Frankenstein Themes

A mindmap of themes in Frankenstein accompanied by quotes and critics opinions.

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  • Created by: Zoe
  • Created on: 04-06-13 11:25
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  • Frankenstein Themes
    • Birth and Creation
      • Victor usurps the role of God
        • 'A new species would bless me as its creator'
        • Shelley suggests that this is his main crime
          • 'supremely frightful would be...any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the creator'
      • Victor usurps role of women
        • Reveals his rebellion against the normal family unit
          • Kept on a 'silken cord' throughout his childhood
        • Fear of natural processes of birth
          • Echoing Shelley's ambivalence towards childbirth?
        • Some critics have read the 'workshop of filthy creation' as the womb
        • Ellen Moers implies the description of the newly created monster = newborn baby
          • 'shrivelled complexion'
          • 'a convulsive motion agitated its limbs'
    • Alienation
      • Sufferings of both Victor and the Creature caused by their alienation from others
        • VIctor's is self imposed
          • 'I abhorred the face of man'
          • 'I abhorred society'
        • Creature's is forced upon him
          • 'I am malicious because I am miserable'
    • Family and Domestic Affections
      • Domesticity is idealised
        • 'I was their plaything, their idol'
        • 'guided by a silken cord'
          • No room for imagination and ambition
      • Kate Ellis: Shelley is questioning the value of the domestic affections and attacking the family institution
      • Strictly enforced artificial role distinctions create passive independent women
      • Insularity of the domestic world highlighted: De Laceys
        • Functions only by excluding anything that is a threat
      • Creature vows to destroy the ideal of domesticity as he knows he can never have it
    • Double
      • 'my own spirit let loose'
      • 'gnashed my teeth'
      • Creature = Victor's darker side
        • Victor's fear of sexuality
          • Murder of Elizabeth on the wedding night
            • Wedding night is the one time where Victor must face his sexuality
          • Ugliness of the Creature
      • Walton and Victor
    • Fear of Sexuality
      • In creating the Creature, Victor is rejecting normal human sexuality
      • THE DREAM
        • Victor has incestuous desires?
      • Reaction to marrying Elizabeth
        • 'horror and dismay'
      • Victor's fear of sexuality
        • Murder of Elizabeth on the wedding night
          • Wedding night is the one time where Victor must face his sexuality
        • Ugliness of the Creature
    • Critique of Society
      • Human injustice repeatedly emphasised
        • 'men appear to me monsters thirsting for each other's blood'
      • Social institutions seen as corrupt
        • The Law
          • 'blackest ingratitude'
        • The Church
        • Creature used a mouthpiece to criticise oppression and inequality of society
          • 'high and unsullied descent united with riches'
          • 'immaculate beings' sarcastic comment on those who spurned the Creature
            • 'Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all humankind sinned against me?'
    • The Monstrous and the Human
      • Creature is rational and eloquent
        • 'I ought to be thy Adam'
        • Victor merely insults
          • 'Begone!'
          • 'Abhorred monster'
      • Renaissance: monster interpreted as either signss of divine anger or impending distasters
      • Monsters function to define and construct the politics of 'nomral'
      • Creature's appearance is a warning of Victor's folly

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