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Lockean traces in the Creatures story in Mary Shelleys Frankenstein
2003 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

John Locke is one of the most famous and most written about philosophers that have come out of England. In the 17th century, he published several works that have become guidelines for society even at present time. He wrote about human nature and the human condition in society. His works include An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Two Treatises of Government and Some Thoughts Concerning Education. Mary Shelley was the daughter of two famous writers, Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, who both wrote about the condition of people in modern society. Mary Wollstonecraft had written her A Vindication of the Rights of Woman as a sort of attack on Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Émile, which tells about the education of children. Sadly enough, she died after giving birth to her daughter Mary, and did not take part in her education as such. William Godwin, Mary’s father, who had studied at Hoxton, where John Locke was very well seen, had also been influenced by his opinions on education, most of which can be found in Some Thought Concerning Education. Rousseau and Locke were much discussed during the 19th century, as the interest in education was great at this time. Locke’s On Human Understanding can be found in Mary Shelley’s own list of “Books Read” between 1814 and 1816, which is right before she wrote Frankenstein. Therefore it is likely that one can find these ideas in her work. The aim of the essay is to investigate which traces of John Locke’s thought might be found in the Creature’s story in Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s first novel. Some of Locke’s key concepts will make up the headings and function as the base of the essay. They will be presented in the beginning of each part followed by what is to be found in Frankenstein on these subjects. The chosen concepts are “The “Tabula Rasa””, ”Experience”, “Disposition”, “Role-models”, “Virtue”, and “Punishment and Reward”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. , 14 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53722Local ID: ENG C-15OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53722DiVA: diva2:1102282
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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