Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Frankenstein: I cobbled it together

In Frankenstein, Shelly often states that the ideal state for the human is "to preserve a a calm and peaceful mind" (p53). In contrast, Victor often feels a "resistless, and almost frantic, impulse" regarding his work (p52).

Victor tries to turn to nature to calm his mind and find peacefulness, such as when he travels through the Alps following Justine's execution. The "whirlwind passions of [his] soul drove [him] to seek" solace in the solid, eternal mountains (p92).  But even here, while contemplating Mount Blanc's "awful majesty" (p96), the being follows him and asks him to take responsibility for his creation.  Victor's past has not been resolved and he cannot yet find peace.

One turning point of the story hinges on this idea and see that Victor's ideas about his creation have become more developed. He is in the Orkney Islands, sitting "idle" for the night when a "train of reflection" comes to him (p164). He goes on to examine his reasons for creating the first being, much less a second one. This is the first time Victor has stopped to reflect, and only in this state does he consider the implications of his work. There was no such moment before creating the first being when "every night [he] was oppressed by a slow fever (p54). Only in a moment of stillness, the "calm and peaceful mind", can Victor see the risks and responsibilities of his goal to reanimate life.

Victor ultimately decides the risks outweigh the benefits and destroys his work. This does not actually solve his conflict with the being, but it does put his heart at ease that he is not perpetuating the monstrosity. He asks the being "Shall I, in cold blood, set loose upon the earth a daemon...?" and is wholly immovable in his resolve (p166).

Victor Frankenstein is a man too easily caught up in his own passions and does not reflect on consequences.  But in a moment of stillness, reflection brings him to one of the most important realizations of his life.

student1 → The work is clearly split into paragraphs with separate introduction and conclusions. Easy to follow.
student3 → Clear and straight forward overall, with a definite thesis.
student4 → Good structure. A few times, the quotation marks are not closed properly making it hard to tell where the closing of the book quote and author's point ends and begins.

student1 → The argumentation is clearly stated with good examples. One can argue, however, that destruction of the second monster was not that good idea given the results.
student2 → I think you need to have a more concrete thesis to base our essay upon. I understand the point you make and the argument as is was is supported, I would have like it to have been developed more.
student3 → I appreciated all of the embedded quotes, which is much harder to do in such a short essay. Direct textual evidence makes an argument significantly stronger.
student4 → Content is good although maybe a few too many quotes from the book.

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