Thursday, January 26, 2017

Frankenstein Summary: Worse than Shmoop

The story of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley begins in the form of letter from Robert Walton. Walton describes in these letters meeting a traveler out to sea who claims to in pursuit of a monster. The novel of Frankenstein is set as Walton’s telling of Victor Frankenstein’s life. Victor Frankenstein, the main character of the story, grew up in a wealthy house in Geneva in Switzerland. His wealthy father and mother had another son, William, and the family adopted Victor’s cousin, Elizabeth, who is to marry Victor when they are both ready to do so. As a young man, young Frankenstein became enamored by science, specifically the old sciences such as alchemy and the work of Cornelius Agrippa. Through Victor’s studies of these old sciences and its mastery in Ingolstadt, Victor attempts to study the creation of life. He begins and experiment to give life to a previously lifeless body. His experiment is successful, resulting in the awakening of Victor’s creation. Unfortunately, the creation’s appearance is hideous to the young scientist and he runs away in fear of his own work. He later returns to see that his creation is gone. After some time in Ingolstadt, Victor learns of the death of his brother and the accusation of Justine Moritz, a girl taken under the Frankenstein family’s care, as the murderer. He returns to Geneva and goes hikes in the mountains to calm himself. There he meets his creation and hears his story.
                His creation, upon leaving Ingolstadt, wanders the forest and collects food and learns the power of fire. In his wanderings, the creation learns of the hatred people have for him just by his wretched appearance through violence. After some time, he comes upon an ideal family and begins to learn from them moral values and language. After some time of observing them, he chooses to introduce himself to the family, but they too are disgusted by the creation. The creation then says that Victor must create a companion for the creation or Victor will find the creation on his wedding night.

Victor chooses to go on a tour of Europe and begins creating this companion in Scotland. In Scotland, Victor chooses to destroy this companion, fearing the results of her creation. Because of this, Frankenstein’s creation kills Victor’s friend, Clerval. Victor is framed for the murder but is eventually let free. He returns to Geneva and marries Elizabeth. On their wedding night, the creation enacts his revenge by killing the new bride. Victor begins to dedicate the rest of his life to enacting revenge on his creation and hunts his creation. This hunt leads the two north, where Victor, on the brink of death, finds Walton. Walton then decides to assist Victor in his quest. After the crew of the ship argue otherwise, Walton decides to return to England. After Walton makes this decision, Victor dies. A short time later, Walton comes upon the creation weeping over the body of Victor, claiming he no longer has a reason to live. The monster then tells Walton his struggles and sufferings. He then walks off into the cold north alone. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Audience and Genre: Two Intertwined Concepts

Audience and Genre are often words misunderstood. Genre, as described by Bullock, Goggin, and Weinberg, is the form in which a writer presents their work. This presentation can fall under two separate sub-descriptions for genre, structural genre and thematic genre. This structural genre reflects the presentation and form of the work, such as whether to write in the form of letter, novel, non-fiction work, etc. Thematic genre represents the generally thought of definition of genre, where common themes and devices are used to tell stories. This thematic genre includes Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, and other categories that we commonly think of.

Audience, to whom we write, plays an integral part of style and genre in writing. Audience is both those who read what is written and those who we write to. Audience, being an extremely broad term, greatly affects the way in which we write and present our thoughts. This effect is twofold. When writing, there is often an intended audience to whom a writer wants to spread his or her message. This intended audience and their ability to properly digest a piece of writing greatly affects the structural genre of the work. If one is trying to reach a less educated audience, his or her work would not be published in a scientific journal as a scholarly article. Instead, a news article or social media post would be better to reach the desired audience. This intended audience also affects language and tone, another large component of genre. In the same example, long, complicated words would not be used to try to reach this same uneducated audience.

Audience and genre are two intertwined concepts that affect each other. As mentioned earlier, the intended audience greatly affects the genre in which a work is written. This changes and molds the general structure and presentation of many writings and works. However, the intended audience and the actual audience are not always the same. This actual audience depends greatly on the structural genre, as discussed, and the thematic genre. For example, writing in the Sci-Fi genre will often attract younger people, often males. In this way, genre and audience constantly play off each other and change the way we present our thoughts and messages. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Definition of Science Fiction

To me: Science Fiction has a very set definition, despite the fact that recent readings have argued otherwise. 

Science Fiction is the class of writing where an adjustment in technology toward progression causes an unforeseen shift in the daily lives of characters in the work. Science fiction often pertains to the characters in these works to deal with the consequences, both positive and negative, of this revelation in technology.