Harold Bloom on Shelley's Frankenstein Research Proposal

Pages: 3 (819 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

Harold Bloom on Shelley's Frankenstein

Harold Bloom is a writer and literary critic currently teaching a Yale University. He is well-known for his defense of Romanticism and the poets of that time. In his essay, "An excerpt from a study of Frankenstein: or, The New Prometheus," Bloom examines modern Prometheanism and the Romantic notion of self. This essay is well written and it examines Frankenstein from another point-of-view. This point-of-view looks at the relationship of the monster and Frankenstein and determines that it is a "very complex one" (Bloom) that must be put in the "larger text of Romantic literature" to be completely understood. Bloom points out the importance of the double in many Romantic works and how this literary technique comes into play in Shelley's novel. In fact, he goes on to say that it "accounted for much of the latent power the novel possesses" (Bloom). Frankenstein's monster is an "Emanation flawed" rather than a typical dream of desire.

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Bloom examines how the reader feels more sympathy for the monster than Victor does and he attempts to explain this through simple characterization. The monster is, in Bloom's opinion, the "total form of Frankenstein's creative power, and is more imaginative than his creator" (Bloom) and he is more intellectual and more emotional than the scientist is. This is an interesting circumstance, as we tend to think of monsters as frightening creatures. Shelley makes the monster "more human" (Bloom) than Victor and, as a result, more lovable. In addition, he is more hateful and more to be "pitied and more to be feared" (Bloom). All of these characteristics make him more able to realize who he is. In short, the reader can relate to him on some strange level. It is the combination of these emotions experienced by the reader, which make the novel so successful.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Harold Bloom on Shelley's Frankenstein Harold Bloom Assignment

This perspective brings Bloom to his thesis, which is that Shelley's novel "it vividly projects a version of the Romantic mythology of the self" (Bloom). Bloom explains there are two "paradoxes" (Bloom) in the novel and each one "illuminates a dilemma of the Promethean imagination" (Bloom). The first paradox is that Victor was successful in his endeavor. He was not just successful; his creature was "more imaginative even than himself" (Bloom). Victor's mistake, Bloom states, is the "moral error" (Bloom) of failing to love his creation. Even worse, he hated the creature and ran away from it and the responsibilities attached to it. The… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Harold Bloom on Shelley's Frankenstein."  Essaytown.com.  November 23, 2009.  Accessed January 16, 2022.