Riassunto esame Cultura e Letteratura Inglese I, prof Polopoli, libro consigliato Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
Walton and the Creature are connected by the same neglected education and passion
• for reading, anticipating the Creature’s self-education through reading.
He desired a friend just like the Creature, in order to cure the loneliness. This
• similarity shows the normality of the creature’s desires.
The framing narrative of Walton’s letters is the reason for the story to be told.
• He introduces themes that become concrete after the introduction of the main
Frankenstein and Revolution
The novel is connected to the revolutionary political ideas of the time, and in particular with
the revolution in France and the fear and anxiety, common in Britain, about the possibility
of parallel uprisings. However, as we cannot define a clear-cut position about radical
science, so it is for the idea of revolution.
The presence and importance of Paradise Lost, with its anti-authoritarian elements, could
suggest the idea that the novel supports revolutionary activity.
Similar support comes from the presence of Prometheus’s myth as an analogy for Victor’s
works, as it narrates the challenge to the gods for the right to create.
The subtitle ‘Modern Prometheus’ shows how Mary Shelley was aware of the rebellious
elements in her story and wanted the reader to pay attention.
However, the final destruction of both Victor and the Creature is the sign that the rebellious
activity is destined to end and fail. Frankenstein’s challenge is punished, the Creature
remains excluded and eventually destroys himself.
The novel starts with the epistolary correspondence between Walton and his sister Margaret;
Robert Walton is captain who decided to explore the North Pole, in order to achieve
knowledge and fame. During the voyage, the crew notices a dog sledge driven by a gigantic
figure. A few hours later, the crew rescues a nearly frozen man named Victor Frankenstein.
The captain welcomes him on board and gives him cure and attention to reinforce his health.
He then recovers and tell him his story in order to warn him to avoid such obsession for his
Victor was born in Naples from a wealthy Genevan family; he has three brothers and by the
age of five, his parents adopt Elizabeth Lavenza, the daughter of an expropriated Italian
nobleman. She and Victory eventually fall in love. As a young boy, he studied outdated
scientific theory, focused on simulating natural wonder. His mother dies of scarlet fever.
He then frequents the University of Ingolstadt in Germany, studying chemistry and other
sciences. He develops a secret technique to impart life into non-living matters. He then
decides to create a humanoid, but due to the difficulty of replicating the minute parts of the
human body, he makes him very large. Despite the best intentions, the creature had a
hideous appearance, with yellow eyes and skin that barely conceals the muscle tissue and
blood vessels underneath.
Disgusted, Victor runs away, trying to get some sleep, in order to recover, while the monster
escapes. The next morning, while wandering the streets of Ingolstadt, he meets his
childhood friend, Henry Clerval, who then takes care of him during his illness.
After four months, he is then restored and decides to come home, where he get to know that
his brother William has been murdered. Arriving in Geneva he sees the monster who he had
created, climbing a mountain near the crime scene and he is convinced of his guilt; Victor is
devastated because Justine Moritz is convicted of the crime, after William’s locket is found
in her pocket and he can’t do anything to save her, because no one would believe his story.
He goes in the mountains few days later and meets the Creature, who bids him to hear his
After he escaped, he lived in the wilderness, abandoned and isolated from the rest of the
world because of his terrible appearance. He had to discover by himself the means to
survive. He then lived in an abandoned structure connected to a cottage, where lived a poor
family which he admired a lot. Secretly he stayed with these people, collecting woods for
their fires and learning to speak by listening to them and to read by finding some abandoned
books. Even though he knew that his look was horrible, he tried anyway to approach the
family, with the idea that they would have accepted him because of his goodness. He
succeeded in this purpose by befriending the blind father, but as the rest of the family
returned home and saw him in their living room, they frightened and he escaped. The whole
family left the cottage, which was later burned down by the monster. Desiring revenge, he
sought for his creator, who had brought him into a hateful world. He confessed of murdering
William and framing Justine.
At this point, the creature asks Victor to generate a female companion, as hideous as he is,
with whom run away in search of peace and happiness, in South America. If he refuses, the
monster threatens him to destroy his whole family. So, Victor accepts and starts working on
the new project on the Orkeny Island. Afterwards, he destroys everything, fearing that the
female companion may hate his fellow, or becoming more evil than he is, or worse, he is
tortured by the idea that the two of them could breed a new evil, horrible race to bring death
to all mankind.
The creature tries to convince Victor to start his work again, failing. At this point, he swore
that “he will be with him on his wedding night”, which Victor interprets as a threat for his
When the doctor returns to Ireland he is imprisoned for the murder of his friend Clerval,
which the monster has staged perfectly, in order to frame Victor.
After being absolved, he returns to Geneva to marry Elizabeth and finally destroy his
During their wedding night, he tells her to stay in the bedroom; but while he searches the
house, he strangles Elizabeth to death. A few days later, his old father weakened by age,
Seeking revenge, Victor follows his enemy to the North Pole, where he dies from
hypothermia and exhaustion.
At this point the narration returns to Walton’s point of view. The crew remains stuck in pack
ice and some of the men on board dies. Walton sees Victory’s story as a warning to avoid
+1 anno fa
I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher morreale.9 di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Cultura e Letteratura inglese I e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Catania - Unict o del prof Polopoli Valeria.
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