Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Paradise Lost and Frankenstein - Section 2: Creators and Creations


Allusion can be a simple concept to teach.  Often we teach allusion as a reference that an author makes to another text or to an historical event. One of my  favorite allusions comes from The Catcher in the Rye when Holden says "I was crazy about The Great Gatsby. Old Gatsby. Old sport. That killed me." The allusion tells the reader as much about the time Catcher in the Rye  was written in as it does about Holden's character. There is plenty of room for discussion about the historical context of the novel, the parallel themes and Holden's character. 

However, allusion is more than a direct and passing reference.  Sometimes allusions can emotional, manifesting themselves in the tone and mood of a passage, as certain passages of Frankenstein allude to "Paradise Lost". These are often rich with meaning as authors expand or dispute themes and ideas present in the mentor text. These types of allusions allow for expanded conversations on the history of ideas, on changing attitudes and on multiple way a text can be read. 

Finally, the last type of allusion is stylistic, this is when an author adopts the speech patterns and narrative structure of another piece of work to make reference to the ideas there.  These types of allusions might be considered texts "talking" to one another, even if the plot and themes do not line up exactly, they are complementary. These are the most difficult types of allusions for students to identify as they need experience reading a multitude of texts.   

  Talking Texts
  Discourse and Questioning: Talking Texts
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Paradise Lost and Frankenstein

Unit 6: Frankenstein
Lesson 8 of 13

Objective: SWBAT identify the literary allusions Shelley makes in Chapters 10 & 11 of Frankenstein

Big Idea: "Did I request thee, Maker, from my Clay, to Mold me Man?" - Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 10

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15 teachers like this lesson
English / Language Arts, comparison and contrast, Literature, Classics (Literature), Fictional Literature, Frankenstein, allusion, Mary Shelley, Paradise Lost, John Milton, text
  55 minutes
paradise lost 42
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