by Mary Shelley
In the Gothic novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley integrates the rhetorical devices figurative language, imagery, and tone to impart the concept that the desire to acquire knowledge and emulate God will ultimately result in chaos and havoc that exceeds the boundaries of human restraint.
I. Life of Mary Shelley / Characteristics of Gothic Literature
A. Life of Mary Shelley
1. Eleven days after Mary Shelley’s birth, her mother, the famed author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, succumbed to puerperal fever, leaving her [Mary Shelley’s] father, William Godwin, bereft of his beloved companion. In her honor, Godwin puts together a loving tribute entitled Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman, a sensitive and factual account of his deceased wife’s life.
2. The relationship between Mary Shelley and her stepmother was strained. The new Mrs. Godwin provoked Shelley’s ire by encroaching upon her privacy. In addition, she resented Mary’s passionate affection for her father and was envious of the interest showed by visitors in the two radical thinkers of the day.
3. Death revolved around Mary Shelley’s life. Her first child was born prematurely and survived for only eleven days; her second child died of malaria; the next child succumbed to dysentery after sustaining life for about a year; and her sister Fanny committed suicide.
4. Mary Shelley was denounced by her beloved father; who thought that she “had been guilty of a crime.” Shelley, who was seventeen at the time, was not yet a wife and no longer a mother. She felt insecure and was dependent on her future husband Per Shelley for emotional support and familial commitment.
5. Shelley suffered her greatest loss in 1822, the death of Percy Shelley by drowning. Percy’s sudden death left Mary in a psychological turmoil, with feelings of “...
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...rees with the concept that knowledge can threaten the balance in the system of the earth if it becomes too overreaching. Levine uses the law of entropy in order to apply it to the system of the earth and describes how new energy generated will be less than the energy used at creation – which will ultimately result in imbalance in the system. What he means is that if a new monster that is created is stronger than humans in every physical trait, it will lead to disorder upon the earth because this if this monster cannot be controlled, then he will wreak chaos.
A. The acquirement of knowledge can result in devastating effects if it is overreaching.
B. The author uses various rhetorical devices to convey this concept.
C. Frankenstein serves as a model of Gothic literature by employing various themes that are prevalent in most Gothic literature.
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