- Couple excerpts of Mythology and discussed Prometheus.
- Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. You can read it here.
- After Chapter 12, we read Aesop's Fable--"The Ass and the Lap-Dog." We discussed the fable and we discussed the creature's interpretation of the fable which differs from the moral that Aesop intended.
- Jean de La Fontaine's "The Ass and the Lap-Dog," which is most likely the version the creature would have heard the De Lacey read aloud.
by David Wisniewski. We discussed this Jewis Folklore.
- Warren Ellis' Frankenstein's Womb. We look at this using what we know of Mary Shelley's biography and the conventions of romance. We look at how this is both an original piece of fiction and a critique of Frankenstein.
Note: We read all of the above. Be sure that you are able to recall details from all these stories and you are able to apply them to a discussion of Frankenstein. This discussion could be on the unit test or short reaction papers.
Ebook -- Use this digital copy of the book for searching purposes. Also, use this digital copy for your smartphone or other devices
(below are some of my lecture notes throughout the Frankenstein unit).
Literary terms that were are focus:
- frame tale
Conventions of Romance
- Characters are less 3D / Flat characters
- Protagonist is isolated and outside the mainstream because of iconoclastic convictions or extraordinary goals.
- Iconoclast: someone who challenges generally accepted beliefs and traditions (antonyms = traditionalist, conformist)
- Icon = image
- Clast = break
- Inhabits a setting that is heightened or distanced
- Usually revolves around a quest undertaken to achieve triumph of good over evil.
- Events are exaggerated or melodramatic
- Filled with symbolism (especially with the setting)
Mary Shelley’s Bio (1797 – 1851):
- Mother: Mary Wollstonecraft
- Early feminist and author
- Father: William Godwin
- Political philosopher and novelist
- Marriage: they got married when Mary was five months pregnant with Mary.
- It was celebrated as a marriage of two of the most noted freethinkers.
- Both objected to marriage but agreed to marry so their child would be legitimate.
- Mary Wollstonecraft dies 10 days after Mary’s birth because of complications from childbirth.
- William Godwin was left to raise Mary and her half-sister Fanny Imlay, who Mary Wollstonecraft had from another relationship.
- William Godwin re-married.
- New Mrs. Godwin brought two daughters into the relationship.
- She was a nasty stepmother who deprived Mary of everything in favor of her own two children.
- Mary was deprived a formal education.
- She read widely and idolized her mother’s writing.
- New Mrs. Godwin treats Mary horribly. Most scholars argue this is out of jealousy. All these people come to visit and want to see the only child of these two amazing thinkers.
- Mary is eventually sent away for a while. – parallel this to the creature’s experience with De Laceys
- Percy Shelly, the poet, was an admirer of William Godwin. He met Mary while visiting her father. She was 14.
- When Mary was 16 and Percy was 22, they ran off to be with each other.
- Percy was married and was expecting his 2nd child.
- Mary and Percy believed that ties of the heart overruled legal ties of marriage.
- Percy’s rich father cut off his son’s allowance.
- In 1816, Mary’s half-sister Fanny committed suicide
- Weeks later, Percy’s wife drowned herself.
- In 1815, the island of Tambora burst in volcanic fury.
- Ash cover most of the earth.
- It snowed in England during the summer.
- There was no sun all summer.
- In 1816, Mary Shelley and Percy Shelly were invited to Lord Byron’s summer house.
- The young writers couldn’t enjoy a peaceful vacation on the lake.
- They read ghost stories to each other. When they got bored with that, they started to write ghost stories.
- Percy Shelly
- Byron’s John Polidori wrote a short story called “The Vampyre,” which is the source for Dracula.
- Mary Shelley wrote a short story that becomes most of chapter 5 of Frankenstein.
- Both Frankenstein and Dracula were born on the same night.
- She loses her 2nd child in 1816.
- Some argue that Mary is worried about childbirth while writing Frankenstein. She is worried about killing her children. She is worried about her children killing her like she did to her mother.
- Percy and Mary got married in an attempt to get custody of Percy’s children. That failed. They were not given custody.
- Three of their children died in infancy.
- Their fourth child in 1819 was named Percy and was their only surviving child.
- Percy continued to be with other women.
- 1822 – Percy Shelley drowned during a storm.
- Mary Shelley died at age 54.
- Mary Shelley was 18 when she wrote Frankenstein.
Word Counts: (make out what you can by these statistics)
ardent = 20 times
fervent = 3 times
ardour = 13 times
fervour = 3 times
zeal = 4 times
eager = 18 times
enthusiasm = 11 times
romantic = 4 times
inexorable = 3 times (unstoppable; won’t yield; not able to be persuaded or stopped by any means)
benevolent = 15
kindness = 28
benefactor = 4
beneficence = 1 (in describing Elizabeth)
benignity = 2
guardian = 3
physiognomy = 2
countenance = 46
mien = 2
contented = 5 times
contentment = 2 times
discontented = 1 times (describing Victor)
placid = 6 times
fiend = 41
monster = 33
creature = 69
immutable law = 3 times (referring to nature and destiny)
law = 16 times