Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

nina.stuer14
Mind Map by , created about 5 years ago

Mind Map overview of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley for IB English and Literature

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nina.stuer14
Created by nina.stuer14 about 5 years ago
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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
1 Characters
1.1 Robert Walton

Annotations:

  • Robert Walton: The ship captain whose voice opens the story. He writes to his sister of how he found Victor Frankenstein on a dog-drawn sled in an ice storm and nursed him back to health. He is the first "frame" of the frame within a frame (three times) set up of the story
1.2 Victor Frankenstein

Annotations:

  • Victor Frankenstein: The unfortunate protagonist of the story, Victor tells Robert Walton the story of how he ended up where the captain found him. He went to study in Ingolstadt, and while there, found the secret to creating life. He created a hideous but intelligent monster, and then fled the scene in horror. "Victor keeps his creation of the monster a secret, feeling increasingly guilty and ashamed as he realizes how helpless he is to prevent the monster from ruining his life and the lives of others." (As seen in Spark Notes) He is the second frame of the frame within a frame set up, as he tells his story within the letter of the ship captain.
1.3 The Monster

Annotations:

  • The Monster: Frankenstein's gentle yet grotesque looking monster, who tries to assimilate himself in regular human life. Everyone who sees him ostracizes him, leading him to feel alone and angry. This ultimately causes him to wreak havoc on Victor's life, in an attempt to exact revenge. He is the final frame within the other two, as he tells his story of tragedy and loneliness to Victor within Victor's story to Robert Walton.
1.4 Alphonse Frankenstein

Annotations:

  • Alphonse Frankenstein: Victor's father, who loves and supports him, and reminds him often of the importance of family.
1.5 Elizabeth Lavenza

Annotations:

  • Elizabeth Lavenza: An orphan three or four years younger than Victor that the Frankenstein's adopt. She waits patiently for Victor's affection, and ends up being the woman he cares for and marries.
1.6 Henry Clerval

Annotations:

  • Henry Clerval: Victor's friend from childhood who finds him in Ingolstadt in a sickly state right after Victor created his monster, and nurses him back to health. He is inspired by Victor, and goes on to study science like him. While Victor is rather morose, Henry is cheerful.
1.7 William Frankenstein

Annotations:

  • William Frankenstein: Victor's youngest brother; the monster strangled him in an effort to hurt Victor for abandoning him. Victor feels vastly guilty after his youngest brother's death for ever creating the monster.
1.8 Justine Moritz

Annotations:

  • Justine Moritz: A young girl that gets adopted into the Frankenstein household. She gets blamed for William's death, and is executed. Victor feels terrible about this because he knows it was his monster, and that she's innocent.
1.9 The peasant family

Annotations:

  • The peasant family: A family of peasants, including the blind old man De Lacey, from which the monster learns to speak and how to interact with others through observing them. De Lacey's son and daughter, Felix and Agatha, and a woman named Safie live with him. When the monster reveals himself, they try and beat him up and chase him away
1.10 Waldman

Annotations:

  • Waldman: The professor that sparks Victor's interest in science
2 Themes
2.1 Monstrosity
2.1.1 The monster

Annotations:

  • Monstrosity: The monster is obviously the most pervasive and obvious example of monstrosity.  He is created not in an "enlightening" and scientific manner, but rather in a dark and supernatural one, causing everything about him from his giant stature, to his ugly appearance, to be the epitome of "unnatural".
2.1.2 Victor

Annotations:

  • Monstrosity: It can be said that Victor is the real monster of this story, for becoming alienated from society by maintaining his creation a secret, for abandoning his creation out of disgust and fear, and for becoming consumed with hatred, obsessed with revenge through the destruction of the monster.
2.2 Light/fire
2.2.1 "The Modern Prometheus"

Annotations:

  • Modern Prometheus: Mary Shelley's full title "Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus" displays the importance of light and fire in the story. Prometheus was a character in a Greek mythological story that stole the secret of fire from the gods, and shared his secret with man. He was later punished harshly. Science can be seen as finding the light or becoming enlightened, thus, making Victor a Prometheus of sorts in his finding the secret of life. He is also punished, but his secret remains a secret.
2.2.2 Light = becoming enlightened

Annotations:

  • Light (becoming enlightened): In Frankenstein, science represents the lighting of the darkness that is the natural world. Science illuminates, in a way, how the natural world works. The monster's first encounter with fire displays the duality of this "light"; on one hand, light can clear the darkness (he notices it lights up the dark). On another, it can hurt whomever gets too close (he gets hurt from touching it).
2.3 Dangerous knowledge

Annotations:

  • Dangeours Knowledge: Victor Frankenstein's pursuit of knowledge leads to everyone he holds near and dear dying, and his ultimate demise. Walton learns from Victor's mistake, and ends up pulling back from his own treacherous endeavors in an effort to avoid making Frankenstein's mistakes. This theme ties in with the theme of light and fire. Science represents light/fire; Victor ended up "burning" himself through his tireless ambitions, and he destroyed his life all in the pursuit of "light".
3 Plot Overview
3.1 INTRO: Robert Walton writes his sister in England regarding how his dangerous trek has been going.
3.1.1 FINAL PART TOLD BY WALTON: Walton tells the remainder of the story in another series of letters to his sister. Victor, already ill when the two men meet, worsens and dies shortly thereafter. When Walton returns, several days later, to the room in which the body lies, he is startled to see the monster weeping over Victor. The monster tells Walton of his immense solitude, suffering, hatred, and remorse. He asserts that now that his creator has died, he too can end his suffering. The monster then departs for the northernmost ice to die.
3.2 His traveling is interrupted by seas full of ice, and he runs into Victor Frankenstein, who he finds weak and sick in the frigid weather.
3.3 Walton brings him aboard, and nurses him back to health. Victor then recounts the tale of how he came to be riding a dog-drawn sled in the icy terrain
3.4 FRANKENSTEIN'S STORY: He tells Walton of his early life spent with Henry and Elizabeth in Geneva. He then describes his going away to the University of Ingolstadt, where he studies chemistry and natural philosophy. It is here he believes he discovers the secret to life.
3.5 Victor spends months creating a creature using body parts he gets from graveyards, and then brings it to life one night in his apartment. He goes into his room and falls asleep, but his sleep is filled with nightmares combined with the image of the hideous monster looming over him. The creature is so horrifying, that he awakes in a panic, and flees his apartment in an insane fever. As he is wandering, he runs into his friend Henry, who has come to study at Ingolstadt. Henry gets Victor back to his apartment, where the monster is no where to be found, and falls ill.
3.6 As Victor prepares to return to his home in Geneva to see his family and heal, he receives a letter from his father stating that his youngest brother William has been killed. He rushes home. He catches a glimpse of the monster as he walks through the forest where his brother is killed, and is then convinced that the monster did it.
3.7 Justine is tried and convicted despite her pleas of innocence; she is then executed. Victor feels infinitely guilty and responsible for the death of both William, and Justine
3.8 To try and ease his immense grief, Victor heads to the mountains. He runs into the monster who then tells his story
3.9 THE MONSTER'S STORY: The monster tells Victor of his initial confusion, his learning about the elements (when he sees the fire lights the dark and brings warmth, and then burns himself because he gets too close), his being rejected from a hut he enters in search of food, and how he travels to a village where he is rejected yet again based on his appearance. He vows to stay away from humans, and heads back into solitude in the woods. He comes upon a cottage, and can see inside, so he starts learning the language of the people he watches based on their actions. As he learns their language, he realizes they are increasingly sad because they are becoming poorer. When he realizes this is because he has been stealing food to stay nourished, he promptly stops and starts putting fire wood by their door to try and make up for it.
3.10 He realizes that he will never receive the same type of affection the people give each other because he is too grotesque and feels extremely alone.
3.11 PART II OF FRANKENSTEIN'S STORY: After hearing the monster's story, the monster tells Victor he wants him to make another monster, a female, who will be his sole companion
3.12 Frankenstein goes away to start creating the female monster, but gets scared after seeing the male monster looking in on him grinning a terrible grin as he works, and destroys her. The male monster is then outraged and tells Victor he will be with him on his wedding night to exact revenge. Victor takes a boat later that night and drops all of the scrap body parts into the water. He is then met at the shore by policemen who tell him he is under arrest for the murder of his friend Henry, who has been strangled by the monster.
3.13 Victor falls ill, raving and feverish, and is kept in prison until his recovery, after which he is acquitted of the crime. Shortly after returning to Geneva with his father, Victor marries Elizabeth. He fears the monster’s warning and suspects that he will be murdered on his wedding night. To be cautious, he sends Elizabeth away to wait for him. While he awaits the monster, he hears Elizabeth scream and realizes that the monster had been hinting at killing his new bride, not himself. Victor returns home to his father, who dies of grief a short time later. Victor vows to devote the rest of his life to finding the monster and exacting his revenge, and he soon departs to begin his quest.
3.14 Victor tracks the monster ever northward into the ice. In a dogsled chase, Victor almost catches up with the monster, but the sea beneath them swells and the ice breaks, leaving an unbridgeable gap between them. At this point, Walton encounters Victor, and the narrative catches up to the time of Walton’s fourth letter to his sister.

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