Jul 12, 2017 Others

Literary Analysis of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein

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Literary Analysis of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein


This is a Gordon Rule Writing course, and so the writing-aspect, regardless of what is being written upon, is taken quite seriously.

You must read and re-read (or at least re-read key passages of) the book you are writing on, seeing how different passages/scenes/ideas relate. You must write a draft and let it sit for a day or two, and then go back adding more pertinent, more nuanced reflections. You must approach essay writing not as if you are just letting the professor know that you`ve read the assignments and lecture notes and more or less understand them, but as if you are sculpting a work of art. (Yes: I know ... you are perhaps taking lots of classes; it`s difficult to linger on writing and revising. Still, I ask you to do this to the best of your ability within the semester calendar limitations.) 

If you had problems in the first essay in respect to the writing, you should try to make an extra effort to improve in Essay#2. The two essays are weighted equally in terms of your overall course grade (25% each), but improvement can impact the final assessment of your course grade, when that grade is hovering in the border b/w two grades.

● All the general instructions for ESSAY#1 apply, except that this essay should be about 1500 words long or longer (again quality, not quantity), and it incorporates research/secondary materials as requested in the options below. The topic options are listed below. 

● Use whatever citation method that you have been taught in your Composition classes here at FIU or elsewhere or which you typically use in your own discipline/major. If you do not include a proper Bibliography page, your essay will not be read or it will be lowered a grade or more.

● Read the last two sentences again. 

● Do not consult more secondary sources than provided in the options below or in the prefatory/supplemental scholarly materials in the editions ordered for the course (an introduction in a different edition is o.k.). If I find that additional secondary materials, other than below or in a book`s editorial introduction, have been used, the essay will likely receive an immediately "F". If you are found guilty of plagiarism, you will receive an "F" in the course. Please take note: I have a pretty clear sense of your writing style from your first essay and discussion forum entries, so it is very easy to detect plagiarism. And, also, the "Turnitin" site filters for plagiarism.

● Read the last paragraph again. It`s a sad state of educational affairs when I have to write the previous warning ... I do not want to distrust students, but every semester ... well, let`s put it this way: I have a separate drawer in my office desk dedicated to student misconduct cases or potential-to-be-discovered-misconduct cases.

● For secondary, research materials: each option below comes with links to online professional/scholarly journals or articles or to the ProjectMuse journal database accessed through the FIU library system. Students sometimes have difficulty figuring out how to get to the links. Follow the directions closely, and you`ll figure it out.

● Incorporate the supplied (linked) secondary materials by paraphrasing their arguments or part of their arguments, or by quoting a section of their arguments/key points. Do this in the main body of your essay (not the introduction or conclusion). Your goal is not to show that you`ve read the secondary materials per se, but that, having read the materials, your own argument/points have become more sophisticated and developed, because you have consulted authoritative wisdom about the topic you are working on. It is, of course, possible to dispute such �authoritative wisdom.�

● Definitely note that I have not quantified how many times you should quote or paraphrase or refer to a secondary source`s argument. I`m asking you to develop your own analytical ideas and then judiciously incorporate outside ideas/sources. That said, no more than 20% of your paper should be quoted material, whether from the main texts or secondary sources.

● You have to know what your argument is and you have to know the arguments/main points of the secondary material. Only then can you integrate secondary research. Half-hearted tossing in of information from a secondary source--as if it`s some strange vegetable you don`t have a taste for--is not appropriate. Research typically requires reading a lot of material that ends up not being useful: that`s part of the discipline of doing research, ferreting out the useful from the non-useful. Do it (from the provided links)! 

● If you do not incorporate the secondary materials supplied (in a qualitative, not quantitative sense), your essay will automatically be dropped at least a letter grade. Get it? Pay attention to these instructions!

● You have to take responsibility and learn how to get access to the FIU library resources from home or from on campus on your own. Or ask assistance from the library staff.


Focus on the theme or issue of the family or intimate relations in the novel, and make the scene(s) when the monster hangs out in the woodshed spying on the impoverished family central to or important for an interpretation of the novel. It may be that you start right off in your introduction establishing why the monster`s interaction with the cottage family is crucial to our understanding of the novel`s overall meaning; it may be that you look almost exclusively at just the cottage scenes in terms of how the monster`s sensibility expands or grows; or it may be that you establish a sequence/trajectory of broader or more encompassing ideas in which you use the cottage episode or refer to it specifically only � or 2/3rd of the way through your paper. It is possible, as you develop your ideas, that the family theme becomes subordinate to another theme (e.g., Victor�s ambition). That�s fine. 

For a more elaborate example of the last point: say you think the novel is mainly about Victor`s inability to maintain connection with his family (because of his ambition or ego). Certainly the scenes in which the monster wants to be part of the cottage family would be key or linked to that main idea--but you might not review the pertinent scenes as evidence until midway in your paper; you would, presumably, start by showing how Victor is alienated, by his ambition, from his own family. Your paper might be about alienation from family structure or dynamics, with a key piece of evidence/interpretation being the cottage scene.

Literary analysis requires a shaping idea or theme or thesis, spelled out or implied in your opening paragraph or opening paragraphs (an introduction can be longer than one paragraph!). But unlike some other forms of analysis, the KEY scene that the analysis hooks around, if there is one key scene, might not be trotted out in your analysis until midway through. Interpretation of literature--that is, somebody reading YOUR interpretation--can become fun because it is a process of discovery, an inductive argument that builds complexity upon complexity, rather than a deductive argument by which you state the main point, and then follow up with subpoints and evidence. (See a review of inductive and deductive analysis in the instructions for the first essay: the first �builds up� an argument, the second �breaks it down�.)

Here is a sample organizational roadmap for a hypothetical essay on Frankenstein, using the topic above:


--1st 5th: author`s anxieties about family/mothering/nurturing

--2nd 5th: translates into a narrative about education and family structures needed for education/development of a sensibility

--3rd 5th: Victor`s alienation from his family; seeking of knowledge at the cost of sacrificing relationships

--4th 5th: what other critics have said on these issues + monster`s take on education (cottage scene)

--5th 5th: the consequences of a bad or interrupted education for the monster

Please do not overly rely (i.e. you can rely somewhat) on above to structure your paper if you elect this option. I`m offering it so that you see the pattern of how analysis can proceed in stages.

Secondary material links:

Go to the main online page for FIU Libraries, click on the link to connect from home (if you are working from home), click on "Find Articles and Do Research" link, find the "A-Z" list of electronic journals/resources, find the electronic journal database "Project Muse," do a search using the terms (without quote marks) "Frankenstein family" or "Frankenstein parents," and choose what seem to be the most pertinent two articles, for your purposes, from the among the first 10 or so listed.


Frankenstein Name: Institutional Affiliation: Date Introduction In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor remains the scientist who attempts to bring life to a dead body. Victor is depicted as a sentimental, intelligent, intangible and growing individual whose main interest is in chemistry and philosophy. Mary turns the gothic literature into a melodramatic approach that is submerged by emotions in describing Victor’s sensibility, flirtations, and insanity when reality hits him in this text (Aguirre, 2013). Shelley’s Frankenstein introduces a unique feature of a temperamental Swiss lab researcher who is primarily interested in metaphysics and initiates doom in a society by violating the forces of nature. To give a clear depiction of the experimental failures experienced, the author of the book names her hero Victor and pursues approaches of pursuing a synthetic living being created through a credible scientific method (Aguirre, 2013). Recovering from the grief of a deceased mother, Victor enters into a dangerous territory, a factor that pushes him beyond limits to compromise his mental and physical health, an element experienced in the gothic field. This paper, therefore, seeks to carry out a literal analysis of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley’s. Literary Analysis of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein As depicted in this paper, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor remains the scientist who attemp...

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