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Birch Notes

Birch Notes

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Kenya Babb Study Sheet. Birch Final 6/8/12
 
One of these topics will appear on your final examination. To prepare, think about how youwould write an essay in response to these prompts and choose supporting passages from thetexts. Put post-its in your books. You may write a word or phrase on these post-its BUT DONOT BRING NOTES or an outline. (I will check your books and remove any excessivematerial.)A.Both
Frankenstein 
and
The Metamorphosis
tell the stories of a human mind and sensibilitytrapped in a monstrous body. Write an essay in which you consider the relationship between the
exterior and the interior of Frankenstein’s creature and of Gregor Samsa and what that
relationship means:What is different between the inside and the outside of each character?
Frankenstein:The creature is an extremely intelligent being. His is rational, adaptive and has very human
emotions. He fills love and awe when watching the cottager’s family and hears about their
life story. When the creature learns that him stealing the food from the cottagers causestrouble, he refrains from doing so but then does them kind acts such as cut the firewood forthem and not get too close to frighten them. The creature also feels negative emotions, suchas when he is excluded from society because of his appearance and his hatred for hiscreator who abandoned him. Although his actions may be drastic from killing a child andcausing the conviction of an innocent woman, the creature still responds to theseoccurrences humanly. The creature feels hate for the man who abandoned him leaving him
in the world, and also hate for the society that excluded him. The creature’s outward
appearance differs from his inside character because he looks like a monster than a regularhuman being.
Society doesn’t think he is capable of having human emotions so they
ostracize him, not knowing that the further they push him away, the more of a monster hebecomes.Metamorphosis:In the metamorphosis, Gregor was unappreciated by his family. None of them worked oracknowledged him for all the hard he did in a job he absolutely hated. When he turns intoa roach, the family ignores him, just as they did before but it affected them more. Becausethey could no longer use Gregor to keep up their family image, the father must go back towork. On the outside, Gregor is this bug that the entire family is disgusted with however hestill had human emotions. Gregor still wished to send Gret to music school and listen to hermusic although as a roach, the family thou
ght he didn’t appreciate these things. Gregorstill thought as a human, although he couldn’t act like one with his bug
-like appearance.
How do these differences come about? What causes them?
F:Frankenstein was born to look like a monster. He had no control over what Victor createdbut could only control his thoughts and actions. He still tried to stay rational althoughsociety still pushed him away.M:
 
Gregor’s family causes this difference. He could have still been viewed as a human or still a
part of the family since he still thought and had emotions as his human self. However thefamily thought of him as a burden and tried hard to ignore and avoid Gregor.
How do these differences affect Frankenstein’s creature and Gregor Samsa?
 
F:The creature turns into more of a monster which each exclusion from society. The creature,in rage from his abandonment inflicted on him from Victor Frankenstein, kills a boy thatthe creature knew would affect Frankenstein. The further the creature is repelled fromsociety, the ore he strikes back, trying to in a sense get revenge from his exclusion.M:Gregor continually loses his humanity as his family shuts him out more and more. He
wants to be human and act like a human but things don’t go right and he falls deeper i
ntothe mental consciousness of being a bug.
How do these differences affect other people in their worlds?
F:The people of the society in which Frankenstein was written in take no account for hishuman emotions and reactions. They only see what is outside and run from it. WhenFrankenstein saves the little girl from drowning, he does not get a thank you from herfather but instead gets shot because the father sees him as a monster acting his child. The
only person who is able to see past the creature’s a
ppearance is Delacy. Delacy is blind and
unable to see the creature’s gruesome features. Delacy appreciates the creature’s intellect
and assumes him to be a regular human who may not look very appealing. However whenFelix comes home, Felix attacks him although the creature has been the one choppingfirewood for them and protecting them.M:
Gregor’s family now has to work instead of use Gregor to keep up the family image.
Instead of just lounging around and playing music, Gret now has to work instead of being just a carefree girl. Before Gregor had turned into a bug, they relied on his money to keepup pretenses and still live a luxurious life while Gregor works everyday in a job he
absolutely hates. However, Gregor change doesn’t make his family notice or
acknowledgehim but instead ignore and avoid him even more.
How do these differences enable us, as readers, to come to know the character as well as we do?
F:These differences gives us a more interesting view of the creature because we are able to seethe emotions and actions that the society and Frankenstein seem to overlook/ignore. Thecreature acts humanly, angry at Frankenstein for making the creature so gruesome andthen angry at society for ignoring his chivalrous deeds but instead focusing on the monsterhe looks like.M:
 
We know Gregor better than his family because we are connected to his thoughts andemotions instead of just the bug crawling around that his family sees. The family no longersees their brother/son in the bug anymore but instead a burden that has taken the place of the brother who supported them.
What do these two characters reveal to us about what it means to be a human being?
These characters reveal to us that although these “monsters” don’t look like human beings,
they are still capable to love, wish, and have negative emotions just like humans. thecreature is able to love the cottagers just by listening to their conversations and thinkrationally about what stealing food does to their livelihood. He then wants to seek revengebecause he has been treated badly, just like any other human would like to do. Gregor stillloves his family. He accepts their avoiding resignedly and still wants the best life for them.He covers himself because Gregor knows that the sight of him makes his family cringe.Gregor still wants Gret to go to music school and appreciates her music, although none of his family believes he is still capable of human emotions. These two characters show thatalthough they may not like like human, being capable of human emotions and reactionsmakes them a human being.
B.Societies have long identified themselves not only by what connects their members but also by
whom that society excludes. Mary Shelley’s
Frankenstein
 
and Kafka’s
The Metamorphosis
tellstories of two outsiders, their relationships to society, and their fates.Write an essay that answers the questions:
What does society’s exclusion of a creature mean to the one who is excluded?
 
F:Frankenstein does not take being excluded well. He goes on a rampage of rage to try andget atonement for the pain society had given him. Wherever Frankenstein goes, peopleattack, scream and run away from him because he looks like a monster, not because he actslike one. Its only until society excludes them that the creature acts on the image of themonster society expects him to be.M:Gregor is excluded and ignored by his family, which further deteriorates the humanemotions and feelings he has. His family gave up on him and Gregor just accepts itresignedly. Gregor does not try to prove to his family that he is still human but insteadaccepts being avoided and tries his best to give more comfort to his family for being in thisform. Gregor does not feel any strong, harsh or negative feelings to his family who refusesto acknowledge him. Instead Gregor just accepts his fate and tries to let them livecomfortably without seeing him.
What does the outsider’s existence say about the society that excludes him?
 
F:

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