Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Final paper proposal

1.       Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Dover Publication, Inc, 2009. Print.
I’ll be using this novel as the main focus of my final paper. Focusing particularly on expanding my first revision.
Wilson, Edward. On Human Nature. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004. Print.
I’ll use Wilson to discuss transcendental goals. I’ll also use other some points from Wilson to prove my main argument.
Freeman, Scott, and Jon C. Herron. Evolutionary Analysis. 4th ed. San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2007. Print.
This is my textbook for my class on Evolution. I’ll use evolutionary topics to discuss limitations of evolution that would limit transcendental growth of knowledge that Victor and the monster seek.
Rauch, Alan. “The Monstrous Body of Knowledge in Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’.” Studies in Romanticism 34. 2 (1995): 227-253. Print.
This article presents an argument largely for Victor’s quest for knowledge. However, it also includes several interesting insights about the monster’s knowledge on which could be helpful.
I’m still searching for more sources to help prove my arguments, and I’ll have more in the final paper.
2. It is an easy task for the reader to look at Victor Frankenstein and his monster as villains in Frankenstein. This could be the view that many people hold, or that they are protagonist and antagonist in the novel with no clear distinction between the hero and villain. I will argue that these men are simply on a quest to obtain transcendental knowledge, and this quest for knowledge is heroic, thus making these characters heroes. I attempted to make this argument in my first revision, but there is still more that can be done to improve the argument that I intend on doing. It is not common thought that these characters are seen as heroes for their search for knowledge, and I believe it is important to look at them in this light as it gives them another layer for the reader to understand and form opinions about.
3. I will be using Wilson mostly for his discussion of transcendental goals. I used this passage in my original revision, “Thus the danger implicit in the first dilemma is the rapid dissolution of transcendental goals towards which societies can organize their energies. Those goals, the true moral equivalents of war, have faded; they went one by one, like mirages, as we drew closer” (Wilson 4). I will use this again only I will look to build on the idea even further by using other passages from Frankenstein and also more passages from Wilson that are later in the novel.
4. I am working off of my first revision to improve it and make a stronger argument. I plan on using the comments you gave me as the main basis for what to change. I also plan on using new sources to add additional other thoughts about these two characters and their quest for knowledge. I will need to discuss the importance of these two men being heroes within the context of the novel. I didn’t delve into that topic at all with my revision. I’ll also need to make much better use of examples from the text to clarify some of my main arguments. The more interesting part of my argument is that the monster should be seen as a hero so I will work to make that argument stronger with examples and better points. In general, I will use better supplementary texts and more examples from Shelley and Wilson to improve and clarify my argument while focusing more on the monster as a hero.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea very much, and I think the research is a good start, although you might want to branch out a little on the subject of transcendence. Marcuse is very good on this subject (not that you should go there if you don't want to), for instance, although maybe it's more obvious/important to dig further into research on Frankenstein.

    What's the purpose of this argument, and how does it relate to contemporary transcendental/evolutionary thought? Are you arguing that the heroism of the monster and of Victor himself provides a kind of positive model for us, one which we can relate to Wilson? Is Wilson's clear identity as a post-religious figure part of how you can make the unconventional argument that both the monster and Victor are heroic?

    It's a a very interesting argument, and also a challenging one. My only real question is how your purpose relates to contemporary though. I look forward to seeing what you do with it - making the case won't be easy, but it's sure an interesting case to make.