Frankenstein Revision

OCR English Literature AS

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Jess
  • Created on: 19-05-12 13:53
Preview of Frankenstein Revision

First 488 words of the document:

"It can be useful to think of the Gothic in terms of certain key cultural and literary oppositions: barbarity
versus civilisation; the wild versus the domestic (or domesticated); the supernatural versus the apparently
`natural'; that which lies beyond human understanding compared with that which we ordinarily
encompass; the unconscious as opposed to the waking mind; passion versus reason; night versus day."
David Punter, emag 29
» Horror: fear from physical shock ­ `Watery eyes almost the same colour as the dun white sockets in
which they were set'
» Terror: fear from uncertain or obscure ­ `frightful dreams', `he might have spoken, but I did not hear;
ne hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, nut I escaped'
» Sublime: sense of awe at something much bigger than ourselves that we cannot understand fully ­ `A
serene sky and verdant fields filled me with ecstasy', `A cold wind played on my cheeks which braced
my nerves and filled me with delight'
» Obscurity: both physical and mental, things not properly seen or understood - `The for an instant
everything seemed of a pitchy darkness'
» The Uncanny ­ unsettling experience over something that is strange, eerie or mysterious -`dull
yellow eyes'
» Taboos: Cultural, moral or religious rules which are under pressure, challenging limits and norm- `the
sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body'
» Doppelganger: double, mirror image or alto ego of a character ­ both called `wretch', `creature' .
Later in the novel, the loss of control of the creation mirrors Victor's loss of control of himself.
Elements of Romanticism:
» `Romantic' writers interested in the concept of `self' as distinct from society indulging a sense of
individuality. Walton is physically isolated on a ship in the Artic carrying notions of discovery and
adventure whereas Frankenstein mentally alienates himself to concentrate on his work as well as
physically distancing himself at the University of Ingolstadt. Can be seen as the less healthy version.
Walton longs for companionship, `I greatly need a friend who would have sense not to despise me as
a romantic'.
Unreliable multiple first person narrators with narrations embedded in one another, the creation at the
core, Frankenstein surrounding him and then Walton round the edge. Frame Narrative. Unreliable as each has
a motif to the writing which is detrimental to the truth.
Epistolary form ­ second person address, "Dear Mrs. Saville", `you will rejoice to hear the commencement of
an enterprise you regarded with such evil forebodings'
Narrator and Narratee: emphasis on motif of narration
Shape: Concentric circles or V-shaped. Uses Walton to introduce themes in which she will expand upon in
Frankenstein's narration. Symmetrical. Triangular pattern: each of the three main characters has important

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Return to Epistolary:
Elizabeth's letter in chapter 6 reflects how Frankenstein has been cut off from outside world,
encapsulated by obsession.
Learn more about brothers and Justine ­ setting scene for murder ­ to create a more shocking and
emotional account.
Shelley uses letters as interruption of other characters to reinforce Victor's highly subjective
recollection of events.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

­ unnatural ­ similar to lack of control a newborn has
Instruments of Life:
o Lightning
o Prometheus
o Not shocking detail = less controversial
Victor's dream in which Elizabeth dies
o Putting two things next to each other to create drama and irony
o Foreshadowing ­ premonition of future ­ first kiss ­ dies on wedding ­ never consummate
o Fear of possibly what relationship may involve ­ fear of sex ­ fear of creation ­ unknown ­ loss of…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

Abortion' ­ paradoxical, having a mother, metaphorical ­ unwanted and neglected. Implicated guilt
of abortionist, reminds of Frankenstein's role.
Shelley makes allusions so that the reader draws analogies
`Plutarch's Lives, Volney's Ruins of Empire, Goethe's The Sorrows of Werther and Milton's Paradise Lost all
represent ideas important in Romantic thinking and give the Creature points of reference' Dr. Siv Jansson,
University of Greenwich, introduction
`The Modern Prometheus' ­ duplicate name for novel
Background: Titan vs Zeus.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

Role reversal: initially Frankenstein took on `god role' and creation `adam role' ­ failure to comply leads
to role reversal where creation holds power
o Role Reversal at very end, Frankenstein fearlessly chasing Creation, Doppleganger.
o Motif: `You seek knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your
wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been'
Idea of hell:
o Creation (p.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

Frankenstein doesn't exist but is Walton's externalisation of anxieties and fears.
3. Walton is Shelley's externalisation
o `Tangles' storyline
o `Parallel personalities'
o `Demonic projection of tormented psyche'
Andreas Rohrmoser, `Mary Shelley seems not to condemn the act of creation but rather frankenstein's lack of
willingness to accept the responsibility for his deeds.…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

That lies beyond human understanding vs ordinary
o Unconscious vs Waking mind
o Passion vs reason
o Night vs Day David Punter, emag 29
Questions were raised about the elusive boundary between life and death, during the 1790s an Italian
physician named Luigi Galvani performed one of the first experiments with nerve impulses through electrical
charges, making a frog's muscle twitch by jolting them with a spark from an electrostatic machine.…read more

Page 8

Preview of page 8

Here's a taster:

Dream = manifestation of guilt and responsibility
`The past appeared to me in the light of a frightful dream'
`I was possessed by a kind of nightmare'
Frankenstein passive in dreams, `presented', `possessed', powerless, what he has been repressing surfaces
Unlike earlier in the novel here, there is a lack of distinction of reality. `Passed like a dream from my memory'
use of simile... dreaming or not? Ambiguity through blurring of imagination and reality. Detachment = denial.…read more

Page 9

Preview of page 9

Here's a taster:

Ironic ­ the creation is believed to be morally cruel due to its ugly appearance, concept of external reflecting
internal, however it isn't, but due to this treatment it does fulfill the expectation of an evil monster.
Therefore you can argue either way
N.B Attempts role of Adam ­ looking for companionship and escape from loneliness but when denied resorts
to methods of Satan.…read more


Sian Dunn

This is amazing! I am so glad I found this! :D

Anushka Dave

You're my favourite person atm!! great notes!!


You are amazing.

Abbie K

Wonderful notes here! And well organised too! :-)

Emma Robertson

Thank you so much! These are amazing! 

anna meakin

omg thank you!!!!

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all resources »