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Something for Everybody: Brooks’ Reasoning for Monsterism in Frankenstein

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Like all works that have been taught in English classes, Frankenstein has been explicated and analyzed by students and teachers alike for much of the twentieth and all of the twenty-first century. Academia is correct for doing so because Frankenstein can appeal to the interests of students. Students, teachers and experts in the areas of medicine, psychology, and sociology can relevantly analyze Frankenstein in their respective fields. However, Peter Brooks explains in “Godlike Science/Unhallowed Arts: Language and Monstrosity in Frankenstein” that Shelly had presented the problem of “Monsterism” through her language. According to Brooks, Monsterism is explicitly and implicitly addressed in Shelly’s language. While this may be correct, Brooks does it in such a way that requires vast knowledge of subjects that many readers may not be knowledgeable in. After summarizing and analyzing the positive and negative qualities of Brooks’ work, I will explain how the connection of many different fields of study in literature creates a better work.
Brooks attempts to prove his thesis by first explaining how the language in parts of the book relates to how the Creature is monstrous. He alludes to how the descriptions of nature in Frankenstein are more fearful when the Creature is around. For instance, a terrible storm occurs during the Creature’s creation and the “cold gales” in the icy glaciers of Mont Blanc surround Frankenstein when he meets the Creature for the first time after its creation (Shelly 80). Also commenting on the Creature’s story, Brooks finds that his lack of spoken language and attempt to understand these languages allude to the Enlightenment’s noble savage (594). Brooks then associates the Creature with Satan and many top...


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...ttempts to relate many fields to his paper so that even if the reader didn’t know some of the scholars that were cited, the reader could glean the basic idea and then truly understand a section that interested you if you knew about the sources he was using.



Works Cited

Brooks, Peter. "Godlike Science/Unhallowed Arts: Language and Monstrosity in Frankenstein." New Literary History 9.3 (1978): 591-605. JSTOR. Web. 15 Oct. 2010. .
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Walter James Miller, and Harold Bloom. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus. New York: New American Library, 2000. Print.
Yale Office of Public Affairs. Humanities and Social Sciences. Yale Professor Peter Brooks Wins Prestigious Mellon Award. Yale University News. Yale University, 16 Jan. 2008. Web. 21 Oct. 2010. .


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