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alfprof212
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Frankenstein's Elizabeth

How do you interpret Frankenstein and Elizabeth's relationship/siblingship so far?  How might the death of their mother affect them individually as well as affect their relationship?
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chad
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Re: Frankenstein's Elizabeth and Clerval

[ Edited ]
I also think Clerval might be important to mention here ( That is Clerval via-a-vis Elizabeth and Victor).
 
Chad
 
PS- these sound like questions for some of your classes. I feel that what Clerval, Victor and Elizabeth had was ideal- And, the question was or is, why it had to change.
 
 


Message Edited by chad on 03-14-2008 02:50 PM
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alfprof212
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Re: Frankenstein's Elizabeth and Clerval

I appreciate your critique, chad.  I'm not sure how I'm supposed to run this discussion.  I'm trying to provide thoughtful questions, but obviously I'm not doing very well.  I may have to resign my post as my inexperience at this type of thing is getting in the way.  Yes I am a literature teacher, but my questions don't seem to be provoking much response. (this doesn't usually happen in my classroom; I guess I'm not sure how to engage this different audience)  If you have better thoughts on how to better conduct this board, please feel free to offer them.  Also, please jump in and provide your own discussion topics when you feel the urge, especially since mine aren't succeeding.
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chad
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Friendship

I was going to say the same to you. I usually read something, formulate my own opinion and move on, and as Ilana said, I think we did. But any suggestions are welcome. I remember that someone wrote me that Frankenstein was about a struggle between man and nature- which is what I feel. More specifically, though,  I felt it was about a struggle between "free" and "stable" elements in Nature, and, that these elements are the basics in any friendship. Or, in other words, there has to be some balance between freedom and stability in relationships....
 
Chad 
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chad
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Talk shows

...and i think i mentioned in the last forum that, had people read Frankenstein, there might be less talk shows for that reason. Then again, I'm not sure I'm reading for deeper meaning rather than for my own entertainment . A good book usually has some meaning and entertainment. So, particularly in the classics, the deeper stuff is there if you want it...
 
Chad
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IlanaSimons
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Re: Frankenstein's Elizabeth and Clerval

I think your questions are good.  There just aren't a lot of people trolling the Brit Classics board these days.  It's a problem with board traffic--not with your questions!

alfprof212 wrote:
I appreciate your critique, chad.  I'm not sure how I'm supposed to run this discussion.  I'm trying to provide thoughtful questions, but obviously I'm not doing very well.  I may have to resign my post as my inexperience at this type of thing is getting in the way.  Yes I am a literature teacher, but my questions don't seem to be provoking much response. (this doesn't usually happen in my classroom; I guess I'm not sure how to engage this different audience)  If you have better thoughts on how to better conduct this board, please feel free to offer them.  Also, please jump in and provide your own discussion topics when you feel the urge, especially since mine aren't succeeding.






Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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Laurel
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Re: Frankenstein's Elizabeth and Clerval

I agree with Ilana, Alfprof. I'm not reading Frankenstein right now because of other things that keep me busy, but I've been following your posts and have been impressed. You never know whom you may be causing to think.

IlanaSimons wrote:
I think your questions are good. There just aren't a lot of people trolling the Brit Classics board these days. It's a problem with board traffic--not with your questions!

alfprof212 wrote:
I appreciate your critique, chad. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to run this discussion. I'm trying to provide thoughtful questions, but obviously I'm not doing very well. I may have to resign my post as my inexperience at this type of thing is getting in the way. Yes I am a literature teacher, but my questions don't seem to be provoking much response. (this doesn't usually happen in my classroom; I guess I'm not sure how to engage this different audience) If you have better thoughts on how to better conduct this board, please feel free to offer them. Also, please jump in and provide your own discussion topics when you feel the urge, especially since mine aren't succeeding.






"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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alfprof212
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Re: Frankenstein's Elizabeth and Clerval

Thank you for your encouragement, Ilana and Laurel.  I'll try to stick with it, but I'm going to let these questions simmer for now and see what kind of responses they get.  I continue posting questions here and there.  Thanks again. :smileyhappy:
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chad
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Your mother

Hmmmm....you seem like you know the answer, but the reason for own creation dies with the creator(s). I place an "s" in parentheses to distinguish your own mother from each past generation. We may never know the reason for own creation, or our reason for being, unless we talk to the orignal creator, or God, as the case may be. We would have to go all the way back to the beginning- your own mother may not have all the answers you need. Other than that, have you read "Yo Momma" vocabulary? It's a vocab builder that gives an example for every word beginning with "yo momma," and there are other examples, for words like ubiquitous: "Starbucks is so ubiquitous, I found a Starbucks inside a Starbucks."
 
Chad
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kimmyesq
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Re: Frankenstein's Elizabeth and Clerval

Well, Mr. Allprof I guess I'll jump in.  Sorry I haven't replied earlier, but I have been following your discussion/questions and those of Chad.  I read this book many, many years ago.  But re-reading it now, as a much older person is a different experience.  I hestitated responding because of the.... not sure how to describe it.... more "romantic" nature of the discussion.  But to give you an idea of what I've been thinking while re-reading, here are a few notes I jotted down at the end of Chapter III. 
- Hubris.  What hubris Frankenstein has! 
- Obsessive/Compulsive
- Unfettered childhood ---> thinking he can accomplish more than anyone
- Deceit and deception
- Only liking the "pretty people"  Elizabeth and Mr. Waldman.  not liking Krempe
- "I'll show you" attitude.
 
 
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chad
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Re: Frankenstein's Elizabeth and Clerval

[ Edited ]
Hi kimmy esq. !
 
Just a couple of things:
 
I'm not sure I would want to defend Victor Frankenstein, but did you think he created the monster to benefit mankind?
 
also:
I believe Elizabeth was rescued from an orphanage for her beautiful features.
I don't think I would describe Victor's childhood as "unfettered."
 
Chad
 




Message Edited by chad on 03-18-2008 02:45 PM
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kimmyesq
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Re: Frankenstein's Elizabeth and Clerval

Hi Chad.
 
I don't think he created the monster to benefit mankind at all.  Perhaps he may have had some altruistic thoughts at the beginning, but that quickly morphed into what I am calling his hubris attitude.  I think he did it because he wanted to prove that he could and show everyone that he was capable of doing something no one else could.  And I think this is tied in to my comment that his childhood was unfettered.  We used to call it "being given his head" I think - in other words, allowed to go where he wanted, do what he wanted unchecked.  He was encouraged by his parents to excel, that there wasn't anything he could not do.  And while most of us would say that is a good thing, there should be some boundaries.  Children need boundaries.  I think this helped to foster his "I'm so much smarter than you" attitude.  (In fact, I have notes on a passage about his friend at school after the creation of the daemon, but I don't have the book with me at the moment.  I'll do another post later.)
 
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chad
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Transitions

Hi Kimmy! I just thought I'd point out, what I consider to be a transition point in Victor that you may have described:
 
"And thus for a time I was occupied by exploded systems, mingling, like an unadept, a thousand contradictory theories, and floundering desperately in a very slough of multifarious knowledge, guided by an ardent imagination and childish reasoning, till an accident again changed the current of my ideas.

When I was about fifteen years old we had retired to our house near Belrive, when we witnessed a most violent and terrible thunderstorm. It advanced from behind the mountains of Jura; and the thunder burst at once with frightful loudness from various quarters of the heavens. I remained, while the storm lasted, watching its progress with curiosity and delight. As I stood at the door, on a sudden I beheld a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak which stood about twenty yards from our house; and so soon as the dazzling light vanished the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump. When we visited it the next morning, we found the tree shattered in a singular manner. It was not splintered by the shock, but entirely reduced to thin ribands of wood. I never beheld anything so utterly destroyed."- Chp 2 

The death of the oak, more importantly, death by lightning, affects Victor Frankenstein, and perhaps motivates him to create the monster, as he states. What did you think?

Chad

 

 

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chad
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Just Growing Pains

And in defense of Victor again:
 
The monster was created while he attended a university. Did he have to go to school?
 
Chad
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alfprof212
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Re: Just Growing Pains

Great points, you guys!  I have always thought along the lines kimmy pointed out above...that Victor created the monster just to say "look what I did!"  Which is one of the reasons I posted one of those other topics: do you think Mary Shelley wanted the readers of this novel to sympathize with Victor?  In the beginning of the novel, Walton gives such rave reviews of Victor.  But as we continue to read, we see Victor is a little full of himself.  I don't tend to sympathize with those who have that "I'm-smarter-than-you" attitude, but I find myself (later in the book) sympathizing with Victor.  Anyone else feel that way?  Or is he just a cocky jerk?
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chad
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arrogance

well, I'll argue that Victor was not arrogant. So, what about this one?:
 
My father looked carelessly at the title page of my book, and said, "Ah! Cornelius Agrippa! My dear Victor, do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash."

If, instead of this remark, my father had taken the pains to explain to me that the principles of Agrippa had been entirely exploded, and that a modern system of science had been introduced, which possessed much greater powers than the ancient, because the powers of the latter were chimerical, while those of the former were real and practical; under such circumstances, I should certainly have thrown Agrippa aside, and have contented my imagination, warmed as it was, by returning with greater ardour to my former studies. It is even possible that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin. But the cursory glance my father had taken of my volume by no means assured me that he was acquainted with its contents; and I continued to read with the greatest avidity.

In  the above passage, who was more arrogant? Victor or his father?-- Agrippa being one of the primary influences in the creation of Victor's monster.

Chad

 

Chad

 

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alfprof212
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Re: arrogance

Ah...but where else would Victor learn his arrogance?  :smileyhappy:
 
I do see your point, though.  Though he may not be a jerk, I do think there was a bit of arrogance in his undertaking the creation of a man.  After all, who else has created man but God? (of course, if one doesn't believe in God then there could be much more to discuss)  And what is more arrogant than taking on that kind of power of creation?  But as I said earlier, I do sympathize with Victor's situation and see a definite likability about him.  His layers go very deep and we will dig deeper as we continue to read.
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chad
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Re: arrogance

And lightning strikes me from above, when the Gods are angry. Victor saw an oak tree instantly reduced to a stump- Nature's or God's arrogance? Moreover, his name is "Victor"- this implies a conquerer or a winner, not a jerky loser.
 
Chad
 
PS- This Victor's pov through Walton, keep in mind.
 
 
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kbbg42
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Re: arrogance

Sorry it has taken me so long to post. My view of Victor's creation or why he created it was all derived from the loss of his mother. He could not accept the fact that God took her away from him. He was angry at the loss. It possessed him. He felt God needed a commuppence so to speak. I think he felt that if he could create life then he could cheat death. I truly feel he was very afraid of death. These are my veiws on it anyways. The death of the mother was the catalyst.
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kimmyesq
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Re: Transitions

I understand the importance of the oak tree and the lightning as has been attributed to this scene and point in Victor's life.  But, again my twisted mind sees something else.  LOL!  I feel the significance of that paragraph is revealed in the paragraph following.  "On this occasion a man of great research in natural philosophy was with us....  All that he said threw greatly into the shade Corneilus Agrippa... the lords of my imagination....  It seemed to me as if nothing would or could ever be known.  ...I at once gave up my former occupations; set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation...."
 
Another man offers an explanation of electricity which appears to be inapposite to Victor's current thoughts and ideas, so he throws his hands up and appears to give up.  I think we see this reaction from Victor several times.  Think of his response when his father chides him for his studies of Agrippa.  He gives up on his father somewhat, and sets out to "show him' with his studies of that subject.  "I was self taught....  My father was not scientific, and I was left to struggle with a child's blindness..."  His father's guideance is cast aside.
 
He does the same thing again upon his initial interactions with M. Krempe.  M. Krempe's opinions are not well-received, and he's an ugly little man to Victor.  So M. Krempe is basically cast aside.
Again, to me, this contributes to the "I'll show you" attitude.
 
The same thing happens with the creature.  He goes through all the pains to create it.  It turns out to be not what he thought it would be, so it is cast aside. Sound familiar?  "I at once gave up my former occupations; set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation...."
 
There is no in between or gray area with Victor - it seems to be all or nothing.  He is an extremist.  As to what Mary Shelley may be trying to tell us, I believe it is more on the lines of:  Just because we CAN do something, does not mean we SHOULD do it.
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