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Midsummer Nights Dream

Nine American Women poets

1ST BACHILLERATO C students are delighted to introduce you to the exhibition entitled "Nine American Women Poets." Reading from Emily Dickinson to Sharon Olds, audiences can have an idea of the literary history of the United States in what poetry is concerned. From the Transcendentalists to mother-daughter relationships through the opression of the black race and the extraordinary sensibility of a depressing young lady, "Nine American Poets" is a good opportunity to discover how American thought has evolved from the nineteenth century to nowadays. You can visit it at the High School Library.

“Frankenstein: The Creation of a Modern Myth”

On February 3rd 2011 IES Cervantes was honoured by Professor Antonio Ballesteros from the Department of Foreign Languages at the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, who delighted us with a plenary session entitled “Frankenstein: The Creation of a Modern Myth.” The venue, chaired by Professor Teresa González Mínguez, took place at the imposing atmosphere of Aula Magna, so very Ingolstadt-like. Mary Shelley, the author of the novel, her husband Percy Shelley, Peter Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, her parents, Lord Byron, John Polidori, the Villa Diodati, Geneva and the inspiring “dream vision” contributed to create one of the most tantalizing terror stories in history. Professor Ballesteros’s exploration of the literary sources which inspired the work, the study of its meaning and structure, its influences on other novels, and its representation in cinema and the arts provided our 2nd Bachillerato students with a remarkable study of one of the most intriguing pieces in Western literature.

Interesting quotations written by 2nd A, C, and D Bachillerato students in their essays on the plenary session can be read below (Thanks to Ms. Mary Kate Murphy for proof-reading):

“It is not true that Mary Shelley´s husband, Percy Shelley, helped her write Frankenstein.”

“Frankenstein is a portrait of human cruelty.”

“Frankenstein is one of the first myths that does not come from folklore.”

“All of us know the story of Frankenstein, but not as well as we think we do because Frankenstein was the scientist, not the monster.”

“It is important to emphasize that the novel was addressed to female readers, particularly to Mrs Saville, a terribly normal woman.”

“The novel represents the irony of nature because in all the stories, their creators are female figures representing the land, not like here where the creator is man.”

“The monster is not a natural creation; it does not come from God or a woman. It is made in a laboratory.”

“Frankenstein is a contemporary modern novel based on the story of the man of science who rivals the divinity and creates a new life.”

“The monsters we create, sooner or later, return to us as a responsibility. Therefore, we are responsible for what we create.”

“The moral of the story is that our monsters always come back.”

“The invention of this monster, according to Mary Shelley, comes from one of her dreams: a vision of a new human being created in a laboratory.”

“The bioethical component of the novel makes it completely up-to-date.”

“Frankenstein is also a source of inspiration for such films as Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. The movie introduces the Replicants as a perfect robotic reproduction of a human being that turns into a monster.”

“The novel criticizes science as male property.”

“Films have not been sufficiently faithful to the book. They describe the monster as a dumb, silly and disruptive being, the opposite of the literary reality.”

“The literary representation of Frankenstein is very different to the film which aims to terrify the audience.”

“Hollywood has made several changes to the novel, and they are not perfect. Many actors have performed Frankenstein. One of them is Boris Karloff. Another is Robert de Nero in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein directed by Kenneth Branagh.”

“Polidori’s novel The Vampyre (1818) was the first vampire story ever written.”

“Frankenstein eclipsed its author.”

“The first thing that shocked me was the author. I had read the book but still I did not remember the name of its author.”

“Mary Shelley’s mother –Mary Wollstonecraft– was one of the precursors of Liberal Feminism. She died of puerperal fever ten days after Mary was born.”

“In the novel, the creature - the monster, is eloquent, but in films he doesn’t even say a word.”

“In films the monster is quite similar to a machine with nails in its head and with no capacity to speak.”

“The description of the creature by Mary Shelley is fed directly from the character of Satan in Paradise Lost by John Milton.”

“A possible interpretation of the name Victor [Frankenstein] derives from Paradise Lost by John Milton. The monster’s name was never heard; it was only described as ugly, gigantic and lonely, in lust for a female companion.”

“Mary Shelley took the figure of Satan from Paradise Lost and the monster’s faculty to get his ideas through impressions from Enquiring Concerning Human Understanding.”

“Victor Frankenstein attempts to create a superman who only becomes an ugly and pathetic being.”

“Frankenstein cannot be considered an automaton.”

“In the novel there is not an accurate description of the monster. This is a common feature between Dracula, Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Grey.”

“The creature that Dr Frankenstein built was made of the most beautiful parts from dead bodies, but when he put them together, he became horrible.”

“Frankenstein’s creature was born innocent and people’s rejection of him makes him brutal and cruel, later becoming a murderer.”

“With the story, Shelley warns us about how our very actions will finally catch up with us, leaving no room to escape and make a fierce criticism toward male-dominated science.”

“The novel makes the reader think about the dangers of an emerging technological society.”

“The structure of the novel is circular and has three narrators: Walton, who tells the story to his sister, Frankenstein, and finally the monster.”

“The novel starts a new literary genre―science fiction.”

“I do not belong to the category of teenage girls who love Twilight. I respect them, but frankly, it makes me laugh to see a teenage vampire who does not want to bite humans and instead, puts glitters in the sunlight. I think it has destroyed the myth of vampires that I used to like so much.”

Nine American Women poets

“Frankenstein: The Creation of a Modern Myth”