Blog #1

I have only read Frankenstein once previously to this and it was done in a very quick, sort of half-hearted fashion. We looked at and interpreted the novel as a sort of Gothic horror on the dangers of the possibilities of science and in this way it was rather a subset of romanticism. We also looked briefly at the implications of philosophy within the novel, in particular we asked questions regarding whether or not one should use science in such a way. This is especially interesting because many of the critiques regarding the philosophical aspects surround Shelley’s biographical life and her relation with her father and thus the relationship between author and world and author and text is prominent in this interpretation. It is difficult to position myself within the critical history as it seems as though there are many lenses with which to look at such a text, however, I found that looking at the gender roles and how male and female interactions are depicted within the novel provides an interesting way to critique such literature. Most of this, given the Critical History, was not looked at until the later part of the 1980’s. However, given that the story has been around for much longer, I think that some of the previous interpretations are also important to look at; including the concerns about Frankenstein’s moral effects in which there is some controversy regarding sympathy with the monster. One thing which surprised me in the history, was that there were continuous arguments for the novel’s high culture status which, given how the author is a woman and the time in which it was written, makes me wonder if this would be even a question had Shelley been a man.

1 Comment

  1. Vic Wilbur

    I find it highly interesting that you brought up the idea of how close the relationship between the author’s life and the text can be sometimes. To me, it’s pretty close to impossible to write something without somehow looking to something around you for inspiration. Even texts that seem to be deeply rooted in fantasy worlds only coming from an author’s mind. There has to be some inspiration from outside influences around the author. Like we spoke about today (1/30) in class, there were some really huge changes happening around the time Shelley was writing in that revolved around racism and slavery. So it’s definitely possible that Shelley’s experiences could’ve inspired the creation of a savage monster in her story. Do you think that Shelley’s relationship with her father could’ve inspired a heated relationship to be formed between creator and child? Is that where you were going with it? Since I see the racism influences as more prominent now after reading Smith’s essay for today.

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