The Monster (Boris Karloff in the 1931 classic) 
Cultural Studies:
  • Frankenstein--

  • a Romantic Hero, an irresponsible father?  
  • Creation--

  • God's, man's or woman's? 
  • M. Shelley--

  • critical of  male scientist or complied with patriarchal division of labor? 
    Frankenstein and his bride (Karloff and Elsa Lanchester in James Whale's 1935 The Bride of Frankenstein) 

    Topic for discussion:
  • Mary Shelley's life and the novel- Cf.  Mary Shelley Resources -

  • a broader topic: artificial reproduction of human life or human identity

  • 1. the on-line Making of the Monster project *Please leave your messages.
    2. contemporary Frankenstein films--the theme of alien as our monstrous self? the theme of outcase
    3. contemporary cyborg films--e.g. Blade Runner,

  • Gender stratification in the novel: parallel differentiation of disciplines
  • public (masculine) power
    private (feminine) afection
    Robert Walton, --adventurer 
    Victor Frankenstein's father 
    Victor Frankenstein 
    differences between Frankenstein, Clerval and Elizabeth 36; 38
    women as angels 
    Mme. Saville-listener, waiting 
    Caroline Beaufort--rescued victim, self-sacrifice 
    Elizabeth--p. 34, 35; "mine only" 36 
    women as alien 
    Jusine Moritz--executed for W. Frankenstein's death 
    "I almost began to think that I was the monster that he said I was." 
    Safie-"the Arabian"- her independence makes her different not only from Muslim women but also from the other Christian women we see in the novel.
    2. Frankenstein's Scientific pursuit, Nature gendered as female--e.g. textbook p. 37-; 40
    a Faust/Prometheus figure, galvanism 41
    science as a male pursuit:  "As the feminist historians of science, Carolyn Merchant and Evelyn Fox Keller, have pointed out, in the words of male scientists from Bacon to DNA specialists, the history of science is the history of male study of 'female' nature, and erotic and patriarchal assumption about controlling women inform science." (Donawerth xix)

    Mellor, Anne K.  "Possessing Nation: The Female in Frankenstein."  Romanticism and Feminism.  220-232.
    Donawerth, Jane.  Frankenstein's Daughters: Women Writing Science Fiction.  NY: Syracuse UP, 1997.

    Resources on the Web: