This video is a clip from the National Theatre adaptation of Mary Shelley's gothic novel, Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus. Everyone thinks that the creature is called Frankenstein, but the Doctor's creation is never given the dignity of a name. Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller talk about giving this nameless creature a voice. You can watch both versions of Danny Boyle's monster hit, Frankenstein, streaming for free on YouTube.
Brainstorming Worksheet Due: by Sunday 10/24 (11:59pm)
Complete Rough Draft Due: by Sunday 10/31 (11:59pm)
Final Draft Due: by Sunday 11/7 (11:59pm)
Length: 1,800 – 2,100 words (5-6 pages) write the word count at the bottom of the page. (The works cited page does not count towards the word count.)
Citation: A formal works cited page is required and multiple quotes are required.
Text Titles and Authors: The following are the texts used in Unit 2. You are required to use Frankenstein as your primary source of evidence, but you are also required to incorporate Asma and your own secondary source to help you analyze the text.
So, you see a giant, hideous creature shambling down the road towards you as you walk to work one morning. Your first instinct is to run away screaming, grab a mob of your closest friends, and drive this monster out of town. But wait! As an educated person, you stop yourself and ask the all-important question: ‘why’? Why did you call this creature a monster? Why did you react with violence?
Thinking back to your favorite English class, you contemplate your own assumptions about what a monster is. You think about your own culture and the fears and anxieties that you’re reading into this creature, and you wonder about the creature’s own life and motivation.
Then you see the creature pick up your next-door neighbor (the one with the 2am parties when you have to get up at 6 to open at your job. The one who keeps stealing your mail and running over your bike) and fold him in half like a pretzel.
‘Yup,’ you think, ‘that’s a monster.’ Then you sprint for a group of your closest torch and pitchfork wielding buddies.
Summary of Assignment:
For this essay we are going to be working with cultural definitions of ‘monster.’ We are going to be looking at why people in Frankenstein are so quick to label the Creature a monster. We’ll look at the cultural fears and anxieties that lead to the creation of the Creature. And finally, we’ll look at our own cultural obsession with understanding the motivation of monsters and decide if we can call the Creature a monster or not.
Section 1—Why does the society in Frankenstein label the Creature ‘monster’?
Section 2—What are the fears and anxieties of 1818 that the creature represents?
Section 3—How does a modern reader analyze the Creature? And can we label him ‘monster’ or not?
The introduction needs to bring your reader into the topic of the paper in an interesting way while giving him or her the required information necessary to understand the argument you are making in the body of the paper. Aim for no more than a page and a quarter (1 ¼ page) at the longest.
Include the following within the introduction:
Example Thesis: 1Society in Frankenstein labels the Creature ‘monster’ because of his appearance and violent actions. 2On a symbolic level, the Creature represents the fears and anxieties of the clash between the new Enlightenment ideas and the Counter Enlightenment movements. 3Modern society analyzes the Creature and recognizes that his rage comes from abandonment and isolation but cannot justify his premeditated violence.
Remember, the goal of the introduction is to suck the reader into your paper and to set him or her up to successfully understand your ideas and discussion in the body of the paper.
The body of the paper is where you will do the work of analyzing Frankenstein. You will need to have three main sections for the body of the paper. I recommend titling each of the sections. This allows you to have a clear sense of what you are proving in the section. It also helps to cut a long paper into bite-sized pieces.
A. Why does the society in Frankenstein label the Creature ‘monster’?
Look at the criteria that the society in the book uses to define ‘monster’ in terms of the Creature.
B. What are the fears and anxieties of 1818 that the creature represents? This section is going more macro. You are working on the larger cultural fears and anxieties that we can see in the character of the Creature.
C. How does a modern reader analyze the Creature? And can we label him ‘monster’ or not? This section has two requirements—you will need to analyze the Creature’s actions in terms of motivation. You will then have to decide if you are willing to label the Creature ‘monster’ and why or why not.
The conclusion needs to wrap up the ideas within the paper while not resorting to summary.
Organization of Assignment: The paper should be organized into three sections—the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
Use of Evidence in the Essay: Each section of the body is required to include quotes from the fairy tale under discussion as well as quotes from the critical work. Direct quotes should be carefully selected, properly contextualized, and introduced beforehand, and commented upon afterwards. Remember the 20/80 rule. If more than 20% of the essay is devoted to quotation, then there is not enough analysis and explanation. I need to see more of your analysis than source material.
Use of MLA in the Essay: Essays should be formatted according to MLA style rules. In addition, all quotations and paraphrases should be properly cited according to MLA rules, and all texts should be cited on a Works Cited page, properly formatted in MLA style.
Grammar / Correctness: Any final draft writing should be formal and clear, and the essay should contain few errors. The goal to strive for is fewer than one error per page. Remember that using ‘I’ infrequently is acceptable. Using ‘you’ is not acceptable. Remember that ‘you’ either sounds accusatorial or assumes a personal relationship with the reader that a writer does not have. Be careful with possession vs. contraction. If grammar has been a problem this semester, make an appointment with the writing center and get extra help editing your own paper.
Revision Policy: You are welcome to revise Essay 2 if you are not happy with your grade on the final draft. If you choose to revise, you will need to meet the following requirements.
Evaluation of Essay: Look at the posted scoring guide for Essay 2 for details.
Competent essays will do the following: