A womb with a view! Loved it! Have a great summer 🙂
A womb with a view! Loved it! Have a great summer 🙂
For some crazy reason, I can not comment to my classmates posts. So… I will just enter this.
I think your idea is very interesting. I too thought that Frankenstein was the monster. If you really think about it…Dr. Frankenstein was a monster. He created a being so someone would love him. In doing so he killed members of his family and a friend. He created the monster out of self pity. Maybe you could reflect on how the monster created a creature like him, so he would not be alone in the world? I love your idea! Go with it 🙂 Be creative…
P.S. couldn’t help but think of Ted E. Bear (the movie) and how the little boy wished for him to be ‘real’ so he could always have him. Sometimes in life we ask for things we really don’t understand or maybe don’t think through all the way. Forever is a really long time! Good luck on your paper 🙂
So, my friend said something I found hilarious while we were driving today, and I thought I’d share in honor of our rapidly ending class, considering it has actually ended, I’m not sure if anyone will read this. But oh well. It was funny. What she said is “If we could get ourselves pregnant, there would be no reason for men.” This made me crack up thinking about how many classes we talked about a man need woman for the sole purpose of their spawn. I thought it fit so well into most of our classes, so I’d thought I’d share this last thing.
The books we covered this semester were all individually different in terms of style but they all shared a few collective themes. Themes like how Victor Frankenstein is portrayed as a bad guy and how in most of the other stories men in general are the oppressor. Another big topic of discussion is love and how being denied of it makes a horrible life for anyone. These themes happen in nearly all the books we read over the term and suggest that British women writers generally adopt a similar way of writing.
The first book I want to talk about is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This is my favorite out of all the books we covered. As a small child I watched shows about the monster Frankenstein and I actually never knew that the name Frankenstein was the Doctor’s name. I always thought it was the monster’s name. This book was a great read and it was really interesting how Dr. Frankenstein wanted his monster to be alive so badly that it depressed him that he couldn’t bring his creation alive. I really thought it showed how much of a coward he was when as soon as he did come to life it was like he was a burden immediately. It’s like he never thought about what would happen if he really did succeed. Soon as Victor realizes what he’s done, it’s like he starts feeling ashamed. As if he knew it was crazy the whole time and he did it anyway.
One of the biggest issues with the story of Frankenstein is how he wants to love and be loved by someone. This is a common theme in the stories we covered this semester.
I’m going to keep going on from there but that is where I’m headed with this thing. I hope it isn’t too bad of a start. I know I’m probably way off on this one. I apologize.
*I forgot to publish this on Monday, which is unfortunate because I definitely could have used the feedback. I got on here to post something in the wake of our final day together, but instead I decided to publish this instead*
Examining the Connections between the Works of Shelley and Rowling
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly seemed to be surrounding by tragedy. Her mother, famous authoress Mary Wollstonecraft died during childbirth, leaving her father, William Goodwin, to raise her. Goodwin, by most accounts, was overwhelmed as a father, who struggled not only with the death of his wife, but finical concerns. Goodwin was ill prepared for the hardships he would face trying to raise a young woman and on some level neglected Mary because he was unsure of how to raise her. Mary soon found love in Percy Shelley, a wealthy, radical author and friend of her father William. It was with Percy’s help that Mary would submit her first novel, Frankenstein for publication, the first in a series of steps that lead to the release of the novel as we know it today.
J.K Rowling faced similar hardships. Most of her adolescent life she lived in a home with an extremely ill mother and a distant father. She attended college, but felt that she was largely unexceptional, despite high marks. Rowling began work on her first novel while living alone as a single parent teaching English in Portugal. Recently divorced and in a strange country Rowling sought to reconnect with the people and books that made her happy. Dickens and Tolkien not only served as an inspiration, but a means to release all the pent up emotions she had inside her. The characters in her work reflect those she had known. The world she created was one where good ultimately triumphs and love is the most treasured aspect of the human experience. Rowling was able to take the experiences of growing up in a traditional British school system and turned into a global brand whose value is in the billions.
Finding acceptance is a theme found in both Shelley’s and Rowling’s works. Frankenstein’s monster wants to live a normal life, but his monstrous countenance made interactions with others impossible. Harry Potter also seeks to find acceptance, after spending the earliest years of his childhood neglected by his aunt and uncle who raised him. Victor Frankenstein’s inability to accept his creation ultimately leads to his downfall. The characters are motivated by their need to be accepted by into the community. In many ways this is typical of British culture even today. While Americans tend to be more individualistic in nature the British tend to be more collectivistic. For many British people gaining the acceptance of their community is a major part of the human condition. Those shunned by society lack the means to fulfill their emotional needs. Victor Frankenstein’s greatest flaw may have been his independence. With no real familial or communal ties to reinforce cultural values he was free to pursue goals that were ghastly and inhumane in nature. What makes matters worse for Victor is the fact that there were those willing to embrace him, but he refused to allow others to take him in. Victor not only denies his monster his own acceptance, he also denies him the chance to be accepted by anyone when he refuses to create a bride for his monster. This refusal to become part of the community is a large part of why Victor Frankenstein can be viewed as the villain of Shelley’s novel. In Rowling’s Harry Potter series the notion of cultural acceptance is equally important. Part of what gives Harry the strength to stand up for what is right is due to the way those around him have accepted him and made him part of their community. Without a strong support network Harry would have failed many of the tasks that were laid out before him. Voldermort also parallels Victor Frankenstein when it comes to their perception on the importance of community. Both men shun others under the misguided perspective that they have no peers. Both are able to push the boundaries of what is considered morally acceptable because they have no community ties that force them to act under any sort of social guidelines.
Another of the central themes of both Shelley’s Frankenstein and Rowling’s Harry Potter series is love. The lack of a loving environment during their earliest developmental phases is the largest contributing factor to the way Frankenstein’s Monster and Voldermort views the world. It is not difficult to see why both authoresses chose love as a major theme in their work considering the impact feelings of neglect had on their own lives. Love should also be viewed as a different theme than acceptance, because it goes beyond being part of a community. Love for both Shelley and Rowling are essential for development because it speaks to what we crave most in this world. Both Frankenstein’s monster and Harry Potter were “born” from unfortunate circumstances. The monster had no control over his genesis, but was constantly blamed by his creator for the hardship he faced. Harry Potter found himself in a similar circumstance. The death of his parents led to the events that molded the way Harry grew into manhood. Just as Victor Frankenstein created the monster so too did Voldermort create Harry through his actions. Both Victor and Voldermort knew nothing of love and were both unprepared for the consequences their actions would have. Had Victor raised his monster he could have instilled in him some sense of humanity. If Voldermort had stopped to comprehend why I mother would sacrifice her own life for that of her child he may have been able to foresee the consequences of his actions. That is not the only role love plays in the novels. Voldermort’s childhood takes place in a loveless environment. In fact his very conception was the result of deceit. Without love in his life Voldermort was unaware of the comfort and strength that can be found within communal bonds. The monster’s inception is equally loveless as he is the product of sewn together body parts that were stolen from graves.
The idea of the danger of progress is also examined. Both Voldermort and Victor Frankenstein pushed themselves past the boundaries of humanity in search of a dark power. The constrains of what is acceptable was not enough to stop them in their pursuit for eternal glory. While one may have used science and the other magic in order to accomplish their goals both men pushed themselves past the point of no return and in the process twisted themselves into something that was not entirely recognizable. This reckless regard for what makes them human made it impossible for either man to prevent their ultimate downfall.
It is not only literary themes that tie the works of Shelley and Rowling together. Both women also felt external pressure to write their works under a pen name; for fear that the populace might be too quick to write off the literary works of women. For both Shelley and Rowling this can be attributed to the subject matter found within their novels. While women writers had garnered some success in Shelley’s time the idea that a female could write a novel about the dangers of science and progress for progress sake would be a foreign concept.
At first look it may be odd to compare Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to a contemporary series of books like Harry Potter. Both novels are the products of vastly different times. Yet there exist connections between them. While both authoresses told completely different stories they used very similar themes and tropes to tell them. More importantly even after 200 years a female author still felt the need to write under a pen name in order to publish her work in a traditionally male dominated field. Despite having fellow writers like Shelley pave the road for her J.K. Rowling still found herself in the position to be a trail blazer. And both works, despite being easily acceptable for readers of both genders still carry with them a tone and subject matter that could be described as subtly feminine. While men and women are capable of performing the same task and should be considered intellectually equal the fact that women writers tend to excel in certain literary avenues over their male counterparts and vice versa is not surprising considering that social pressures and cultural norms that have forced them to develop different perspectives. Yet despite these differences both women have wrote works that standalone on their own as impressive, regardless of the gender of the author.
It will be interesting to see what impact, if any the works of J.K Rowling will have on the literary world after time has passed and her success and fanfare has died down. Admittedly it took a little over 150 years for the works of Shelley to undergo a revival in popularity and reignite the imagination of a new generation of individuals. Perhaps when the time comes and another woman author enters the public spotlight through the writings of critically acclaimed book she will be able to do so under her own name, without fear of readers rejecting her on the basis of her gender alone. Countless women have written works that will stand the test of time. They did so with a unique perspective borne from the culture that surrounded them. Being able to read and experience a small part of these individuals’ lives through a lens they, themselves create is a fascinating experiencing. The themes of their books are part of what has made them so successful. It is to some extent why these connections exist between Frankenstein and Harry Potter, because they speak to the central issues that we face every day as human beings. Both women were able to share part of their own life experiences through a common literary language that goes beyond words. The search for acceptance and love is something every one struggles with at some point in their life or another. Understanding what connects these two authors helps us to understand not only ourselves, but other works that have been written through out time.
May 3, 2013
Women’s Advancement in the Workplace
Women have had a tough road to an almost equal employment. Women have had to fight their way to where they are unlike their male counterparts, who had most of their advancements handed to them just because of their gender. In Mary Wollstonecraft’s day women did not have many options of employment let alone the means to get an education and in Charlotte Bronte’s time the employment options had not improved much. But once the twenty-first century rolled around women have advanced exponentially in both education and career paths.
Mary Wollstonecraft had a very critical view as to what women should accomplish in education. She thought “women was not created merely to gratify the appetite of man, or to be the upper servant, who provides his meals and takes care of his linen, it must follow that the first care of those mothers or fathers who really attend to the education of females should be, if not to strengthen the body, at least not to destroy the constitution by mistaken notions of beauty and female excellence; nor should girls ever be allowed to imbibe the pernicious notion that a defect can, by any chemical process of reasoning, become an excellence” (Wollstonecraft 49). She wants women to be more than just a homemaker. She thought women should be equally educated as men. Unfortunately “women [were] told from their infancy, and taught by the example of their mothers, that a little knowledge of human weakness, justly termed cunning, softness of temper, outward obedience, and a scrupulous attention to a puerile kind of propriety, will obtain for them the protection of man; and should they be beautiful, everything else is needless, for at least twenty years of their lives” (Wollstonecraft 29). This train of thought is what crippled the women of the eighteenth century. The men of that century “appear to me to act in a very unphilosophical manner, when they try to secure the good conduct of women by attempting to keep them always in a state of childhood” (Wollstonecraft 30).
I was not able to add my rough draft of my paper over the weekend due to internet issues. so here it is…
Crazed, uncontrollable, sneaky beings hell-bent on making man’s life difficult. This has been said in one way or another since the dawn of time. From man’s creation stories to the great stories of Antiquity, and even still to today’s most controversial situations. Any time a women does any thing to sway from the guided path chosen, not by them, they receive a title unbecoming and determined to make their life unbearable.
But with men writing women characters in roles that showcase them as flawed and negative how are women to rise above the stereotyped roles they have been given? For example in Antiquity, the greatest writers and minds wrote stories such as the story of Pandora, Adam and Eve, Madea, and even the goddess Hera was written as a troubled female unable to control her emotions.
In these stories the women were troubled by emotions of jealousy, hatred, and sadness. But never in any of these stories do the writers give strong light to the reasons behind the women to feel these emotions or state of being. They slightly touch on the fact that they are women that deal with loss or being wrongfully done by someone in their life. Even in the story, The Bacchae by Euripides, the women are portrayed as crazed women having murderous parties filled with orgies and drinking. When in fact they were brought to the outcome their patron deity wanted and forced them to have.
As with Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication on the Rights of Women, women have been fighting for a ground to stand or even to be able to have the same elements and freedoms that men have always had. In these two materials the authors discuss what women should have and how they should behave. But neither of these women ever state that women should be treated less human than their counterparts.
I am working through my notes and paragraphs to reword things and am excited about where I am going with this…
I forgot to mention in class a novel series that is a retelling of a common fairy tale. Anne Rice wrote under a pseudonym of A. N. Roquelaure. The series is the Sleeping Beauty Series. The books in the series are The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Punishment and Beauty’s Release. They are a slight badly written BDSM storyline about what happened to Beauty after the prince woke her up.
Yet another example of someone borrowing storylines to make new adventures is Gregory Maguire. Most of his books are retellings of other peoples works. He has a series built on the Wizard of Oz, a book on Cinderella, and even Snow White.
So even though some may say that it could be a bad thing to rework other people’s works some authors find success in doing so!
I was watching TV earlier tonight (because writing my papers due this week would make too much sense) and a new T-Mobile commercial came on. I’m a little biased since I have T-Mobile, but this commercial was kind of epic.
In it, we have a table with a T-Mobile and an AT&T cube on it. It takes place in Victor’s lab and he’s treating the monster like he’s stupid, when the “monster” is clearly intelligent, maybe even more so than the Doctor.
Brandon and I with all the issues we have had this semester forgot to post the PowerPoint we worked on for The Lifted Veil by George Eliot
If you guys recall we did the discussion about the book and then we brought up the issue of names and how one would see each person different if we all had unisex names. This was based on the fact that Mary Anne Evans changed her name to George Eliot in order to publish books more easily.
Sorry that we did not post the PowerPoint sooner. Without internet where we are each staying it kinda slipped our minds when at school.