- Slides: 30
FRANKENSTEIN LETTERS- CH. 8 NOTES BY MARY SHELLEY
The Individual � � The Romantics had a preoccupation with the genius, the hero, and the exceptional figure They focused on his passions and inner struggles They viewed the artist as a supremely individual creator, whose creative spirit is more important than strict adherence to formal rules and traditional procedures They emphasized imagination as a gateway to the transcendental, leading to belief in. . .
The Supernatural !!! Which leads us to: The Gothic Novel!
The Gothic Novel � � � Gothic novel could be seen as a description of a fallen world. We experience this fallen world though all aspects of the novel: plot, setting, characterization, and theme. This leads us to the Gothic Hero. . .
No! Not these kinds of goths!
Gothic Archetypes � � � Gothic Hero: isolated either voluntarily or involuntarily Villain: epitome of evil, either by his (usually a man) own fall from grace, or by some implicit malevolence The Wanderer, found in many Gothic tales, is the epitome of isolation as he wanders the earth in perpetual exile
What the book isn’t:
Themes in the book: (((A more realistic Creature!
Dangerous Knowledge � � Should we fool around with Nature? Are there laws (“God’s Laws”) that are off limits to humanity?
Nothing In Excess � � � Stressed importance of leading balanced and moderate lifestyle During Shelley’s time, people were struggling to adjust to the Industrial Age In our time, we struggle to balance our humanity with our dependence on technology
Sublime Nature Throughout the novel, pay attention to how the characters are influenced by the natural world. Also note Shelley’s long descriptions of the natural world. This is classic Romanticism!
Letters, Ch. I-IV (Prologue) � � � Epistolary The narrator Robert Walton writes to his sister, Margaret Saville Walton embarks on a Romantic Quest � Wants to discover a passage near the North Pole to Asia � Wants to discover the secret of the compass magnet � Walton is far north of London in Saint Petersburg, Russia � Imagines the North Pole not as the “capital of frost and desolation” but the “region of beauty and delight”
Letter II � � � March 28 th Surrounded by frost and snow = “Rime” Expresses desire for friendship � Surrounded by people, but no one is his equal � Wants someone who is gentle, courageous, educated, intelligent, well-mannered, and with similar tastes � Alludes to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner � “…I shall kill no albatross. Therefore, do not worry about my safety or about my coming back to you as scornful and woeful as the ‘Ancient Mariner’…I have often attributed my attachment to—my passionate enthusiasm for—the dangerous mysteries of the ocean to that poem by Coleridge” (13).
Letter IV “Being” that had the shape of a man, but was gigantic, sat on the sleigh. � Two hours later, man not savage, like other “being” on previous sleigh, but European, on brink of death but would only come aboard when he heard the ship was headed to North Pole; says that he has begun to love the stranger as a brother, and feels sympathy and compassion for the stranger � Walton mentions how he had sacrificed everything for the sake of discovery, even his life or death � Said, “‘Unhappy man! Do you share my madness? Have you drunk from the cup of your imagined power? Let me tell you my tale, and you will throw the cup from your lips!’” (21). � What is the lecture?
Chapter 1 -4 � � � Who is telling the story now? Who is Elizabeth? Elizabeth is adopted by the Frankensteins. He watched a tree being hit by lightning during a storm. He became interested in theories of electricity and galvanism. Who is Cornelius Agrippa?
Chapter 1 -4 � � “To examine the causes of life, we must first have recourse to death” p. 36 (51 for me) He wanted to try to renew life in a corpse, to “bestow animation upon lifeless matter. ” “Remember, I am not recording the vision of a madman” p 37 52 “What had been the study and desire of the wisest men since the creation of the world was now within my grasp” p 38 53
Chapter 4 - Victor’s change � � Look at p. 39 (55. While he is working, what is happening to Victor? The Lady doth protest too much. p 41 How did Victor actually do it?
Chapter 5 � What was the creature’s reaction to life? What did he do? � � � What was he doing? Look at Victor’s reaction. What is his error? Why did the author introduce Henry Clerval?
Ch. 6 � � Why didn’t Victor tells Eliz. What he did in his letter? Or tell Clerval? Months pass and Victor and Henry do what? What is the plan?
Chapter 7 � William � � What happened to him? (75 -76) Who is to blame?
Victor arrives in town � � � He sees the creature and … “While I watched the tempest, so beautiful yet terrific” (79). Just like the creature! What does he do? What about responsibility? If he KNOWS he did it, why didn’t Victor go after him? How much time passed? What happened during all this time?
Is the creature a tabula rasa? John Locke (Is it: The Creature or The creature? ) The state of the human mind at birth is a clean slate; no ideas are innate. ALL knowledge comes from experience. ALL people have a natural right to make free choicesto live without injury by others adn to own property, given by their work and labor to develop it. Is this the creature? What are his FIRST actions?
The monster is not evil because he is the “noble savage” Jean-Jacque Rousseau • Often the monster is depicted to represent the destructive and diabolical nature of Frankenstein's intellectual ambition, but… • it does not align with the actual presentation of the monster as a noble savage, an innocent more sinned against than sinning. – Thus, the debate continues, refer to him as monster, or… creature
Who committed the murder? � � � P. 82 - Discovering who is accused Victor didn’t take his opportunity. What does that say about him? What is his fault/error? What does Victor’s comparison to Justine say about him?
Justine- Ch. 8 -9 � “God know how entirely I am innocent” (86) � Then why does she confess? Victor uses the confession as an excuse to…. . ?
What does Victor think? � “Justine dies, she rested, and I was alive (94). � � � Victor is envious. “I lived in daily fear… lest the monster perpetuate some new wickedness (96) “I, not in deed, but in effect, was the true murderer (97). Then he leaves? Suddenly?
� � How Victor copes Depressed – Months of sickness No social life, ignores his family back in Geneva His mental state leads to his physical ailments Loss – His mother William Justine Extreme guilt – He thinks his creation is responsible for the death of two family members Suicidal- so he goes back to nature
Ch. 9 Power of nature “…sleep crept over me… oblivion” (100). Nature is often portrayed as omnipresent and capable of altering human perception and perspective. Just as nature can make him joyful, it can remind him of his guilt, shame, and regret: “The rain depressed me; my old feelings recurred, and I was miserable. ” While back in nature, going into Ch. 10 he will meet the creature- remember 6 years have passed.