a time period in which a number of writers write in the same style, and their writing shares certain characteristics
Time of Romanticism
beginning of nineteenth century (1797-1832)
Characteristics of Romantic Poetry
-portrays/depicts an emotion
-avoids “poetic discussion” (overused expressions; can only be used when subject matter of the poem prompts such use; language of the common people aka rustic language)
-goodness of the natural man; something special about being close to nature; society prevents closeness
-pastoral/rural images (Ex: Shepherd boy)
-imagination over reason (NOT cold/analytical like 17th and 18th century; often “I” in imagination)
-highly personal esp work by Wordsworth; based on personal experiences; highly autobiographical (WW)
-references “English Classics” esp Will Shake & John Milton (British saw themselves as descendants of Shake and Milton)
Influences of Romanticism
-French Revolution in 1797
-Industrial Revolution 1760-1820ish
14 lines; Petrarchan = Italian; Shakespearean = English
The World is Too Much With Us
-Petrarchan; First generation
-Milton (Puritan): famous English poet (16th century)
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge
-Chinese emperor who lived during the Middle Ages; vicious conquerer
She Walks in Beauty
-George Gordon/Lord Byron; second generation poet; very descriptive; woman is the wife of his cousin
What imagery does Wordsworth use in “The World is Too Much With Us”?
nature elements/imagery; people don’t appreciate nature because they are too preoccupied on materialism
What people does “The World” reference? Who are these people?
Greek gods, a Pagan (somebody who has a religious belief besides the main one), and he personifies nature
What words does Wordsworth capitalize in the poem? Why might he have chosen to capitalize those words?
capitalizes Nature and Sea, which are natural elements. He probably thinks they’re important to him and he sees them as “people”
How does Wordsworth portray English society in this poem? Is his portrayal consistent with what you know about the time period in which this poem was written? If so, how? If not, why not?
They don’t see the beauty of nature and they waste all the things nature offers. Industrial Revolution
Explain what Wordsworth means in lines 9 – 14. What might these lines indicate that Wordsworth values?
The problem is that people aren’t appreciating nature. He says that he rather be a Pagan, rather than being one of those people who doesn’t appreciate the beauty of nature. He knows that he can appreciate the beauty of nature, but he doesn’t think other people would be able to
How does Wordsworth portray contemporary British society in “London, 1802”? What words does he use to describe British society and/or England?
British society lacks virtues/selfish; society needs help; England is in need of Milton so it can be fixed
What symbols or images does Wordsworth use for the different aspects of British society?
Whom does Wordsworth reference in this poem? What does he believe about that person?
Milton, an English poet; high level of respect for him; references England as a person, who has a lot of problems
What are Wordsworth’s personal beliefs regarding both the person and the type of image used?
believes that England is in poor shape, and it needs manners, virtue, freedom, and power
What are the features of Kubla Khan’s “pleasure dome.” What type of images does Coleridge use?
sacred river, greenery, brooks, hills, walls and towers, large fountain, incense bearing tree, caves with ice, forests, gardens, sunny, (nature images)
What is the setting (time and place) of the poem? Considering the events of the time period in which it was written, why might Coleridge have chosen this setting?
The actually poem takes place in an imaginary place in China (far away from the machinery). CHINA in the middle ages. Exotic, a place far far away
Poem was inspired by a passage in a 1613 book by author Samuel Purchas called Purchas His Pilgrimage. How are they similar? How are they different?
both use natural imagery and the exact words of “fertile ground”. Coleridge elaborates a lot and exaggerates the details.
What area of the human psyche/mind/experience does this poem most tap into? Why might it do that?
It taps into a person’s imagination. He has to show how reality is so far from the ideal. IMAGINATION IS BASICALLY THE WHOLE POEM
(Imagination in Wordsworth: Greek gods)
What is the Subject of “She Walks in Beauty”? How does Byron’s subject compare to those of Wordsworth and Coleridge?
Byron’s subject is an actual living person. The other two poets used subjects that were not living and had to be personified. SHE is a starry sky with no clouds. Not traditional that you describe people as beautiful
What does this indicate about his feelings toward the subject? How is this similar to Coleridge’s descriptions in “Kubla Khan”?
both use natural imagery to describe their subject. Also, their subject, whether living or not, is always described as beautiful
Style of Novel
-frame tale (two in the novel)
(Letters)-Present → Past (V.F.’s story) → Present → Future
Authors of Frankenstein
Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, Creature
How are Captain Walton and Victor Frankenstein similar? How are their stories parallel? Why do you think Mary Shelley has created these two parallel characters?
They’re both driven towards achieving their own goals. They are also curious because they want to discover something new and they’re also proud. They are also away from there families and they both appear have trouble meeting new people (anti-social). They’re AMBITIOUS. When Walton resembles Frankenstein, he resembles a future person of himself (Walton meeting the consequences of his choices) -Walton can make choices still, Frankenstein can’t. Loneliness-the quest for scientific knowledge tears them away from their family
What is Shelley’s attitude towards science so far in the novel?
negative as of now, because she shows how this creature has the power of killing, especially innocent William
In the first 4 letters, what theme seems to be emerging?
Too much curiosity can be dangerous
Details about creating life
doesn’t mention details about how he created life, because people might say things (shows he possibly regrets what he did)
-Sense of guilt (situation with Justine)
-Values and loves family
abandons his own “child” (obviously wasn’t thinking about taking responsibility…didn’t think about the consequences)
frames justine TP actions; De Lacey incident TP attitude (story also pivots when Frankenstein sees his creature open his eyes; at this point his attitude towards the creature changes)
Tree that gets struck by lightning: knowledge can be dangerous
How has the pursuit of science changed Frankenstein?
makes him obsessive and his determination ruins his health. It starts off as something that he enjoys, but then the obsession gets too strong
How does Frank’s attitude toward the Creature change? Why might this happen?
imagined the creature to be beautiful, but then when the creature is brought to life it seems horrific
Whom/what does Frank blame for the way his life has turned out? Is he right to place this blame? What point is Shelley making with this?
blames his dad, because his dad never warned him that the scientists he was studying were outdated and total nonsense. He also blames his professors for teaching him the stuff he knows. He isn’t right to place the blame on his dad or professors, because his dad told him not to waste his time on the stories. Shelley might be saying that too much knowledge can be dangerous
the Creature’s story
How is the Creature when he is “new”? What makes him that way? How does this initial portrayal advance Romantic ideals?
curious, smart and good-natured. Everything in nature is good (until society ruins it), and since the creature was initially made from nature he must be good
Why did Victor create the Creature? What responsibilities did Victor, as the creator, have toward his Creature? Why did Victor abandon the Creature?
he was passionate about creating life. Victor had to take care of the creature, but instead he abandons it. He abandons the Creature because it looks really terrifying
How does the Creature view Frankenstein? What does he think his creator owes him? How does this tie into Shelley’s overall theme?
hates Frankenstein for abandoning him, but respects him as a creator. He thinks that Frankenstein owes him a female companion; Unlike God, Frankenstein isn’t ready to fulfill his responsibilities to his creation. Shelley’s theme: Don’t act like God.
What makes the Creature a monster rather than a human being? Where is the turning point in the creature’s life? What makes it the turning point?
The turning point is when he kills William, because it was the first time he ever fought back and killed an innocent life
Why does Shelley have the Creature narrate this volume?
She has the Creature narrate the volume so we can see his point of view and sympathize with him
How are Frankenstein and his Creature similar? How are they different?
they are isolated from others, they both long for relationships, they’re both curious, both are mad at their “dads,” they both aren’t satisfied with their lives; Frank is created from nature; Creature created from science
What has the Creature learned from the interactions of the DeLacey family? How does this compare to his relationship with Frankenstein?
learned how to interact with humans, how to read books, he learned French. He was practically raised by a family that doesn’t even know him, since Frankenstein abandoned him and taught him nothing
What parallels exist between Safie and the Creature? Why does Mary Shelley make the same points with different characters? Where else in the novel have we seen this?
Both Safia and the Creature were born into bad situations and they’re both learning from this family (the language & culture). She wants to highlight his human qualities, because they are both similar except one is human and one is a creature. We also saw this between the characters of Walton and Frankenstein
significance of the relationship between Safie and Felix to the Creature
Creature realizes that he wants a companion that’s just like him
How is Shelley portraying/critiquing society in this volume?
people often judge others based on physical appearance. The old blind man is not judgmental and does not judge the creature based on appearance, which is what society should be like
How does Shelley create sympathy for the Creature in these chapters?
reader gets to see the creature’s life through his own perspective. The reader understands the emotions, reactions, and feelings that the creature went through; Emotions: sadness because we know that he is abandoned and we see that he was rejected by humans various times
How is the influence of Romanticism evident in these chapters?
goodness of natural man, is shown by the De Lacey family’s kindness towards the creature (before they see him). It also portrays/depicts an emotion (the creature’s point of view)
What differences (other than geographical location) exist between the creation of the female creature and the first creature? What does this suggest about Frankenstein as a scientist? As a person?
Frank was really excited to make the creature the first time, but the second time he wasn’t able to overcome the grotesqueness of making the second creature. This shows that he changes his opinion about science because the second time he knows it can be bad. As a person, he’s starting to think about the consequences of his actions
How are Clerval and Frankenstein foils in chapters 18 – 20? How does this fit into Shelley’s theme?
Clerval is full of life and he really appreciates nature unlike Frankenstein who is depressed about life constantly and is isolated. Nature brings happiness. Frankenstein goes against the laws of God and nature by his use of science. It causes a lot of trouble for him. Knowledge requires responsibility
How does the story of the female creature’s creation and its aftermath parallel the events surrounding the Creature’s creation in Volume I? Why does Shelley use so many parallels in her narrative?
He abandons both of them and as a consequence people get killed. He is scared of the creature both times also. Parallels are used to compare and contrast what is good from bad
Why is it both cruel and appropriate for the Creature to kill Elizabeth? How is this the climax of the novel?
Since Frank killed the creature’s wife, the creature kills Frank’s wife in revenge. The creature realizes how important are, but then he also is taking away human life. It’s the climax because now the creature finally gets revenge on Frank and both are unhappy now. Now all Frankenstein wants is revenge in return.
By the end of the novel, how are Frankenstein and the Creature similar? What has caused this? How is Shelley using this as social criticism?
They’re both unhappy, chasing each other, revenge ends up killing them. The pursuit of revenge has caused this. Revenge = bad.
How is the desire for revenge cyclical in the novel? Why won’t anyone stop it? Does it ever stop? How?
Whenever Frank gets revenge on the creature, the creature in return tries to get revenge on Frank. Neither one of them want to forgive the other person. It stops when Frank dies, because the Creature wants forgiveness from Frank.
What makes a monster, according to the novel?
A monster is someone who is extremely judgmental, inflict pain on innocent people to hurt them on purpose, and lacks responsibility
How can Frankenstein be considered a tragic hero? How about the Creature?
Frank: tragic flaw is his lack of responsibility and AMBITION & he is responsible for his downfall; Creature: tragic flaw is his vengefulness
How can the novel as a whole be considered tragic? How does this help Shelley communicate both her theme and her message?
It can be considered tragic because a lot of people die including the protagonist, the main characters have a downfall, and the main characters die. Society will decline if they continue to judge and not accept.