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By Mary Shelley Put your pens down. ... Walton refers to the narrative poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • By Mary Shelley

Put your pens down. This will be available on
the Wiki!
Opening Questions
  • Are scientists morally bound to ensure their
    discoveries are not destructive?
  • What are the consequences of excessive pride?
  • How do we explain societys pursuit of beauty and
    rejection of ugliness?
  • Are acts of revenge justifiable? Why or why not?
  • List the responsibilities of parents and
  • Who are the outcasts in our society?

Mary Shelley
  • Born in 1797 to William Godwin, an influential
    political philosopher and novelist, and Mary
    Wollstonecraft, a pioneer in promoting womens
    rights and education
  • Her mother died ten days after Mary was born
  • Although Shelley never knew her mother, she was
    influenced throughout her life by her mothers
    writings (and reputation), including A
    Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)
  • Mary did not receive any formal education, but
    her father encouraged her to read from a
    well-stocked library

Mary Shelley
  • The Godwin household was a place of lively
    intellectual conversation, and many writers
    visited Godwin to talk about philosophy,
    politics, science, and literature.
  • When Mary was nine, she and her stepsister hid
    under the sofa to hear Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    recite his poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • This popular poem later influenced Mary as she
    developed her ideas for Frankenstein
  • The poet, Percy Shelley, was one of her fathers
    frequent visitors. When Mary was sixteen, she and
    Shelley eloped to France.

Mary Shelley
  • Percy Shelley was, at the time, still married to
    his first wife, and the father of two small
    children. Their scandalous act was not approved
    of by English society.
  • They married in 1817, just a few weeks after
    Shelleys first wife committed suicide. They
    lived together for 8 years, until Percys
    untimely death in a boating accident.
  • She had 4 children in 5 years, three of whom died
    as infants.
  • In the summer of 1816, they were neighbors to
    Lord Byron in Switzerland. Mary was challenged
    to write a ghost story.

Mary Shelley
  • Four days later, she did not have an idea. But
    then she heard Byron and Shelley discussing the
    probability of using electricity to create life
    artificially, according to a theory called
  • From this conversation, she had the waking
    dream which eventually became the novel

MARY SHELLEY 1797-1851
  • The novel takes place in the late 1700s in
    various parts of Europe, especially Switzerland,
    Germany, and in the Arctic.
  • It was published in 1818, at the height of the
    Romantic movement.
  • The Romantic movement, which lasted from about
    1798 to 1832, was a reaction to the period known
    as The Enlightenment, which emphasized reason and
  • The novel reflects a shift in social and
    political thought as writers of the Romantic
    period valued emotions and imagination.

Did you know?
  • In the early 1800s, scientists were on the verge
    of discovering the potential of electricity
  • In the 1780s, Luigi Galvani, a professor of
    anatomy in Bologna, Italy, used a machine that
    could produce electrical sparks to conduct
    experiments on animal tissue.
  • He concluded that animal tissue contained
    electricity in the form of a fluid.
  • Galvanis theory of animal electricity was
    proven incorrect, but he did prove muscle
    contraction in response to an electrical
  • In the novel, Frankenstein learns of the
    controversial theory of galvanism.

Gothic Novel
  • Frankenstein is generally categorized as a Gothic
    novel, a genre of fiction that uses gloomy
    settings and supernatural events to create and
    atmosphere of mystery and terror.
  • Shelley adds to her development of the plot the
    use of psychological realism, delving into the
    psyches of the characters in and attempt to
    explain why they react as they do and what drives
    them to make their decisions.

Structure and Point of View
Frame Story
Epistolary carried by letters
Major Characters
  • Victor Frankenstein protagonist, product of an
    idealistic Enlightenment education fueled by
    possibilities of science and a desire for
    acclaim becomes obsessed with creating life from
    spare body parts.

More Major Characters
  • The Creature - never named is Victors
    doppelganger (alter ego) Creature rationally
    analyzes the society that rejects him
    sympathetic character, admires people and wants
    to be a part of human society only results in
    violence when he is repeatedly rejected

And Some More!
  • Henry Clerval Victors childhood friend, he is
    a true romantic who wants to leave a mark on the
    world. He never loses sight of the moral
    relations of things.
  • Elizabeth adopted as an infant by Victors
    family. She marries Victor and then.
  • Robert Walton Arctic explorer whos obsessed
    with gaining knowledge and fame. He rescues
    Victor in the Arctic. He tells us the story

  • When the novel opens, an explorer named Robert
    Walton is organizing an expedition through the
  • What do you think spurs people to explore the
  • List the ways in which people throughout the ages
    explored the unkown. Identify some reasons why
    individuals devote themselves to exploration and

Were almost done! But here is one more thing to
  • In the opening letters which set the stage for
    the novel, Walton refers to the narrative poem
    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel
    Taylor Coleridge.
  • The narrator of the poem tells the story of a
    horrific sea voyage that changed his life he
    tells the story as a warning and confession.
  • Waltons comments about the poem are examples of
    allusions. An allusion is a reference to a
    written work, and writers use this device to add
    insights to the story.

  • Read Preface and Letters 1-4 for next class
  • Prepare the response questions to be discussed
    with the class and/or your Literature Circle
  • Here is the Journal Topic for the week Following
    Waltons example in the story, write a letter to
    a friend about a meaningful personal experience
    in detail and reflect on the meaning of that

  • THE END.