Terms for AP Lit Final Exam
Terms in this set (38)
Also known as the Age of Reason, Neoclassical Age, which occurred in the 1660s-1790s. During this time science started being used as entertainment, the rise of science as a serious academic discipline, and the extension of mathematical/logical theories and principles. Victor's passions are in the sciences which mirror social interests during the Enlightenment.
The science of changing one thing into another, lead into gold, discover eternal life, the philosophers stone or the elixir of life. Victor finds the secret to and is able to make an inanimate object come to life.
Analyzing character based on the physical form of their skull. Frankenstein's Creature is ugly, and that makes him scary and undesirable, even if he is a good person inside.
Sending electric shocks through a corpse in order to make it twitch and move. Victor brought a corpse to life.
Cogito Ergo Sum
Law of non-contradiction, if a belief system contains contradicting information, it might need to be re-examined and recreated.
Cogito Ergo Sum
"I think; therefore I am" was the end of the search Descartes conducted for a statement that could not be doubted. He found that he could not doubt that he himself existed, as he was the one doing the doubting in the first place.
Means "blank slate" The Creature was born a blank slate.
Born without sin, corrupted by society. The Creature was born a natural man.
Deism strips religion down to its purest elements, and only those which can be scientifically proven. Victor is scientifically driven.
Rejection of revealed religion & superstition, search for empirical evidence of Supreme Being, sacred texts vs. The Book of Nature.
Book of Nature
Not a real book, metaphor, using nature to try and find evidence for the existence of God.
Great Chain of Being
The higher up you are in the chain the better off you are. Justine is a servant for the Frankenstein family and is put to death without question, however, had she been of a higher status people may have reacted differently.
God the Watchmaker
Lots of tiny complicated pieces working together as a metaphor for the world.
Landlord who is never there when something goes wrong and needs fixing, a metaphor for God who was never there when people needed him.
An inscription, usually a quotation from another source, set at the beginning of a novel or document. There is an epigraph from Paradise Lost in Frankenstein
Craftsmen and laborers led by the mythical "Ned Ludd" who felt threatened by the expansion of machinery. The Luddites attacked factories and broke machines, and many of them were executed for these crimes (they were crimes due to the Frame Breaking Act). One could see the the creature as a representation of the machines of the industrial revolution, which victor tried to suppress. Conversely, the creature could be seen as a representation of the luddites, who tried to overthrow the machines.
Thomas Paine and Mary Wollstonecraft are Jacobins. After the French Revolution France becomes anti-Jacobin.
a novel dealing with one person's formative years or spiritual education. Frankenstein is partly this novel type
A writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person's release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention. Justine's trial for the murder of William
Complex artistic, cultural & political movement, marked by a worldwide intensification of imagination/creative activity. Partly a reaction against Enlightenment: not entirely, Emphasis on emotion, instinct & imagination, not reason, order, & logic (unless linked to revolutionary endeavor).
"The great secret of morals is Love [...]. A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of [moral good] is the imagination" (A Defence of Poetry).
a belief in the value of what is simple and unsophisticated, expressed as a philosophy of life or through art or literature, unsophisticated behavior that is unaffected by objective reasoning.
a representative of primitive humankind as idealized in Romantic literature, symbolizing the innate goodness of humanity when free from the corrupting influence of civilization.
Something of such grandeur or beauty that it inspires awe. The nature in Frankenstein can be described as sublime.
Something with uncertanties, mysteries, and doubts that can never really be resolved. Keat praised poets/writers who were capable of this.
Gothic Novel & "suspension of disbelief"
Origin of modern horror story/mystery novel; Both Wollstonecraft & Godwin helped define the genre. Frankenstein is a good example of a Gothic Novel which requires a certain amount of disbelief to understand and enjoy.
An evil double of a living person, sometimes a complete inversion, usually evil. Victor is the Creature's alter ego and vice-versa.
An alter ego is a second personality, similar to a doppelgänger. Victor is the Creature's alter ego and vice-versa.
Cult of Personality
The idea that in the Romantic era, it becomes possible for people to become famous for their private lives and not for their public work. Some Romantic writers were only popular for their private lives when they were alive, and not for their writings. Their writings only became popular after they died.
A character that is passionate, moody, cynical, and exhibits hubris. They are rebellious and flawed as-well-as ostracised by society in some way. Both Victor and the Creature are great examples of an alienated/Byronic/satanic Hero.
Excessive pride and self-confidence. Victor exhibits hubris in Frankenstein.
Two versions of this myth exist one Roman and one Greek. In the Roman myth, Prometheus uses fire to bring clay figures to life creating humanity. In the Greek myth, Prometheus steals fire from Zeus for humanity allowing civilization to develop. The Roman myth is similar to Frankenstein as Prometheus is able to create life with fire.
A Jewish myth about a life-sized clay figure that's brought to life by a Rabbi through divine-assistance in order to protect a persecuted community. This is similar to Frankenstein in that the Creature is brought to life by Victor.
Novel in the form of letters or through other communications Richard writes to Mary Lasaville making Frankenstein an Epistolary Novel.
An overarching story with stories within it. Usually occupies first and last pages.
Sub stories within a bigger story. Makes up most of the middle part of the book.
A narrator you cannot rely upon, cannot trust. Victor is an unreliable narrator as he exhibits narcissistic personality traits.
a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.