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Emily & Anthony Bosco


 Anthony o English teacher – St Patrick’s Marist, Dundas

 Emily o Taught in various schools, here and there for five years o Has owned and operated an English tuition business for

the past nine years


MODULE A: Comparative Study of Texts and Context Elective 2: Texts in Time In this elective students compare how the treatment of similar content in a pair of texts composed in different times and contexts may reflect changing values and perspectives. By considering the texts in their contexts and comparing values, ideas and language forms and features, students come to a heightened understanding of the meaning and significance of each text. English Stage 6 Prescriptions


Points of Comparison


1.

The Fall: Critiquing Idealism and Hubris

2.

Nature, Nurture and Knowledge

3.

Society, Class and Injustice


Romanticism o The concept of ‘harmony’ o God in Nature o Spiritual renewal

Scientific advancements o Sir Humphrey Davy o Galvanism o Scientific hubris

Industrial Revolution o Working class oppression

French Revolution

Frankenstein as a ‘Feminist’ text o Shelley’s critique of masculine hubris o Personal context – Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin and Percy Shelley


Globalisation

Corporate expansion o Rise of Asian ‘Tiger’ economies o Multi-national corporations and offshore manufacturing o Hyper-consumerism

Regan and economic rationalism o The ‘trickle-down’ effect

Rapid scientific and technological advancement o Devaluing of humanity

Increased environmental awareness

Decline in belief in God

Increased urbanisation, over-population and multiculturalism o Disconnection


1. The Fall: Critiquing Idealism & Hubris


“you cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole to those countries…” (p. 13)

“I entered with the greatest diligence into the search of the philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life… wealth was an inferior object; but what glory would attend the discovery, if I could banish disease from the human frame and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!” (pp. 39-40)


“...I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven; for nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose – a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye… I also became a poet, and for one year lived in a Paradise of my own creation; I imagined that I also might obtain a niche in the temple where the names of Homer and Shakespeare are consecrated… And now, dear Margaret, do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose? My life might have been passed in ease and luxury; but I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth place in my path.” (pp. 14-15)


“No one can conceive the variety of feelings, which bore me onwards like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source…” (p. 52)


“How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! – Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the world of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips… now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” (p. 56)


“’Devil,’ I exclaimed, ‘do you dare approach me? And do not you fear the fierce vengeance of my arm wreaked on your miserable head? Begone, vile insect!’” “’Remember, that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, who thou drivest from joy for no misdeed. Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous.’ ‘Begone! I will not hear you. There can be no community between you and me; we are enemies.’” (pp. 96-97)


2. Nature, Nurture & Knowledge


“You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been… when you reflect that you are pursuing the same course, exposing yourself to the same dangers which have rendered me what I am, I imagine that you may deduce an apt moral from my tale…” (pp. 28-19)


“As he [the professor] went on I felt as if my soul were grappling with a palpable enemy; one by one the various keys were touched which formed the mechanism of my being: chord after chord was sounded, and soon my mind was filled with one thought, one conception, one purpose. So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein - more, far more, will I achieve: treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.� (pp. 46-47)


“The weight upon my spirit was sensibly lightened as I plunged yet deeper in the ravine of Arve. The immense mountains and precipices that overhung me on every side – the sound of the river raging among the rocks, and the dashing of the waterfalls around, spoke of a power mighty as Omnipotence – and I ceased to fear, or to bend before any being less almighty than that which had created and ruled the elements, here displayed in their terrific guise… A tingling long-lost sense of pleasure often came across me during this journey. Some turn in the road, some new object suddenly perceived and recognised, reminded me of days gone by, and were associated with the light-hearted gaiety of boyhood. The very winds whispered in soothing accents, and maternal nature bade me weep no more. Then again the kindly influence ceased to act – I found myself fettered again to grief and indulging in all the misery of reflection…” (pp.91-92)


[After observing the cottagers and reflecting upon the nature of humankind] “I cannot describe to you the agony that these reflections inflicted upon me: I tried to dispel them, but sorrow only increased with knowledge. Oh, that I had forever remained in my native wood, nor known nor felt beyond the sensations of hunger, thirst and heat! Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind, when it has once seized on it, like a lichen on the rock… I heard of… all the various relationships which bind one human being to another in mutual bonds. But where were my friends and relations?” (p. 117)


“Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemblance. Satan has his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred… Increase of knowledge only discovered to me more clearly what a wretched outcast I was.” (pp. 126-127)


3. Society, Class & Injustice


[After the Monster has listened to Felix teach Safie from Volney’s Ruins of Empires] “Every conversation of the cottagers now opened new wonders to me. While I listened to the instructions which Felix bestowed upon the Arabian, the strange system of human society was explained to me. I heard of the division of property, of immense wealth and squalid poverty; of rank, descent, and noble blood. The words induced me to turn toward myself. I learned that the possessions most esteemed by your fellow creatures were, high and unsullied descent united with riches. A man might be respected with only one of these advantages; but without either he was considered, except in very rare instances, as a vagabond and a slave, doomed to waste his powers for the profits of the chosen few!” (pp. 116-117)


 Group presentations o Divide the context of Frankenstein into the following topics:     

Romanticism Industrial Revolution French Revolution Scientific discoveries Mary Shelley’s personal context

o Divide the context of Bladerunner into the following topics:  Globalisation  Corporate expansion  Scientific and technological advancements  Economic rationalism and the Regan Administration  Environmental awareness o Divide the class into groups of 3 o Assign each group an element of context to research o Have each group present a 5-6 minute presentation, complete with

photocopied notes for each student


ď‚— Introduce students to 3 points of comparison

ď‚— Using a PowerPoint presentation (similar to this one)

with Frankenstein extracts analysed alongside relevant scenes from Bladerunner, demonstrate how to deconstruct language and film techniques to form a meaningful comparison. ď‚— Either individually or in pairs, have students practice completing a written comparison of a key novel extract with a film extract, making sure students link their comparison to one of the over-arching ideas (e.g. the devastating consequences of hubris).


 ‘Glogster’ is a web-based tool, which allows individuals to

create interactive online posters.

 For the purpose of completing a viewing and representing

assessment task for Module A, students could be asked to create a ‘glog’ comparing Frankenstein and Bladerunner.

 Benefits: o Results in a visually dynamic comparative of the two texts o Students are able to embed audio and video clips o Visual representations can be shared between students in a

safe online environment o Teachers are assigned a ‘classroom’ and can mark the visual representations online o www.edu.glogster.com


Example ‘Glog’: Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis

You Tube clip Link to online text of the novel

Biography of Franz Kafka

Audio segment of the novel


 Anthony and I would like to thank everyone who attended our presentation on

Frankenstein and Bladerunner – we hope that you found it useful. Given that the sample essay paragraphs were written by a student completing this year’s HSC English examination, I am unable to make them publically available. I also had to convert the presentation to PDF form as the PowerPoint file was too large to upload. It is possible to find the relevant scenes from the film on You Tube and use a site called Keepvid to download these files in Windows Media Player format. Just go to www.keepvid.com I will also have a Teacher Resource Pack available shortly for Frankenstein and Bladerunner, as well as a variety of other resources. These can be found at my website – www.intoenglish.com.au For any interested teachers, I am available throughout the year to conduct HSC English student workshops/seminars at your school. All workshops are fully resourced and each student receives their own booklet. I have run these in the past with much success – and yes, I do travel to rural and regional schools! Please feel free to give me a call on 0403850807 or email emily@intoenglish.com.au if there is anything I can help you with.

Monstrous Worlds: Frankenstein & Blade Runner  

A presentation on Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein and Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner for the HSC English (Advanced) course.

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