Frankenstein Critical Analysis Evaluation Essay
For this assignment you will write your evaluation essay. You are required to submit only your final draft for this assignment (though we encourage all students to take advantage of the additional feedback a draft can provide). Use the grader’s feedback and the rubric to make revisions to your draft before submitting the final. Your second draft will be graded. Now that you have completed Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, you are in a good position to consider what critics have written about the novel. You will need a total of two critiques (also known as critical analysis essays) for this assignment. First, locate one critical analysis essay written about the 1818 version of Mary Shelley’s novel. You may focus most of your attention on this first critique. Your chosen critique should be reliable and located in a university publication (written by a professor,) a literary journal, or an online literary website. Following are some examples of acceptable online literary websites. You should choose from one of these if you want to use a website: ipl2 Literary Criticism collection: http://www.ipl.org/div/litcrit/bin/litcrit.out.pl?ti=fra-63 Professor Sherry Ginn’s critique:1 http://www.clas.ufl.edu/ipsa/2003/ginn.html Professor Naomi Hetherington’s critique: http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/Articles/hether.html The questions in the study guides should have helped you evaluate this criticism in your head. Now it’s time to write it down! Your evaluation may go more smoothly if you approach the guiding questions in this order: 1. Evaluate the critic/author: Who wrote the criticism you read? What credentials does the author have (education, professional career, other publications, etc.)? (If you are using a credible author, you should be able to find her/his credentials fairly easily) 2. Find the thesis of the article: What is the thesis of the critical article you’ve chosen? What point does the author want to make about Frankenstein? 3. Evaluate the thesis: Do you agree with this thesis? Why or why not? We’ve covered many ideas in the study guides. Can you find points within the guides that support your agreement or disagreement 1 Note: You should avoid reading Ginn’s article too simplistically. A common misperception is that Ginn is arguing in favor of this novel being an autobiography, but if you read her article in full, you will find that this isn’t really the case. If you misinterpret your chosen source, it will affect your own arguments, so please read carefully. http://www.ipl.org/div/litcrit/bin/litcrit.out.pl?ti=fra-63 http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/Articles/hether.html with the critical writer(s)? Look for new supporting information rather than revisiting the same ones the critics have chosen. 4. Evaluate the support: Whether you agree or disagree with the thesis, does the critic provide sufficient research from the text and outside references to make a strong case? What does the article have for support from the text or outside sources? In your opinion, what makes these references valid? Do you feel the author uses this support properly? Next, locate a second critique about the novel, and discuss how this second critique agrees and/or disagrees with the first one. For instance, if the first critic argues that Shelley’s writing is juvenile, does the second critic agree with this assessment? If the first critic believes the novel is autobiographical, does the second critic concur? These are just a few examples of how you can include this second critique in order to have a polished, comprehensive Evaluation Essay of your own. In addition to addressing each of the evaluative components above, develop your essay so it has a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. You must include an evaluative thesis statement both the introduction and the conclusion. Ensure that each of your claims are supported with valid evidence from the literary criticism you have chosen, the novel, Frankenstein, and/or the study guides. Using proper MLA2 style, insert parenthetical citations for all borrowed information in addition to a Works Cited page for Frankenstein and your chosen literary critiques; you are not required to cite the study guides if you use them. Hint: For a thesis statement, try answering a question like: How and how well does this piece of criticism state and support its argument regarding Frankenstein? You might use these as possible guidelines in crafting your thesis statement: (Critic, aka author of the critique) uses (add critic title) to (add an adjective to describe the effectiveness of the argument such as “adequately” or “inadequately”) argue that (add critic’s thesis) by (explain why and/or include your support). OR (Critic)’s (add critique title) (add an adjective to describe the effectiveness of the argument such as “adequately” or “inadequately”) argue that (add critic’s thesis) because (explain why and/or include your support). More specific thesis examples: John Smith uses “Frankenstein Critique Essay” to adequately argue that Victor’s mother created the first monster by coddling Victor as a boy. OR 2 Tip: Review the course topics for MLA resources. Failure to use MLA style will mean a point deduction. John Smith’s “Frankenstein Critique Essay” does not effectively argue that Victor’s mother created the first monster because the novel Frankenstein too strongly supports inherent good or bad, which means nurturing roles cannot be held responsible. The guidelines for this assignment are as follows: Length: This assignment should be at least 750 words. Header: Include a header in the upper left-hand corner of your writing assignment with the following information: Your first and last name Course Title (Composition II) Assignment name (Evaluation Essay) Current Date Format: MLA-style documentation and Works Cited page with all sources listed Double-spacing throughout Standard font (Arial, TimesNewRoman, Calibri) Title, centered after heading 1” margins on all sides Save the file using one of the following extensions: .docx, .doc, .rtf, or .txt Underline your thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. Reminder: You need at least two critiques in addition to the novel in Works Cited in order to receive the highest score. In other words, you need three sources total in cited in the essay and on the Works Cited page in order to earn the maximum points in the corresponding column on the grading rubric. Failure to meet the source minimum will result in a severe decrease in your grade.
January 19, 2019
Allegory in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
In 1818, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, a book which tells the tale of a young scientist named Victor Frankenstein, who, in an attempt to bring forth life, performs unnatural experiments and creates a monster. Frankenstein gives the monster life through electricity, but the hideous nature of his creation ensures he abandons him to his fate, and the subsequent consequences of this particular action result in the unfortunate events which generally occur in Shelley’s book. Over the years, several scholars and academic researchers have written critiques in attempts to decipher Shelley’s true motivations behind her work. Chief among those include Professor Sherry Ginn and Professor Naomi Hetherington, respected scholars and professors. Naomi Hetherington’s “Creator and Created in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” efficiently and effectively attempts to classify Frankenstein as a Genesis Allegory by alluding that the characters and the plot in the book bear uncanny resemblances to the persons and events in the scriptural book of Genesis.
Professor Hetherington, a faculty member at Sheffield University, likens Victor Frankenstein to God the creator because of his actions in the book. Frankenstein, a former student of the University of Ingolstadt, wants to play God, and after fashioning a body from raw materials from a graveyard, ‘breathes’ life into it by coursing a large volt of electricity through its body. However, due to the fact that he attempts to play a role way higher than his station, his creature is monstrous and hideous, and Victor effectively casts him away—uncannily similar to the biblical occasion when God cast Adam from the garden of Eden. Frankenstein’s monster itself plays the role of Adam, God’s first creation, but the absence of a life partner like eve (Frankenstein promised to fashion him a partner similar in likeness to the monster, but ultimately fell short of actualizing it) does little to deter the plot from being a genesis allegory. In the same breath, she contends that after God creates Adam, he casts him from the Garden of Eden, and that this is similar to Victor Frankenstein’s actions after he casts his creature away after creating it.
Professor Hetherington’s critique morally eviscerates Shelley’s work. She contends that in light of Frankenstein’s actions, evidence arises as to the inadequacy of man to play creator. She points out that man, in his quest for over-achieving, is “profane and immoral,” (Hetherington) and as is evident in Frankenstein, power and undue ability do not always guarantee happiness, because Victor Frankenstein’s possession of the capacity to harness electricity and create life led to misery. Generally, Professor Hetherington believes that Shelley’s work proves, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that there only misery awaits when man oversteps his bounds and attempts to play God.
On the other hand, Professor Sherry Ginn, a professor at Wingate University in North Carolina, analyzes Shelley’s work from a different point of view. Her critique “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Science, Science Fiction or Autobiography’’ as its title implies, attempts to place Shelley’s work as either science, science fiction or autobiography, and eventually—in direct contrast to Hetherington, concludes that Shelley’s work can only be science fiction. She points out that a lot of the occasions in the book are said to mirror science fiction, arguably the first of its kind, because the idea had not been actualized in the writer’s era. It is therefore evident that Hetherington’s viewpoint is different from Ginn’s. Hetherington’s critique probably even alludes to Shelley’s work as somewhat autobiographical given the similarities between the events that actually took place in her personal life and the plot of her novel. Professor Ginn does not see things from this view though, she disagrees that this is enough to classify the novel as an autobiography. As she alludes, the employment of electricity in the generation of life at a time when there had not even been any semblance of breakthrough in the invention of electricity, speaks to the rightful classification of Shelley’s work as science fiction, (Ginn) and not autobiography nor a mere science representation.
Conclusively, Professor Hetherington’s critique places emphasis on the representation of a scriptural allegory in Frankenstein. Additionally, she offers moral insights on the events that take place in the novel. Man, according to her, is incapable of creation and the responsibility that comes with it, as is proven when Frankenstein abandons his monster; something which God, the almighty creator and maker of life is incapable of. Contrarily, the main objective of Ginn’s critical analysis is to point out the events that prove the fictionalization of science as they are reflected in the novel; the outlook on scientific advancement during the eighteenth-century offered a fundamental platform for Shelley’s fictionalization of science. Baseline, while both scholars have logical foundations in their analysis, both have differing perspectives on the representation of Shelley’s novel.
Ginn, Sherry. “Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein: Science, Science Fiction or Autobiography” Oxford. Retrieved 20 October, 2018. http://www.clas.ufl.edu/ipsa/2003/ginn.html
Hetherington, Naomi. Creator and Created in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Keats-Shelley Review. 1997. Retrieved 27 September 2018. http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/Articles/hether.html
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 1797-1851. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus : the 1818 Text. Oxford ; New York :Oxford University Press, 1998. Print.