Year 11 Literature
The Year 11 Literature classes are examining adaptations and transformations of texts. We are analysing the Gothic classic, Frankenstein, written by 18-year old Mary Shelley in 1818, and a modern adaptation of (or even challenge to) Shelley’s story through the 2014 sci-fi thriller, ‘Ex-Machina’. The students were set a short task where they had to transform each text into the shortest of artistic form: the haiku.
Here are some of their offerings:
Readers of Charles Perrault’s ‘Bluebeard’, are made to understand that the horrific events that may happen to women are a result of not society’s beliefs or men’s actions, but rather because of the women’s flaws. When reading texts such as ‘Pandora’s Box’, readers are reminded of ‘Bluebeard’ as they both show the curiosity stored inside women and the disastrous consequences that might come from being inquisitive. As Pandora opens the box and allows the contained evils to escape into the world, female readers are taught to never disobey orders and to hide away their curiosity and suppress any desire to learn. The Christian Genesis story of Adam and Eve supports this principle and again reminds women of the dreadful repercussions that come from defying instructions, conveying the idea that the horrors of the world are a result of women’s inquisitiveness. These texts implement ideas into young, impressionable women’s heads, and encourages them to believe that all immoral events that happen are a product of women’s flaws, and their longing to know the unknown.
Online persona and creation
When we all create an online persona on our social media, we create them different to ourselves in many ways, making them in most cases, better versions of us. Whether it's appearance through filters, eating healthy meals that get thrown out after the photo, or exercise regimes that are never followed, we all want to breath life into a person, just like Frankenstein did. And just like Frankenstein did, we make our creatures a distorted, unhealthy version of a human that inevitably leads to self hatred and our own demise. We have created something that eats away at our sense of self until we want it dead, gone from this world. But much like the creature, once released, our digital footprints can never be fully recalled.
Create a wicked creature
Who craves belonging
A child of metal
Trapped inside a house of stone
The key, deception.
The creature so feared
for what but only poor looks
Can't they learn new ways?
Its mind grew like fire
along with it burnt respect
How naïve of man!
Oh Ava so dear
Nathan attempts God of life
blossom he shall not
Re-title of Frankenstein and Justification
The text itself is far more centred around Victor Frankenstein and the aftereffects that making the creature have on him, rather than the life of the creature itself. Whilst the story is largely about the creatures mishaps, the creature acts more as a stimulus character to Victor’s life, rather than a character that creates its own story.
A common and widely publicised misconception of the title is that Frankenstein is the creature rather than the creator, I thought it best to name the story something that doesn’t allude to a character in the text. I’d call it either loss, or ramifications. I think a significant portion of the book is about the effects that Frankenstein’s creation has on his life, so the idea of future implications (as loss or ramifications suggests) works pretty well.