5 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2019
    1. the inv1_045fant Elizabeth, the only child of his deceased siste

      As Victor's cousin, Elizabeth will also play other family roles as "sister," substitute "mother," and finally "wife." In 1831 Mary Shelley changed Elizabeth's role into that of a foundling, unrelated to Victor by blood. Some modern critics believe this 1831 change avoids the possibility of incest in the 1818 novel and makes the later novel more conservative in implication. For the first arguments of this kind, see Ellen Moers, "Female Gothic: The Monster's Mother," The New York Review of Books, 21, no. 4 (March 21, 1974) and "Female Gothic: Monsters, Goblins, and Freaks," The New York Review of Books, 21, no. 5 (April 4, 1974).

    2. her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms

      Victor's intensely morbid association of Elizabeth with his dead mother, prefigured by his mother's death from scarlet fever in Chapter 1 of Book 1, associates his act of creating the Creature (whom he has just witnessed for the first time) with this disturbing disruption of the "domestic affections."

    1. Among these there was one which attracted my mother far above all the rest. She appeared of a different stock.

      In 1831 Shelley makes one of the most controversial revisions of the 1818 edition. In the 1818, Elizabeth is a blood relation--Victor's first cousin--since she is the daughter of his father's brother. In the 1831 edition, Elizabeth is instead "discovered" by Caroline. Caroline notices a comely blonde girl "of a different stock" among the dark-eyed, Italian "vagrants." When Caroline learns that Elizabeth is the daughter of a Milanese nobleman and a German woman she decides that Elizabeth and Victor should someday marry. Thus the potential implication of incest in 1818, when Victor eventually weds his cousin, is erased in 1831.

      See, for instance:

      Ketterer, David "Thematic Anatomy: Intrinsic Structures" in Frankenstein: Bloom's Major Literary Characters, ed. Harold Bloom (Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2004), 33-54; Richardson, Alan "Rethinking Romantic Incest: Human Universals, Literary Representation, and the Biology of Mind." New Literary History 31, no.3 (2000): 553-572; Twitchell, James B. Forbidden Partners: The Incest Taboo in Modern Culture (New York: Columbia UP, 1987).

    2. All praises bestowed on her, I received as made to a possession of my own. We called each other familiarly by the name of cousin

      When Victor calls Elizabeth "cousin" in the 1831 edition, the word is a term of endearment but not a term to take literally, since they have no blood relation. The term likely carries over, but with an entirely changed meaning, from the 1818 edition where Elizabeth actually is Victor's cousin (the daughter of his father's brother).

      It is true, however, that incest was of significant fascination to Shelley. Her novella Mathilda, published posthumously in 1954, concerns the relationship of a woman with her father. After sending the manuscript of Mathilda to William Godwin, he told Shelley he found the depiction of incest "disgusting and detestable," and refused to return the manuscript to his daughter.

      See Janet Todd's edition of Mary's novel:Shelley, Mary. Matilda; with Mary and Maria, by Mary Wollstonecraft. Ed. Janet Todd. London: Penguin, 1992, p. xvii.

  2. Mar 2018
    1. just little fornication. Everybody guilty of that

      This is what Squeak's uncle says to coerced her into having sex. Not at all consensual, but he probably also lies that he's not her uncle so that Squeak would feel more obligated to have sex. I believe that man is her uncle, and that he lies like all the other older men in this book. Squeak's uncle pulled the same shit that Celie's dad did. It seems that everyone rapes their younger siblings or offspring. what the fraq?!