabeth go to a cottage as they prepare for bed victor checks the house for the monster. He hears Elizabeth scream as he runs to her, he sees her body dead the monster was never after him he was after the ones he loved.
As Victor griefs over all the deaths of his loved ones he tracks the monster day and night. As he does this he goes to the north on the glaciers and he meets Walton. When he meets Walton he tells him all of the tragedy. They both board a ship and continue the journey, then they get trapped in the ice. After they break free of the ice and are about to head back home Victor sadly dies.
Walton grieving then, goes to victor’s body and sees the monster over his crying. The monster is crying and regretting his horrible decisions. He tells waltons his stories and says he is ready to die he then leaves the ship and just fades into the darkness.
Characters –Descriptions and identified with use of quotes
- Victor Frankenstein: Mad scientist; “It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner” Victor when he was young was a curious young boy. His father did not support all of his ideas but as he had gotten older he met all kinds of people. The people he met supported his ideas told him to pursue his dream of finding out things about how life is created and how the earth works, so he took his curiosity and put it to work. He overcame his fears and found the meaning of life then realized that may have been a mistake.
- The monster: Frankenstein creation; ‘You must create a female for me with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being. This you alone can do, and I demand it of you as a right which you must not refuse to concede.’ Victor created this monster because he wanted to know how life is created. He did not think anything of the monster having feelings or being able to learn all of these new abilities. Victor’s creation was truly amazing but victor and his town did not agree with that.
- Robert walton: Letter Writer; “I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion.” Walton is a character that is a man who wanted his and whatever he did throughout his day to be recorded he turned them into stories which were his letters he wrote to his sister. He supported victors views, He soon came to realize that was also a mistake.
- Alphonse Frankenstein:Frankenstein’s Father;”do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash’ Alphonse is Victor’s father he did no support most of victors scientist ideas.
- Elizabeth Lavenza:Frankenstein Fiancée;”We called each other familiarly by the name of cousin” “my more than sister, since till death she was to be mine only.” Elizabeth is victors fiancée who is also his cousin. His mother loves her but unfortunately they were never able to marry.
- Henry Clerval: Frankenstein’s childhood friend;’a being formed in the ‘very poetry of nature”
- William Frankenstein: Victor’s younger brother;” Hideous monster Let me go. My papa is a syndic”
- Justine Moritz: A young girl adopted Frankenstein family(Accused of murder);’I did confess but I confessed a lie” “He is more convinced of your innocence than I was; for even when he heard that you had confessed,he did not credit it.” Justine was adopted into the family, she was an orphan the Frankenstein family adopted but as time went on she was then accused of murder.
- Caroline Beaufort: Frankenstein mother;”This expectation will now be the consolation of your father.” Caroline is victor’s mother she loved the idea of Victor and Elizabeth being married.
- Beaufort: Victors grandfather;
- Cottagers: Cottager family that disowns Frankenstein (Felix,Agatha,De Lacey,And Safie); “When I thought of my friends, of the mild voice of De Lacey, the gentle eyes of Agatha, and the exquisite beauty. When I reflected that they had spurned and deserted me, anger returned, a rage of anger; and, unable to injure anything human, I turned my fury towards inanimate objects. After having destroyed every vestige of cultivation in the garden, I waited with forced impatience until the moon had sunk to commence my operation” The peasants wanted nothing to do with the monster but De Lacey was a blind man so he could not see him as a monster. He wanted to be the monsters friend but his family did not agree with that.
- M.waldman: science professor; Walman pushed Frankenstein to actually make his ideas come to life. He helped him better Frankenstein as a scientist
- M.Krempe: Philosopher;”A little squat man with a gruff voice and a repulsive countenance’
- Mr.Kirwin:Accuser (Town Magistrate);’An old benevolent man with calm and mild manners.” He accused justine of murder.
Themes- use quotes to establish the theme
- Dedication- One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought, for the dominion I should acquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race. (Shows the theme of dedication)
- Trama-“It is with considerable difficulty that I remember the original era of my being; all the events of that period appear confused and indistinct. By degrees, I remember, a stronger light pressed upon my nerves, so that I was obliged to shut my eyes” (Shows that the past was very traumatizing. This is showing that in this time period of the book this was a scary time.)
- Society- “you, who call Frankenstein your friend, seem to have a knowledge of crimes and his misfortunes. But in 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.” (Shows that society was extremely judgemental towards Frankenstein because he looked different.)
- Domestic Affection- Victor was in love with his cousin, his fiancée is also his cousin “My more than sister,Since till death she was to only be mine”
Symbolism- please provide quotes
- Good and bad- “When you read there writings, life appears to consist in a warm sun and garden of roses- in the smiles and frowns of fair enemy”
- Fire- I say fire because the monster had a bit of an altercation with the cottagers and after that he was full of anger. Which in the story was symbolized as fire like fury.
- Discovery/explore- Walton set out on his journey. Where he met Victor and that symbolize discovery because he found new things along the way.
- The bible- In the novel they mention Adam which is a reference to the bible. “Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam,but I am rather the fallen angle.”
- Royalty- The Frankensteins were able to adopt two girls and still afford to live nicely, there social class was pretty high as well “it would be unfair to keep her in poverty and want,when providence afforded her such powerful protection”
Literary devices w/ examples
Gothic- This novel takes a dark turn which makes it seem more of a gothic dark story “The form of the monster on whom I had bestowed existence was forever before my eyes, and I raved incessantly concerning him,
Plot- Tragedy is very recurring in the story. Multiple deaths happen in the story between families and failures. “His limbs were nearly frozen, and his body dreadfully emaciated bu fatigue and suffering.”
Conflict- Victor struggled throughout the story with his science and people not supporting his decisions. “Don’t waste your time upon this, it is sad trash”
Foreshadowing- “my more than sister, since till death she was to be only mine” Victor said this when he first met Elizabeth, Predicting that she was his one and only which turned out to be true may not made it to marriage but like he said until death which that did happen.
Euphemism- Being frank happens often throughout the novel “it gives me the greatest delight to see you ; but tell me how you left my father,brothers,and Elizabeth.”
Quotes w/ explanation (or line # with explanation)
- ”A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind,and never to allow passion or transitory desire to disturb his tranquility” Relaxation should always be a priority.
- ”Learn from me, if not by my precepts,at least by my example” He is trying to help others learn from his own mistakes so they don’t make the same ones.
- ”There is something at work in my soul,which I do not understand” You feel a change in you body coming but you just don’t quite understand it yet.
- ”A new light seemed to dawn upon my mind; and bounding with joy” Victor had just discovered something amazing, He was happy.
- ”Nothing is so painful the the human mind as a great and sudden change” This quote is pretty self explanatory change can be super difficult for us.
Examples of Imagery- Quotes please
- ”We heard the ground sea; and before night the ice broke, and freed our ship. We,however,lay to until the morning, fearing to encounter in the dark those large loose masses which float about after the breaking up of the ice”
- ”This child was thin, and very fair. Her hair was the brightest living gold,and, despite the poverty of her clothing seemed to set a crown of distinction on her head.”
- ” I kept my workshop of filthy creation: my eyeballs were starting from their sockets”
- ” In the meanwhile also the black ground was covered with herbage,and the green banks interspersed with innumerable flowers,sweet to the scent and the eyes stars of pale radiance among the moonlight woods.”
Allusions within the work/ Connections to other works where others have alluded to this piece of literature – QUOTE please
- “Remember that I am thy creature ; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angle”.
- “Some soften feelings stole into my heart and dared to whisper paradisiacal dreams of love and joy; but the apple was already eaten”
- “But it all was a dream; no eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts; I was alone.”
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