THESE PROMPTS ARE INSPIRED BY THE TEACHING RESOURCES AVAILABLE ON THE MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM WEBSITE
Complete prompts with directions and resource links below. Submissions should be 1000 words or less. Journal and reflection should be 1000 words or less each part.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS OCTOBER 15, 2020
WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON HALLOWEEN!
PROMPT 1. CREATING A 21st CENTURY GOTHIC CREATURE: 1000 WORDS OR LESS
Be like Victor Frankenstein and create a modern monster!
"A being which had the shape of a man, but apparently of gigantic stature" (25)
"The filthy mass that moved and talked" (149)
"This tremendous being...so scaring and unearthly in his ugliness" (221)
Page numbers are from Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1831). Penguin Books, 2007
For this prompt, visualize the character of the Creature. Using imagery and other literary techniques, create a 21st century Gothic Creature describing his/her appearance and that of the world in which he/she exists.
Think about the context of the term "Gothic" in different media. What does "Goth" mean to you today? As part of your description, give your creature a place to live. What would a modern day Gothic setting, a place of mystery and horror, look like? Create a landscape of a twenty-first century Gothic setting for the Creature to inhabit.
PROMPT 2. WRITE YOUR OWN GOTHIC SHORT STORY: 1000 WORDS OR LESS
Bring your main characters, their obsessions, and their world to life!
MaryShelley's novel was inspired by a ghost story writing contest amongst her friends. Only two participants in the contest completed their stories, and these formed the basis of some of modern literature's enduring myths: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and John William Polidori's "The Vampyre."
Write your own Gothic short story. Start by brainstorming the mood, setting, characters, and plotlines you'll use to make it "Gothic." Don't forget to develop the Gothic elements of your story including the setting. Describe the main characters and their obsessions. What is their conflict and how does it resolve?
To help you along, your might consider reading another example of a Gothic work. . Compare them with Frankenstein. What are the elements they share? Based on their reading, what would you say about the moods, settings, characters, and plots that are part of the Gothic tradition? This will help you develop your own story.
PROMPT 3. JOURNAL AND REFLECTION: 1000 WORDS OR LESS FOR EACH PART
How do your experiences compare to those of Mary Shelley's companion?
Mary Shelley and Claire Clairmont were both teenagers during the summer of 1814 and Claire kept a journal. How did their early nineteenth-century teenage activities compare to teenagers today? How can journal entries illustrate the times in which we live? How do they illustrate what has remained constant about being a teenager?
Keep a journal or diary for a week, writing entries at least once a day. At the end of the week, look back over your entries and reflect on the content, then write a reflection comparing your experiences to the events recorded in Claire Clairmont's journals. Save your journal and reflection as one document. What kinds of events and experiences did you record?
The Shelleys' era was imbued with the values and ideals of Romanticism. Think about this movement and what it valued. Think about your own journal or diary entries. What do you emphasize most? What do the entries demonstrate about your values? How do these emphases reflect the political, social, and aesthetic aspects of our current time and place?
PROMPT 4. CREATING A 21ST CENTURY PROMETHEUS: 1000 WORDS OR LESS
The full title of Mary Shelley's novel is Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. In Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to the human race. For this act, he was brutally punished by Zeus. Victor Frankenstein has committed a "Promethean sin," as he is a human performing an action typically restricted to the divine.
Modernize the story by creating a "modern" Promethean character inspired by Victor Frankenstein. Write a scene within which you describe for your reader your character's modern conflicts, motivations, and characteristics.
Start by reading the plot synopsis of the novel included in the Morgan Library curriculum. How can you bring the Victor Frankenstein and this story into the 21st century? Think about the circumstances of the 21st century world that would cause your character to commit this "Promethean sin."