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Mary%20Wollstonecraft%20Shelley

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a variety of short stories, essays and poems. Frankenstein (1818, 1831) ... friendship / isolation. man vs. nature. reliability of narrative transmission ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mary%20Wollstonecraft%20Shelley


1
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  • Daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft
  • republican ideals
  • feminist for womens education independence
  • died about 11 days after birth of Mary
  • and William Godwin
  • egalitarian state, free of laws and govt,
    organized in small communities where individuals
    work and study daily
  • both against legalized marriage (married 5 months
    before Marys birth)

1797-1851
2
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  • published her first poem at age 11
  • at 16 ran away with married Shelley to France and
    Switzerland
  • wrote Frankenstein at 19
  • out of 4 children only one survived
  • Percy drowned in a boating accident (1822)
  • Mary died in 1851
  • Frankenstein considered a major gothic work and
    the first science fiction novel
  • published her first poem at age 11
  • at 16 ran away with married Shelley to France and
    Switzerland
  • wrote Frankenstein at 19
  • out of 4 children only one survived
  • Percy drowned in a boating accident (1822)
  • Mary died in 1851
  • Frankenstein considered a major gothic work and
    the first science fiction novel

3
Other titles
  • The Last Man (1826) the end of civilization,
    gradual destruction of human race, seen as a
    total corrosion of patriarchal order
  • also
  • Mathilde (1819, not pub. until 1959)
  • Proserpine and Midas, mythological drama (1820)
  • Valperga (1823)
  • The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck (1830),
  • Lodore (1835), Falkner (1837)
  • Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844)
  • a variety of short stories, essays and poems

4
Frankenstein (1818, 1831)
  • The Authors introduction
  • changes?
  • hideous progeny?
  • Waltons letters why does Shelley frame the
    novel with Waltons letters?
  • what issues / themes do they raise?
  • the scientist and discovery
  • benefit to mankind
  • glory
  • misguided education
  • parent-child relationship / responsibility
  • gender characteristics / separation of sexes
  • class
  • friendship / isolation
  • man vs. nature
  • reliability of narrative transmission
  • How are these issues / themes developed in
    Frankensteins narrative?

5
1818 edition
  • Cf. p. 16
  • But before I continue my narrative, I must
    record an incident which took place when I was
    four years of age.
  • My father had a sister, whom he tenderly loved,
    and who had married early in life an Italian
    gentleman. Soon after her marriage, she had
    accompanied her husband into his native country,
    and for some years my father had very little
    communication with her. About the time I
    mentioned she died and a few months afterwards
    he received a letter from her husband,
    acquainting him with his intention of marrying an
    Italian lady, and requesting my father to take
    charge of the infant Elizabeth, the only child of
    his deceased sister. "It is my wish," he said,
    "that you should consider her as your own
    daughter, and educate her thus. Her mother's
    fortune is secured to her, the documents of which
    I will commit to your keeping. Reflect upon this
    proposition and decide whether you would prefer
    educating your niece yourself to her being
    brought up by a stepmother."
  • My father did not hesitate, and immediately
    went to Italy, that he might accompany the little
    Elizabeth to her future home. I have often heard
    my mother say, that she was at that time the most
    beautiful child she had ever seen, and shewed
    signs even then of a gentle and affectionate
    disposition. These indications, and a desire to
    bind as closely as possible the ties of domestic
    love, determined my mother to consider Elizabeth
    as my future wife a design which she never found
    reason to repent.
  • From this time Elizabeth Lavenza became my
    playfellow, and, as we grew older, my friend.

6
Gothic
  • said to begin with Horace Walpoles Castle of
    Otranto (1764)
  • important tradition of womens writing (Anne
    Radcliffe
  • The seamy side of the Enlightenment
  • Travers
  • the supernatural
  • cultivation of ambiance and mood
  • nostalgia for the medieval
  • plot structured around enigma and mystery
  • sensational violence
  • most importantly
  • exploration of excess and taboo
  • obsession with otherness
  • the darker side of human nature
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