Frankenstein – The Age Of Enlightenment

1718

Politics – In the 18th century politics were beginning to be drastically changed by the likes of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, They were two politicians who put fourth the concept of democracy. This lead to the decline of European states run by the monarchy and in the later years caused the beginning of modernized capitalism. This was supported by the economic ideas of Adam Smith.

Religion – For the longest time, Christianity has been the most popular religion across the majority of Europe,

Technological advancements – With the beginning of the 18 century yielded the beginning of the industrial revolution.

Science –  With the beginning of the 18th century came the first formalized investigation of what science was. The previous strong felt religious idealities were becoming more open to the idea of science and how the world couldn’t just be explained by god and the creation theory. By the mid 1700’s the scientific revolution had begun, which led to an even faster development in the science field. Specifically in medicine, math, physics, biological taxonomy, magnetism, electricity and chemistry.

Gender roles

Society

Everyday life

Bibliography – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Europe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_in_the_Age_of_Enlightenment

http://eulerarchive.maa.org/historica/eighteenth.html

 

Frankenstein – Tone and Mood

Tone and mood that develops throughout the passage below.

“have been irksome (irritating) and almost intolerable. To examine the causes of life, we must first have recourse to death. I became acquainted with the science of anatomy, but this was not sufficient; I must also observe the natural decay and corruption of the human body. In my education my father had taken the greatest precautions that my mind should be impressed with no supernatural horrors. I do not ever remember to have trembled at a tale of superstition or to have feared the apparition of a spirit. Darkness had no effect upon my fancy, and a churchyard was to me merely the receptacle of bodies deprived of life, which, from being the seat of beauty and strength, had become food for the worm. Now I was led to examine the cause and progress of this decay and forced to spend days and nights in vaults and charnel-houses. My attention was fixed upon every object the most insupportable to the delicacy of the human feelings. I saw how the fine form of man was degraded and wasted; I beheld the corruption of death succeed to the blooming cheek of life; I saw how the worm inherited the wonders of the eye and brain.”

Tone – The narrator use of words such as “forced” can have a connotative meaning that tells us that Dr Frankenstein believes that something/someone other than himself is making him conduct his research in such a grotesque and inhumane manner. Frankenstein also shows us that he believes that death should be utilized to answer life’s questions. That death can be used to help those who’re still breathing to cure disease and make it so that death doesn’t have to be the thing at the end. Frankenstein also states “I beheld the corruption of death succeed to the blooming cheek of life.” This means that although he can see that what he is doing is morally wrong, it will inevitably cause him to succeed in how to make life last longer for everyone. He believes strongly in spirituality. This is shown as he states “receptacles of bodies deprived of life.” A person is not the body of which they inhabit they are the soul and consciousness within it. And once the body is no longer conscious, it is gone and now just parts of flesh and bone that will eventually decay and “become food for the worm.”

Mood – When reading this piece of text i felt as though the narrator felt the slightest but of guilt, as he was not in control of his actions. He wanted to change the world, become a god. Save humanity from itself, from illness, from death. That’s impossible. He felt the responsibility of the world. Although he didn’t believe in ghosts or ghouls, he felt a connection with the bodies of which he touched. He held the bodies as only bodies, as to him they were no longer people. He says “every object” when referring to the limbs and body parts of these people, this shows that he was distancing himself from the concept that these were people. He was subconsciously dehumanizing them. He also made the obvious observation that the “objects” were “insupportable to the delicacy of human feelings.” He knew that the bodies couldn’t feel the pain physically or mentally.

Frankenstein – A gothic protagonist

Descriptors

  1. Has distinct contrasting qualities to their character – Differing personality traits – He cuts up bodies but then feels guilt about it – “So deeply was I engrossed in my occupation… my work drew near to a close, and now everyday showed me more painfully how well i had succeeded. But my enthusiasm was checked by my anxiety.
  2. Usually of a high social rank or holds a position of power – He’s a male, has a higher social rank than females for the time period – He travels around the world and owns a villa. Middle class – “When my father returned from Milan, he found playing with me in the hall of villa.”
  3. Often surrounded by devics that foreshadow something negative –
  4. Driven by strong emotions rather than reason or logic –
  5. Generally secretive or surrounded by an air of mystery –
  6. Has a need to know or curious nature –

Frankenstein – New Langauge

Genevese – Thought – A Member of royalty or of prestige.                Know – An inhabitant of Geneva.

Syndics – Thought – A cynical person.                   Know – A government official and/or business owner.

Indefatigable – Thought – restless.                        Know – persisting tirelessly.

 

Frankenstein – The Plot Timeline

 

THE LETTERS

Robert Walton captained the ship – “a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. This expedition has been the favourite dream of my early years.”

Sailed into the arctic – “I am going to unexplored regions to ‘the land of mist and snow.”

Stuck on ice + saw gigantic figure on sled – “a being which had the shape of a man, but apparently of gigantic stature.”

Pick up ill old man – “you may conceive my astonishment on hearing such a question addressed to me from a man on the brink of destruction…”

Walton + Frankenstein develop friendship – “My affection for my guest increases every day. He excites at once my admiration and my pity to an astonishing degree.”

ACTUAL STORY

Dr Frankenstein is a child, Geneva is his home – “I am by birth a Genevese, and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic”

We are told about his family – “… my father had filled several public situations with honor and reputation.” “Two years after this event Caroline  became his wife.”                                                                                       ” I, their eldest child, was born at Naples, and as an infant accompanied them in their rambles. I remained for several years their only child.”                                                                                                                          “…this child was thin and very fair. Her hair was the brightest living gold, and despite the poverty of her clothing, seemed to set a crown of distinction on her head. Her brow was clear and ample, her blue eyes cloudless, and her lips and the molding of her face so expressive of sensibility and sweetness that none could behold her without looking on her as of a distinct species, a being heaven-sent, and bearing a celestial stamp in all her features.”                                                                                                                                                “On the birth of a second son, my junior by seven years, my parents gave up entirely their wandering life and fixed themselves in their native country.”

Travels to Ingolstadt university – When I had attained the age of seventeen my parents resolved that I should become a student at the university of Ingolstadt.

Elizabeth (sister) gets ill, mother gets ill. Mother dies – “Elizabeth was saved, but the consequences of this imprudence were fatal to her preserver.”

Initially disappointed by university – “Have you,’ he said, ‘really spent your time in studying such nonsense?”

Chemistry teacher inspires Frankenstein, showing him that science isn’t all nonsense – “They ascend into the heavens; they have discovered how the blood circulates, and the nature of the air we breathe. They have acquired new and almost unlimited powers.”                                                                                            “‘I am happy,’ said M. Waldman, ‘to have gained a disciple; and if your application equals your ability, I have no doubt of your success.

Tells us he has a secret – “I see by your eagerness and the wonder and hope which your eyes express, my friend, that you expect to be informed of the secret with which I am acquainted.”

Spends almost a year on his ‘creation’: “So deeply was I engrossed and the wonder and hope which your eyes express, my friend, that you expect to be enforced of the secret with which I am acquainted.”

His ‘creation’ comes to life: “I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.”

He gets ‘very ill’: “but I was in reality very ill, and surely nothing but the unbounded and unremitting attentions of my friend could have restored me to life.”

Clervel comes and takes care of him: “but I was in reality very ill, and surely nothing but the unbounded and unremitting attentions of my friend could have restored me to life.” 

His sister sends letters: “My dearest cousin, you have been ill, very ill, and even the constant letters of dear kind Henry are not sufficient to reassure me on your account.” 

His father sends a letter to say William died, his younger brother: “William is dead! – that sweet child, whose smile delighted and warmed my heart, who was so gentle, yet so gay! Victor, he is murdered!” 

He goes back to Geneva: “By degrees the calm and heavenly scene restored me, and I continued my journey towards Geneva.” 

He thinks he sees his creation on the outskirts of Geneva and then is convinced that the ‘monster’ killed his brother: “The whole train of my progress toward the creation; the appearance of works of my own hands at my bedside.” 

He believes that Justine is innocent: “she is innocent, my Elizabeth,’ said I, ‘and that shall be proved; fear nothing, but let your spirits be cheered by the assurance of her acquittal.”

Justine was trialled for Williams murder and Victor is feeling guilty: 

Frankenstein – foreshadowing Chapter 2

The first sentence has the meaning of how we as people are built for success or for failure.

The second sentence has the meaning of how his “guardian angel” changed his path in life and made him go in a different direction

The author uses the metaphor of storms and water to foreshadow events later to come. Shown “-the last effort made by the spirit of preservation to avert the storm that was even then hanging in the stars and ready to envelop me.” This shows that his path was changed as an attempt to shield him from the incoming raft of the “storm” which is lingering above him. This could have the meaning of the stars being the future and the storm which has a negative connotation of being dangerous and uncontrollable. This could indicate that there is an uncontrollable force waiting in the future of Dr Frankenstein and if he doesn’t choose the right path it could be deadly.

When the author states, ” It was thus that I was to be taught to associate evil with their prosecution, happiness with their disregard.” I believe what she is saying is that evil is associated with prosecution, but happiness is accompanied by ignorance. An evil being can only be put into harm or prosecuted, but for someone to find happiness in their life they must be ignorant to the heartache and truth of reality.

The author says in the final paragraph, “It was a strong effort of the spirit of good, but it was ineffectual. Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.” This shows that the “guardian angel” although pulling in the direction of safety was unable to do so. Dr Frankenstein’s “Destiny” which has the connotation with fate. Both words can mean that an uncontrollable force from the future is dictating what is happening in the present. Destiny “forced” the Dr into the path of an unchangeable command of destruction.

The Tell Tale Heart – Tone and Mood

TONE – “…not dreaming that I was at his door.” Dreaming has the connotation of being positive and the narrators phrasing around the fact was that of the old man being fully unaware of what was happening. This shows us that the narrator felt a comfort in being at the door, knowing that they weren’t going to get caught. The narrator also has a progressive internal conflict with himself as they continues to put doubt in themself and their sanity, this is shown through the use of short and sharp sentences e.g “You make think that I am afraid. But no.” They also restate the same phrases in different styles in an attempt to reassure themself that everything is okay and that they’re in control. This is shown, “I knew that he knew that I was there. He did not see me there. He could not hear me there. He felt me there.” It’s as though the narrator is trying to convince themself that although it was completely obvious that the old man was aware of the narrators presence, they were trying to convince themself that they were still faceless, that they weren’t seen and that they still had the power.

MOOD – “You may think that I became afraid. But no.” This is an example on how the narrator tends to put assume what the reader is thinking. This confuses the reader as they become uncertain on what to actually think. The narrator also states that “Death was standing there.” Death has a connotation of fear and sadness and dying. By stating this, it shows (if not hints at) the narrators intentions of what is about to happen to the old man. He’s about to die. This strikes a feeling in the reader of confusion and the feeling of tension within us rises. As now the story has developed a heightened level of suspense.

The Gothic Protagonist – The Tell Tale Heart

1) The narrator was thoughtless and mindful. He says “there was no reason for what I did.” But then he covered it up very miraculously and very carefully. He was also caring and barbaric. He says that “he loved the old man” but then he also mutilated his body and decapitated him.DONE

2) “I heard sounds from heaven and sounds from hell” connotation with death. Is both good and evil. “There was no reason for what I did.” “No reason” has a negative connotation with being unreasonable. It was driven by passion not logic. COULD LINK WITH THE FIRST PARAGRAPH?

3) Obsession with the eye – drives his need to kill. He feels as though the eye is watching him, waiting for him to die and then after he killed the old man he couldn’t stop hearing the heartbeat. Unknowingly the heart beat was his own. The guilt eventually led him to confessing to the truth. Impulsive.

4) The narrator’s gender remains hidden. Personal pronoun is I. Uses the word madman. Lack of character depth. DONE

5) The narrator says “So do you think that I am mad?” several times throughout the text showing his curiosity and need for The curiosity of knowing from other people that he is sane. He continuously asked the reader If they could see how in control he was and how sane he was. The narrator also has a wanting to know surrounding the “vulture eye.” It is kind of like that he wanted to extinguish whatever he believed was hidden behind the eye itself. The narrator compared the mans (victims) eye to a vulture eye, and then stated the characteristics of a vulture and how they tend “to just watch and wait until the animal dies, and then fall upon the dead body and pull it to pieces and eat it.” It is as though the narrators curiosity for the old man’s eye was out of fear of becoming his prey. – he needs reassurance from the reader. He also needs to know/understand the man and the eye. That’s why he watched him for 7 nights. He wasn’t planning on killing the old man that night, it was only because the man woke up and the vulture eye opened. He was frightened of the vulture eye.

 

In the text ‘The Tell Tale heart’ by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator is described to be a “madman” this word is used although throughout the text the narrator’s gender is never revealed. This leaves the opportunity for interpretation from the reader in regards to the gender and reason for the actions the narrator took. Throughout the duration of the text, the narrator wasn’t revealed to us, nor was anything about him other than his behaviourisms that we were able to pick up on. Of which included the narrators need to be reassured  constantly that he was sane. He asked the reader repetitively, “But why do you say that I have lost control of my mind, why do you say that I am mad? Can you not see that I have full control of my mind? Is it not clear that I am not mad?” This made us as readers have doubt in the narrators sanity entirely, as a sane person does not state that they’re sane. The lack of sanity is one of the few things throughout the text that we can actually decide on ourselves. This causes a further suspicion on who the narrator is and what his intentions truly are. The narrator was also a very contradictory person as many of the slight personality traits presented were often matched with another one that goes completely against it. For example the narrator was thoughtless and mindful. They say “there was no reason for what I did.” But then they covered it up very miraculously and very carefully. This shows us that they didn’t think about their action or the consequences prior to the completion of it, but once the action was done they were able to clean up and design a cover story perfectly fine without any flaws. They were also caring and barbaric. They say that “they loved the old man” but then they also mutilated his body and decapitated him. Both terms contradict each other entirely. Which further adds to the narrator’s lack of sanity.

Throughout the text the narrator frequently refers to the old man’s “vulture eye” and even at one point states that vultures tend “to just watch and wait until the animal dies, and then fall upon the dead body and pull it to pieces and eat it.” This can show us that the narrator has a fear of the old man’s “vulture eye” and has the mentality of being smaller and weaker than the old man himself. The obsession that the narrator has with the eye drives their need and wanting to kill. The night that the narrator murdered the old man, he hadn’t planned the murder out and he wasn’t expecting it to be committed at that time. When the narrator had been watching the old man as he slept he stated that, “Suddenly the old man sat straight up in bed and cried, “Who’s there??!” This caught the narrator was off guard and showed the fear that the old man had. The narrator was frozen in the thought of the “Vulture eye” watching over him, but they state “man. Now I knew that he was sitting up in his bed, filled with fear…” This gave the narrator the mentality of for once being “stronger” as he held the power and the control as he had invoked the fear. The narrator then states “Now he knew that Death was standing there.” This foreshadows that the narrator is there to kill the old man. Once the fear is felt, the narrator begins to unsheath the candle from below the cloth, this allows a soft light to fall on the old man. But once the old man was in view the narrator exclaims “I could not see the old man’s face. Only that eye…” This shows the dehumanising factor that the eye had, the old man was no longer an old man, or even a person. He was just an eye. Just a “hard blue eye.”

Finally, the narrator discusses how “my hearing had become unusually strong?” That they can hear the old man’s heart beat, even after the old man had been slaughtered. A heart that does beat cannot produce sound. But the narrator was certain that the sound was the old man’s heart beat. But unknowing to them, the heart beat was just their own. The heartbeat was at its loudest points when the narrator had a rush of extreme emotion. As in just before the murder was committed the heart beat was loud, because the rush of adrenaline and excitement had made his own heart beat irregularly fast, and in this situation fast enough to hear. Also the same situation happened when the narrator was talking casually with the police in the same room the murder was committed, the same room where the old man lay in pieces below the floorboards. The heart beat in this case, was caused by adrenaline and guilt. This shows us that they felt guilt and remorse, which in someway proves their sanity.

Significant Connections

Without even noticing, people within all societies are living some form of lie. I have chosen to explore the theme, The illusion of living a lie. Whether people aren’t living their lives to their fullest potential, or by being a person led astray by misconception. In the end, people are often confronted by their harsh realities once their truths are finally unmasked. I have chosen to explore this concept through the use of four texts. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon. The Last Decade, by F. Scott. Fitzgerald.

The novel The Great Gatsby, written by author F. Scott Fitzgerald. James Gats was in love with Daisy Buchanan, but he went to war and didn’t come back for 5 years. For the time he was gone, “… he invented the sort of Jay Gatsby that a 17 year old boy would be likely to invent, and to his misconception he was faithful to the end”. He made himself into a man who was wealthy. He gained his money from bootlegging and when he returned he’d hoped nothing had changed between him and Daisy. But time stood between them. He believed in his recreation, so much that James Gats was no longer apart of him at all. This empathises Fitzgeralds point on how Gatsby changed so much that he was no longer a physical person, he was just an idea for hope. Day by day, Gatsby had shown a representation of his hope fade as the novel had progressed, until one day “… it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of the light had now vanished forever”. This teaches us, that  recreating yourself for another person. Is misleading and often ends with you destroying yourself to the point of having nothing left. Gatsby was a man made of hope, and when the hope was gone so was he.

The novel, Everything, Everything written by author Nicola Yoon. Maddy (the protagonist) had grown up in a lie. All of her life she had believed that she was sick. That she had an illness called SCID (severe combined immunity-deficiency). She existed in a world where she could never have more. She was isolated, she lived in a bubble. The truth was hidden by her mother as she was mentally unstable and co-dependant on the wellbeing of her daughter. The truth was only surrendered when Maddy decided that “For the first time in a long time, she wanted more than she had”. She wanted freedom, she wanted love, she wanted to have a life that she could live to its fullest. Even if that life was only short. Yoon depicted her thoughts on this as she stated that. “Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything  is a risk. It’s up to you”. For Maddy she wasn’t her true self, and who she was was forever dictated by her mother. Being trapped and held captive wasn’t a way to live, by doing this she was risking a life of normality. But by escaping the four walls and going beyond, was a big risk. To Maddy’s knowledge she wasn’t going to survive the trip. She lived a lie, she wasn’t sick. But she lived the life of someone who was. Just like Gatsby, their lives were consumed by things that they themselves didn’t have control over. They both recreated themselves and their lives for someone they love. Is that what love does to people? It drives them to extremes so that with every passing moment the person of illness or the person of poverty fades away into the abyss of passing thought, whilst the person anew either grows like Maddy had or dies like Gatsby. This shows us, that the best way to live your life to its fullest extent is to be honest with who you are inside and to not be reliant on anyone elses attention, love or guidance. That being able to stand on your own two feet is more important than clinging onto a lover or family member who is holding you back.

The novel, The Kite Runner written by author Khaled Hosseini. Amir grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was raised in a small wealthy family. Amir and his father Baba had two “servants”, Ali and Hassan. Amir and Hassan had always been together,  like best friends, like brothers. Amir believed that he was a good person, that he’d never done wrong. But in fact, he was living a lie. Amir was living in constant betrayal of Hassan. Whether it was reassuring the other kids in the neighbourhood that Hassan was only a servant. Or if it was by letting the 3 boys rape him in the alley that one winter night. Amir was given the chance to be honest, that he “…opened his mouth, almost said something. Almost. He almost did, but he didn’t”. If Amir had taken that chance, everything would’ve been so different. The fact that one thing, no matter how small can drastically alter someones life. Amir lied, time after time. Always throwing the blame at Hassan, and Hassan was always too naive, too forgiving to stand up for himself. He was a judgemental character whom continued to show scathing behaviour towards everyone he met, he himself didn’t become aware of it later in the novel when he said “…and in the end the question that always came back to me was this: How could I, of all people, chastice someone for their past?” Amir was oblivious to the lie he was living, similar to Maddy from the novel above. The difference being, Amir’s lie cost someone else their life, Whilst Maddy’s cost her own. The idea that is shown through these two texts teach us that living a life that consists of constant lies, destroys you and those you care about in the end unless you challenge it and make the change.

The short story, The Last Decade written by author F. Scott Fitzgerald. When Mr Trimble was first introduced to the narrator he was a complete unknown. All that he knew was that Mr Trimble had been absent for 12 years, and that he wasn’t apart of society for the time he was gone. The narrator drew conclusions that were inequitable and not based off of fact. He looked at this man who he’d just met and thought, “…and simultaneously wondered if he could’ve possibly spent the thirties in a prison or an insane asylum.” Mr Trimble never said that he had been imprisoned or that he was in an asylum. He never even said anything that would’ve given him the idea. But that is what the narrator had assumed and believed. When the story progressed and Mr Trimble’s story was unleashed, Suddenly the misconception of the narrators misguided belief had faded away. The narrator saw Mr Trimble as he was. A wanderer, an architect, a creative soul drifting unbeknownst to society. And the narrator’s views of misconception only remained as a message to the reader. Fitzgerald made the links between how people in society misperceive people as troublesome, or a danger just because they don’t know enough about them. The narrator saw Mr Trimble as a drunk, who’d been wandering the streets in a stoic daze. But this was a lie. Mr Trimble’s lie wasn’t created by him but it altered the way that people perceived him. Just like Amir, they had false personas. That were only shown if someone got close enough to have their stories told. Both characters Amir and Mr Trimble were characters that were viewed as the image they portrayed. Amir was seen as a good little boy, who’d never done wrong and Mr Trimble was a drunk. But this wasn’t true. The lesson these texts taught me were although a person may appear one way. This doesn’t mean this is who they really are. Everyone has a story to be told, and if you want to hear it all you have to do is ask instead of assume.

These 4 texts are linked together through the illusion of living a lie. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby thought that he needed to lie about who he was in order for him to have the girl he wanted. But in the end, he was just a symbol for hope. He lived in the illusion of being someone else, and once that hope was gone so was he. He was faithful to his illusion until the end. In Everything, Everything, Maddy believed that she was sick. Her mother had lied to her, causing her to live her entire life confined to four walls. With the belief that if she broke free she would die. In the end, Maddy chose to live her life to its fullest extent, even if it was only for a day. Maddy lived in the illusion of an invisible illness. In The Kite Runner, Amir believed he had never done anything wrong. That he was perfect, but a “perfect” person wouldn’t lie to those he loves. He wouldn’t use the people that matter. He wouldn’t shy away from standing up for his peer in the eyes of danger. Amir lived in the illusion of being a good person. In The Last Decade, Mr Trimble was misperceived causing people to judge him without any reason or cause. Mr Trimble was a quiet man, who took time to tell you his story. He wasn’t an open book. Mr Trimble didn’t lie about who he was, but how people viewed him was entirely based off of their own lies. Mr Trimble lived in the illusion of misconception. To conclude, I now understand that you should never hide or change who you are for the belief someone will love you for it. You should always test your limits because you never know what could happen. That you should always try to better yourself, and stand up for what you believe in. And lastly that you should never judge someone/something you don’t quite understand. And above all else never lie about what/who you are because in the end the truth always comes out.