Monday, January 9, 2012

Character Analysis: Victor Frankenstein -- Ben Foulkes

From an early age, Victor was fascinated with old sciences, such as alchemy, and the secret of life.  He eventually grew up, however, and mastered modern sciences at a university in Sweden.  His fascination with the mystery of life remained, and with his knowledge of science, Victor created life.  His creation was a “monster,” and goes on to destroy everything and everyone he ever loved.  No one knew that he created the monster, so people's opinions of Victor remained intact.  Victor becomes guided by his need to avenge the deaths of his loved ones.  This transforms Victor from an innocent young man playing with the laws of science to a guilty man hell-bent on fixing what he deems his greatest mistake; creating a monster.

Character Analysis: The Monster

The monster is created by Victor Frankenstein with dead body parts and mixed chemicals. When the monster comes alive Victor is frieghtend and leaves the monster on its own. The monster attempts to fit into society and even though he is smart and kind everyone is too afraid of him to associate with him. The monster begins to feel incredibly lonley and and hates his creator.

Literary Element Analysis

1. Setting-
a.       Artic: In the beginning of the book an explorer named Walton is traveling to the North Pole and comes across a man who we later learn is Victor. He is alone and at first he refuses to board the ship with Walton and his crew. This shows the audience that the story that is about to be told is very dramatic. It helps the audience see how much of an impact the monster had on his life.
b.      Light vs. Dark: Before Victor makes his creation the setting is bright and light hearted, he talks of his childhood and it seems that he has had a happy life so far. Once Victor begins making his creation the setting changes. It begins to rain and it is dark outside and inside of his home. This gives the audience an idea that his creation may be evil.

2. Narrator- The actual story of the monster is told by Victor, the creator. This allows the audience to feel the same emotions Victor felt about the monster and gives us a reason on why he created it to begin with.

3. Diction- Mary Shelley uses the words "fate" and "omen" throughout the entire book. Both words give the reader an understanding that the monster isn't just a minor mistake Victor made, it will completly change his life.

Quotable Quotes - Ben Foulkes

1.       “I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on.” – the Monster.  This quote is taken from the Monster as he is standing over Victor’s dead body.  It is the best example in the book of the monster’s true suffering.  Since his creation, he has felt unwanted, and so he considers himself an abortion.  At this point, he succumbs to what he assumes people think of him in self pity.  He also feels regretful for actions he deemed necessary against Victor, his creator. 
"Learn from me . . . how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow."  This quote is taken from Victor talking to Walton.  Victor, who throughout the book has been a man of science and knowledge, now seems to be questioning the limits of a person’s knowledge.  While the Victor at the beginning of the novel would have loved to know everything, Victor now realizes that ignorance is bliss.  Unfortunately, it took creating a monster that destroyed everything he loved to come to this realization. 
  “William, Justine, and Henry… they all died by my hands.” This quote is taken from Victor.  It explains how Victor views the monster; as his responsibility.  Victor thinks the monster is evil and would rather have nothing to do with it, but the monster keeps killing the people he cares about.  Victor can’t help that he feels responsible, like a parent of an unruly child.  He is also worried about other people in his life that he fears the monster will go after next.  Victor holds his poor judgment in creating life responsible for the monster’s crimes.
  “The fallen angel becomes the malignant devil. Yet even the enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone.”  This quote was taken from the Monster to Walton.  The monster recognizes that he had the potential to be great for his creator, Victor, but instead increasingly became evil, like Lucifer in the bible.  In the bible, Lucifer was God’s favorite angel, but fell after being corrupted by evil.  In this metaphor, however, the monster points out that the Devil at least had friends when he had fallen, and the monster has no one.  The monster considers himself all alone after being outcast from his creator. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Historical Significance

Frankenstein was written in 1818 and many critics believe the gothic genre was a reaction to the Age of Reason, which stressed the power of the human mind. Gothic writers showed humans to be imperfect during a time where they were being portrayed as perfect. The unfair execution of Justine in the novel suggests the Justice system was flawed as well during this time. The fact that the monster was so looked down upon shows that during this time, the way a person looked had a great influence in how they were treated by society.

Character Analysis: Justine Moritz

Justine was adopted by the Frankenstein family after being rejected by her mother. She is a very lovable person who causes joy to everyone around her. She values having a family and being surrounded by love. She is very innocent and an overall good person. After the monster kills William, she is blamed for the murder. The monster framed Justine because he was jealous of the fact she was loved by everyone when he would never be. Justine is accepted by society while the monster isn’t. The other characters don’t believe Justine is guilty of the murder, but she takes the blame because she feels like she didn’t protect William enough. She ends up being executed even though she is innocent, and this shows flaws in the justice system.  Victor feels extremely guilty because he knows the monster was the one who killed William. Justine represents those being executed innocently during the time the book was written.