Posts Tagged ‘Romanticism’

918pNkGfAYL._SL1500_March 13th 2015 Literature Circle 7th grade Rebecca_poulson@hotmail.com

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This is a very old book – first published in 1818, when Mary Shelley was only 20 years old.

The stories we read last time were from the 1930s and 1950s, and were example of Modern literature.

Frankenstein is an example of the Romantic movement in literature, which got its start in the 1790s in England with Samuel Taylor Coleridge – in particular his poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” which Mary Shelley refers to and even quotes.

Her crowd included her husband, the great Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Someone I think Anja asked about Moby Dick, and someone mentioned Edgar Allen Poe – also part of the Romantic movement, though later, and American.

Very broadly, the later 1600s and the 1700s were the Age of Enlightenment, of a belief in rationality and science. Romanticism is at the same time an outgrowth of that belief in Man’s ability to control himself and his world, and a reaction to to the fear that man has too much control.

Cold intellect is not enough – there is something more, that can be accessed through the power of Nature. Not a pretty park, though, but a dramatic thunderstorm (the lightning-destroyed tree is a frequent motif in Romantic art) or near sinking at sea.

The Romantic is still very much a part of our culture today: the romantic hero is the tormented artist, who does not fit in with the ordinary people and concerns all around him. His exquisite sensitivity, and access to Meaning, is a source of torment. Passion and emotion are great values.

Frankenstein also is considered the first work of science fiction; it also begat the Gothic genre, as well as horror. And written by a teenage girl!

In Frankenstein there is also the very old theme of hubris, or pride – what got Eve and Odysseus into trouble. Frankenstein dares to trump God.

This is an awesome book.

So, for next time (the week after Spring Break), finish reading the book, and choose a topic to research and report on one of the following, or something else relevant to the book (briefly):

The Enlightenment and Thomas Jefferson (Romy)

The Romantic Movement in literature (McKayla)

the Napoleonic Wars (Abby)

Mary Shelley (Cora)

The Circumstances of writing Frankenstein

The Romantic in Art

The Romantic in Music


Differences between the book and the movie

Economy of England 1816 – colonialism

Class system in England 1816

Women in England 1816

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