Linking Texts in “Frankenstein”- Hitting AO4
When writing an essay on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, it is important to include AO4, historical and literary context of the novel. Half of this is linking the context of “Frankenstein” to other texts. This is quite an open assessment objective- you can choose any text which is relevant in some way to the novel. Here is my selection of the best linking texts.
“Frankenstein” is a Gothic novel, and one of the most obvious AO4 points to make is to link it to other texts in this genre and explain the differences and similarities between them.
· “The Monk” by Matthew Lewis, published 1796. One of the earlier Gothic novels, it has a very complex plot but centres on a monk, Ambrosio, whose innocence leads him to be corrupted by Matilda, who has sold her soul to the devil, and to **** and murder a young girl. The similar loss of innocence can be seen in Elizabeth, killed in her wedding bed, and Victor himself who we could say is corrupted by his desire to create the creature in the same way Ambrosio’s desire for sex leads him to commit a multitude of crimes. Unlike “Frankenstein” it features some stronger female characters.
· “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, published 1897. The theme of an innocent whose dealings with the supernatural lead to trouble is seen in Jonathan Harker, who fails to understand the warnings he receives not to visit Castle Dracula. It also features the innocent and passive Mina, Harker’s wife, who does suffer but gets a happy ending with her husband, unlike Victor and Elizabeth. It features letters and diaries, as well as multiple narrators, as a narrative style.
· The Prometheus myth. “The Modern Prometheus” is the subtitle to “Frankenstein”, so Shelley obviously drew on this when writing the novel. Prometheus was one of the Titans who stole fire from the gods to give to humans after they were denied it by Zeus and was punished by having his liver torn out by an eagle for it to grow back and happen again the next day. His name means “forethought”- an interesting comparison with Victor Frankenstein, who has none when creating the creature and was “torn apart” by remorse after trying to “steal” life from God.
· “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare, published around 1596-98. This is the story of…