Tutor profile: Rebecca H.
Discuss the shifts in narrative perspective throughout Frankenstein. What is the effect of presenting different characters’ viewpoints, especially those of Victor and the monster?
A common Victorian trope was to use letters or newspaper clippings as a means to "validate" and "authenticate" the story itself. The shift in perspective throughout Frankenstein is working to create a similar authority that gives the novel more power and reliability. With each shift of perspective, the reader gains new information about both the facts of the story and the personalities of the respective narrators. Each narrator adds pieces of information that only he knows: Walton explains the circumstances of Victor’s last days; Victor explains his creation of the monster; the monster explains his turn to evil.
Temperament is consistent, but not deterministic. How can that be?
Temperament is consistent; it shows stability from infancy to adolescenceand even adulthood. But there are various ways that people can alter the behavioral expression of their temperament. In this class, we focused on parenting: attachment styles and goodness of fit. •Attachment(this is just one example for attachment): Having a secure attachment can provide an infant who is high in negative reactivity/ fear/ inhibition a sense of security that tempers the intensity of their reactions and lessens their level of fear in new situations. •Goodness of fit(this is just one example): If parents create an adaptive environment that recognizes and is sensitive to an infant’s temperament, the infant/child can learn to react differently than they would otherwise be predisposed to react. For example, when infants/children who have high levels of inhibition/ fear have parents who provide opportunities for them to approach new situations in ways that feel safe, they show higher levels of sociability later in childhood than uninhibited children. Whereas when parents force infants/ children who high levels of inhibition/ fear into social interactions without any support, those children will have increased levels of shyness later in childhood.
Titus Andronicus, a very early Shakespeare play, has a Moor named Aaron who is a truly villainous sociopath. He conspires in murder and incites a rape. For fun, he digs up dead bodies and props them up in front of their friends’ doors. With that sort of background, can you imagine the experience of seeing Othello for the first time? What assumptions would you make just by what you see? How long would it take you to figure out that you needed to rethink your assumptions?
By seeing Othello dressed like a Moor, it would be easy to discriminate and assume about the character based on race; especially since Aaron was so villainous in a previous play. However, Othello is the one being attacked in this play, raising questions of racism and how the English themselves can have villainous characteristics.
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