- Slides: 13
By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Title: Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus • Prometheus was the Titan in Greek mythology stole fire and gave it to man • He was punished by Zeus • However, in a Latin myth, Prometheus creates a man out of clay rebelling against the laws of nature
Mary Shelley ( 1797 -1851) Daughter of two intellectual radicals 1. Mary Wollstonecraft • early women’s rights activist • died 10 days after Mary’s birth 2. William Godwin • political philosopher and novelist
• Ran away with Percy Shelley when she was 16 • Percy was married at the time and left his wife. He and Mary married when she was 18 after the death of his legal wife (who had been 16 when they were married) • Percy Shelley was a well known literary figure in England
The Publishing of Frankenstein • Mary Shelley did not attach her name to the novel, so many people assumed her husband wrote it • The story was inspired by a trip to the Swiss Alps when she and Percy challenged each other to tell ghost stories • Shelley wrote the novel in a year, and it was published when she was 19
Setting o Switzerland o Germany o The Alps
Gothic Literature Watch for elements of Gothic literature (this is the type of lit that inspired Hawthorne and Poe) • Eerie and supernatural events • Melancholy atmosphere • Reflects wild, unpredictable aspects of nature • Desolate and harsh landscapes
Frame Story 1. The first part you read is: • The letters. This is actually the END of the story, but you read it FIRST. 2. The second part you read is: • Victor Frankenstein’s story. It’s the BEGINNING of the story, but you read it SECOND. 3. The third part you read is: • The monster’s tale. It’s the middle of the story, but you read it LAST.
Main Characters • • • Victor Frankenstein: fascinated with science Henry Clerval: Victor’s best friend Elizabeth: Victor’s adopted sister William and Ernest: Victor’s youngest brothers Justine Moritz: live-in servant The monster: ? ?
Discussion Question What consequences do we face if we do not take responsibility for our actions?
• How does the lack of compassion and understanding lead to prejudice and stereotyping?
• How can failure be beneficial?