LAVC History Essay

Your next essay in this class, Essay Two on Frankenstein's Legacy, is not due until Sunday, April 10, though you have some preliminary work on it due on Monday, April 4. Nevertheless, read through the assignment now so that you can keep it in mind as you keep reading Frankenstein. As you read, you may want to mark down page numbers and selections from the book you might want to refer to in Essay Two.

Essay Two: Frankenstein’s Legacy

The Situation: Just like in your first “think on your feet” essay assignment, in this assignment you aren’t writing a traditional essay, exactly. Imagine that you are presenting at a conference on the legacy of Frankenstein in art, culture, and philosophy. Your job is to write a presentation speech that you will be presenting to your fellow scholars in which you draw connections between Frankenstein and other works of art and ideas. Because this is a speech you are writing, imagine how you’d set it up to engage your audience. You may want to use "I" and at times you may want to speak directly to the audience, just as you would if you were making a presentation in class.

Please note: in your first think on your feet assignment you were meant to write your assignment within a two hour window. There is NO TIME LIMIT that you can take to write this assignment (other than making sure you turn it in by the due date/time J). Your completed essay should be around 3 double spaced Times New Roman pages in length (about 750 words).

The Purpose: You have three key responsibilities in the speech you write.

First, you will need to select one of the following topics related to Frankenstein: specific philosophical principles; heroes and heroism; science ("bad science" and/or technology) and the gothic, or parents and children. Then make an argument about how the topic is represented or shown in the novel Frankenstein. This should be the main part of your essay (think about laying this out in your introduction and spending a few body paragraphs on this--use plenty of textual evidence from Frankenstein to prove your point!). This argument and your support of it with a few body paragraphs with textual evidence supporting it should comprise about 60% of your speech.

Second, somewhere in your essay you will need to make an argument in which you compare or contrast how your paper topic or theme from Frankenstein is connected to another source from our class (such as a reading from the unit on the Enlightenment), or a source connected to our class (such as a relevant work of art or architecture that you’ve found using the resources suggested in class) or a contemporary work of fiction or film that connects to Frankenstein. If you really prefer to focus on Frankenstein and not focus on another source, that's fine, but do at least briefly mention a different source in your introduction or conclusion...or spend a body paragraph making this connection. This reference should be given and its connection explained and should make up about 20% of your speech/essay.

Third, you’ll want to make an argument about why your observations matter and why it is worth paying attention to what you have to say. This is a good way to wrap up your conclusion in your essay. A good way to approach this is to connect how your observations are still relevant (important) in today's world. For example, are technological developments of today ever problematic or do they ever have unintended negative consequences? I've provided some links below to help you think of present-day connections. This section about why your observations matter might take up about 20% of your speech/essay.

**You do not need a Works Cited page for this assignment if you are using sources provided below or our regular class texts. If you use other outside sources, please just provide links to them so that I can check them out."

The Details: The topic of your written speech should be on one of the following topics:

  1. philosophical principles and ideas connected to our unit on the Enlightenment and truth (what makes a human human? What is ‘the truth’ in the novel?) Etc.
  2. Who is a good person/hero or villain in the novel? Are there any good people? Who are they?
  3. gender (especially the ways men and women are represented in the text)
  4. science/ethics/and scary science aka “the techno-gothic”