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Lecture Notes on Frankenstein and the Gothic - Generally features strong elements of the supernatural psychotic sexually perverse or a combination of all three - Gothic usually featured dark brooding setting Damziels in distress - When Shelley wrote Frankenstein Gothic had gone out of fashion - 1818 Gothic played for laughs or reanimation - Shelley no clear distinction between good and evil - She updates Gothic out of medieval world into her world Fairly contemporary setting in mind Key use of scientific debates of her day - electricity Distinction between life and death debated - Paradigm - new historicism and cultural matriculation loosely represented by Marianne Butler - The text in relationship to history is important as there is a relationship between the text and the background The historical contexts form a background to the texts themselves and a text becomes fundamentally different from background as it transcends it Resulting from developed modes of reading progress of research or a lack of distinction A text has no borders as it participates in wider cultural and discursive society The new historicist reading is a mix of anthropologist historian and criticist This is the way in which Frankenstein is to be read - In the case of Frankenstein Mary Butler relates it to a debate between materialists and vitalists - Vitalists life is something added to matter - ie Electricity Experiments with seeing life through fluid means Theologically positioned in the 19th century leaves free room for the soul and biblical This represents vitalist to the extreme - Materialists Her husband wrote a defense of aetheism Percy Shelley which resulted in expulsion from Oxford University It was dangerous to be an aetheist as there was no need for a soul Early reader of the book would have had a very different perception Important question surrounding origin of human life - Ultimate Questions - Was man made in Gods image - When
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