Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Reading Period 20: December 11 - 17: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Yeah, there were no neck bolts. But whatever.

Read the biographical information in the textbook on Mary Shelley and the bit of Frankenstein that's included there.


Choose one of the following:

Art Connection:

Create a portrait of Frankenstein's monster and Victor Frankenstein together, in whatever pose and setting you choose. It can be violent, peaceful, beseeching -- it can be from whatever part of the book you like or a scene in your imagination. Make sure you distinguish by appearance, dress, and posture what the differences are between the man and his creation.

Oh Mary Shelley! What an imagination!
History Connection:

Everyone knows that Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity while flying a kite in a thunderstorm. WHAT? Wait, you mean that's not exactly accurate? Write 250 words about the history of the science of electricity. What was the real science connected to electricity that Mary Shelley would have been aware of in 1818? Read this for guidance: http://phys.org/news/2010-10-halloween-special-science-frankenstein.html

Writing Connection:

Pretend you are Victor Frankenstein's college buddy. You have heard that he is conducting experiments in which he attempts to animate human corpses. This shocks you but also interests you! Do you agree or disagree with his work? Write a letter to Victor Frankenstein urging him either to push on with his efforts or abandon his experiments. Give at least three reasons in a 250 word letter.


The ten questions of the quiz are drawn from material in the biography of Mary Shelley from the Poetry Foundation web site: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/mary-wollstonecraft-shelley#poet

1.What were the "four fames" of Mary Shelley, referred to in the couplet from "The Blue-Stockinged Revels"?  
A. Mother, Father, Husband, Son
B. Mother, Father, Monster, Travel Writings
C. Mother, Father, Husband, Monster
D. Mother, Sister, Husband, Monster

2.What happened to Mary's mother right after Mary was born?  
A. She died.
B. She published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
C. She never published anything again because she was too busy.
D. She disappeared.

3.Who first published Mary Shelley?  
A. W.W. Norton in London.
B. Her step-mother's publishing company.
C. A French company that didn't mind publishing women.
D. Shakespeare and Co.

4.Where did Mary say she was most inspired to write as a girl?  
A. In the school room, while bored by lessons.
B. At the seaside in southern England.
C. Under the trees and in the mountains of Scotland.
D. In the warm library in front of a fire.

5.What was Percy Shelley's marital situation when he and Mary first got together?  
A. He was unmarried, a bachelor.
B. He was newly divorced from Harriet.
C. His wife, Harriet, had recently died.
D. He was still married to Harriet.

6.What prompted Mary Shelley to write her novel, Frankenstein, while staying with Percy Shelley and their friends in Geneva?  
A. Her husband told her to write something philosophical.
B. Lord Byron suggested a game where they all write horror stories.
C. She was out walking among the alps and saw a shadowy figure.
D. She was attacked in an alley by a large man.

7.How did Percy Shelley's first wife die, and how was that weird?  
A. She died in childbirth, and that's weird because she wasn't pregnant.
B. She drowned, and that's weird because later Shelley drowned.
C. She was murdered, and that's weird because Shelley was unaccounted for at the time.
D. She got tuberculosis, and that's weird because so did everyone else in the 19th century.

8.What made it difficult for Mary to publish the remainder of Percy's work, after his death?  
A. His work had been heavily plagiarized by Byron.
B. His later writings were of low quality.
C. So many of his manuscripts were lost in Paris.
D. Her father-in-law opposed it.

9.What happened in 1823 that showed how wildly popular the book Frankenstein had become?  
A. There were six stage adaptations of the novel in that year.
B. It was the best-selling Halloween costume at Ye Olde Walmart.
C. It was translated into six languages that year.
D. The rock band Iron Maiden produced their track "Lonely Monster" in that year.

10.What did Ferdinando Gatteschi use to blackmail Mary Shelley?  
A. He threatened to publish proof that Percy Shelley had never married her in church.
B. He threatened to send letters to the press that could be read as seductive.
C. He threatened to tell Lord Byron that Percy Shelley's son was actually his.
D. He threatened to reveal that she was not the actual author of Frankenstein.

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