Summary of Lawrence Lipking’s Essay “Frankenstein, the Real Story”
L. Adam Mekler Prof. Mekler English 102:111 April 17, 2014 Lawrence Lipking’s Analysis of Frankenstein In his post, “Frankenstein, the Real Story; or, Rousseau Judges Jean-Jacques,” Lawrence Lipking provides a detailed analysis, not just of Mary Shelley’s unique itself, however also of the criticism of the book that has actually appeared over the last quarter century. Essentially, Lipking’s essay is divided into two parts.
In the very first part, Lipking discusses that Shelley’s novel is a perfect work for contemporary critics to discuss, mostly because its topic lends itself to a range of different analyses from a range of viewpoints, nobody of which needs to develop itself as exceptional to the others. In this method, he primarily takes part in reader-response criticism. In the 2nd part of the essay, Lipking usages close textual analysis to demonstrate the availability of the novel to criticism by participating in a source research study that concentrates on one text as a main impact over the work: Rousseau’s Emile.
The essence of Lipking’s initial argument can be found near the start of the essay, where he discusses, “The things of the dispute is not to prove or refute or win but just to participate, equating the novel into one’s own discourse” (Lipking 316). In this regard, there appears to be a cooperative environment surrounding critics of the novel, whose shared appreciation of the novel appears to take precedence over the need to provide a “winning” interpretation of the book. Everyone seems to win, here. One noticeable exception, however, to this uplifting experience, consists of the trainees found in the classrooms taught by these academics.
They, it seems, are obviously not consisted of in this vital community unless they concur with their trainers’ frequently really prejudiced analyses of the novel in favor of the creature and against Victor Frankenstein. Such teaching, Lipking laments, “minimizes the unique to a late-twentieth-century platitude, offering readers an opportunity to feel excellent about their own superior knowledge” (319 ). This circumstance, Lipking asserts, does the novel itself a terrific injustice: “Frankenstein does not let its readers feel excellent.
It presents them with real, insoluble problems, not with any simple escape” (319 ). Therefore, Lipking suggests that less troublesome readings are needed, and he in truth presents among his own in the remainder of the essay, in which he discusses the methods which Shelley’s novel exposes the strong influence of Rousseau’s book of education, Emile. Lipking, Lawrence. “Frankenstein, the True Story; or Rousseau Judges Jean-Jacques.” Frankenstein: Contexts, Nineteenth-Century Responses, Criticism. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. NY: Norton, 1996. 313-31. Print.