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IntroductionFrankenstein is a hybrid Gothic/Science Fiction/Horror text that continues to disturb readers today. To better understand Frankenstein, you need to follow the prompts on the following slides and use the suggested online resources.You will focus on the novels context and how issues arising from the eras Industrial and Technological Revolutions, Enlightenment thinking, innovations in science and medicine, and early feminism are addressed.Time to explore! Please read all instructions carefully before you begin the assignment.
Study PremiseFrankenstein was written almost 200 years ago, but its themes such as man playing God and the abuse of science remain relevant. With great power comes the risk of corruption and tragic turmoil. The novel explores monstrosity on several levels making modern readers conscious of both the benefits and perils of science.
Information SourcesThese sites will provide basic background information about the author, context, themes, and genre of Frankenstein. They will need to be supplemented by your own research.
Mary Shelley: http://home-1.worldonline.nl/~hamberg/ & http://www.kimwoodbridge.com/maryshel/maryshel.shtmlThemes in Frankenstein: http://frankenstein.lcc.gatech.edu/allThemes.html &http://ntserver.shc.edu/www/Scholar/neal/neal.html &http://www.watershedonline.ca/literature/frankenstein/faq4.htmlGothic literature: http://members.aol.com/iamudolpho/basic.html & http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art27161.asp
Tasks Some are done as you go while others are due at the end. Re-read Frankenstein-Annotate the textExplore online sites and sources about the module, Frankenstein and its literary, historical and social context. Follow instructions on slidesAnnotate a VisualWrite an polished essay
Syllabus Directions Module A, Elective 2Student Task:Go to the BOS websiteDownload and annotate the syllabus directions for this moduleSummarise the main points about what must be covered and focused on when studying Frankenstein and Bladerunner (Directors Cut)Write a 200 word reflection statement outlining what you need to learn and understand from your comparative study of these texts.Be prepared to voice your ideas of what is required as part of class discussion
Frankenstein the Novel ContextWritten between the Romantic and Victorian periods, viewed by critics as a hybrid text. Era was one of sweeping economic, scientific, industrial and social change. Confronting issues dealt with in a highly dramatic styleNovel has a didactic message.Enduringly popular
"The Anatomy Lecture of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp"  by Rembrandt van Rijn. Context continuedStudent Task Identify eight key points about the novels context
Literary Influences: Prometheus Legend Basics: Prometheus, whose name means Forethought, was a titan who had sided with the Olympian gods in their rebellion against Kronos, the ruler of the titans. Zeus became ruler after the revolution but took no interest in the human race on Earth, leaving them primitive, without knowledge and forbidden enlightenment. Prometheus pitied these mortals and bestowed the gift of knowledge and fire which enabled men to overcome their ignorance. Zeus was enraged by this rebellious act and had Prometheus chained with shackles to a mountain side while carnivorous birds swooped down to pecked out his liver. Given that he was immortal, his liver would grow back during the night, and his torture would daily continue. Ovid's version of the Prometheus story has him as the creator rather than the saviour of men.
Prometheus tortured by the birdsStudent ResponseTask: In a polished paragraph of five to six sentences, discuss how both versions of the Prometheus myth are used in Frankenstein?
Structure A nested, multiple narrative structureFrankenstein uses many text types: letters, notes, journals, inscriptions, and books fill the novel, sometimes nestled inside each other, other times simply alluded to or quoted. Multiple narrators with Waltons letters enveloping the entire tale. Victors story fits inside Waltons letters while the monsters story fits inside Victors.
Issues and ThemesHow does the personality of the creature change through the course of the novel, and why? What does this say about Shelley's views on human nature?Analyze the importance of setting within the novel. How does it relate to the Romanticist elements of the text? Include examples that support your answer.Compare Victor Frankenstein with the monster he created. In what ways does the authors characterisation reflect the Gothic doppelganger convention. In what ways do their experiences mirror each other?
Rime of the Ancient MarinerA seven part poem written by Samuel Coleridge, a friend of Mary Shelley's father, it is often alluded to in Frankenstein. The poem is about a mariner who must serve a terrible penance after killing an an albatross, a sea bird of good luck. Mary Shelley alludes to the albatross in her story, and the idea of an outcast scorned and enduring suffering is incorporated. Read it here: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/stc/coleridge/poems/Rime_Ancient_Mariner.html Student Task: Write a brief paragraph comparing Coleridges Rime of the Ancient Mariner to the structure and themes of the novel Frankenstein.
MonstrosityThe eight feet tall and hideously ugly monster who is rejected by creator and society as a whole, lies at the center of the action. His monstrosity results not only from his grotesque appearance but from the unnatural manner of his creation, which involves the secretive animation of a stolen body parts and scientific experimentation. He is the archetypal Gothic outcast, the product not of collaborative scientific effort but of dark, supernatural workings.Critics argue that Victor is made monstrous; his ambition, secrecy, and selfishness serving to alienate him from human society until he is eventually consumed by his obsessive hatred of his creation.Critics also argue that the novel itself as monstrous; a stitched-together combination of different voices, texts, and tenses
Scientific Themes, Motifs & SymbolsThe pursuit of forbidden knowledge is at the heart of Frankenstein, as Victor attempts to go beyond accepted human limits and access the secret of life.
Likewise, Robert Walton attempts to surpass previous explorations by reaching the North Pole.This ruthless pursuit of knowledge proves dangerous,
Victors act of creation eventually results in the destruction of everyone dear to him,
Walton ultimately pulls back from his treacherous mission, having learned from Victors example how destructive the thirst for knowledge can be.
SymbolismSymbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.
Light and Fire What could not be expected in the country of eternal light? asks Walton, displaying a faith in, and optimism about, science. In Frankenstein, light symbolizes knowledge, discovery, and enlightenment. The natural world is a place of dark secrets, hidden passages, and unknown mechanisms.The goal of the scientist is then to reach light.The dangerous and more powerful cousin of light is fire and the monsters first experience with a still-smoldering flame reveals the dual nature of fire: He discovers that fire creates light in the darkness of the night, but also that it harms him when he touches it.Shelley explores the dichotomy of light, darkness and fire
Find or create a visual that reflects an important contextual element within the novel. Find or create a visual that reflects a key theme that is developed within the novel.Support by visuals by close annotation
The Essay Question With close reference to the novel, evaluate what were Shelley's views of science, and how they are represented within the novel? Reference needs to be made to any historical trends and contextual influences that might make her view science in this way. Length: 600 words
Cite sources by using the MLA format: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_mla.htmlInclude a bibliography and submit in typed, size 12 font, double-spaced format