Could you please mark my 30 mark essay? OCR AS English Lit :)

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username1226161
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Hello I'd be grateful if you could give me a rough 'band' or grade for this essay I just wrote in 1 hour (timed and exam conditions). It's out of 30...

Here's the link to the mark scheme which starts on pg 44 (Section B)

http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/75115-specification.pdf

To what extent do you agree with the view that the humans in Frankenstein are more monstrous than the ‘Monster’?
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), humans are undoubtedly more monstrous than the Monster himself as we see the mistreatment of the lower classes and a negative portrayal of females by the humans in the novel. In contrast, the Creature only becomes monstrous as a result of it being “repeatedly rejected” by society, as Anne K Mellor argues, causing him to be violent and therefore appear monstrous.

The contemptuous attitudes of the characters in Frankenstein towards the lower classes clearly shows their monstrosity. The trial of Justine, a servant, is described as a “wretched mockery of justice”, resulting in her being sentenced to death for no good reason. Even her name itself is heavily ironic as the mere idea of being ‘just’ and fair is destroyed in the novel. In contrast, Victor is forgiven for his crimes and freed from prison because of his higher position in society The Creature, too, suffers at the hands of Victor Frankenstein who not only abandons his creation but “spurn[s]” him and constantly calls his creation a “filthy wretch” because of his appearance as less than human. This sort of attitude was not uncommon in the 19th century as many people feared the lower classes would initiate mob rule and cause chaos in society, particularly after the events of the French Revolution at the end of the 19th century. Shelley therefore shows the humans in the novel as monstrous in their selfish attitudes towards lower classes.

The portrayal of female characters in the novel is also heavily negative as a result of the patriarchal society that they live in and the monstrosity of female treatment. This can be seen clearly when Victor destroys the female Creature; he fears that “she might become ten thousand times more malignant than her mate” and is also worried that she will reproduce. A feminist critic such as Anne K Mellor responds to this by arguing that Victor “participates in a gendered construction of the universe”. Indeed, all the females in Victor’s society die and so Shelley seems to suggest that females cannot survive in the monstrous male dominated society. This is further emphasised when Elizabeth remarks that “men appear to [her] as monsters thirsting for each others’ blood”, with no concern for female suffering.

The Creature is the character in the novel who is the least monstrous, despite many modern day readers referring to him as the ‘Monster’. He states that “I was benevolent and good, misery made me a fiend.” Indeed, at the beginning of his story, he appears innocent and is shocked by the evil and corrupt society of humans that he learns about. His intentions are good in trying to learn language and be accepted by society but he is rejected. Immediately after his creation, he is abandoned by Victor and is then influenced by the violence of the villagers he meets and the monstrous side to the gentle De Lacey family. Percy Shelley once said that “treat a man ill and he will become wicked”, which is exactly what happens to the Creature. Similarly, the critic Jonathan Bate argues that “The Creature...is the repressed nature which returns and threatens to destroy the society that had repressed it.” The violence and hatred of the ‘Monster’ is a direct result of monstrous humans in the novel and Shelley wants us to feel sympathy for him.

In conclusion, Mary Shelley presents the humans in the novel as far more monstrous than the Monster himself, reflecting Rousseau’s theory that everybody is influenced by their surroundings and therefore we cannot fully blame the Monster for his actions as he is affected by the corrupt humans around him.


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username1226161
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Anyone?
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JESSHOLMES
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Hi there. I'm an undergraduate literature student and I also tutor gcse to a level students; so I might be of some help. Frankenstein is one of the texts I will be writing on for my exam in May, so I do know it pretty well and it might be good revision for me also. I would honestly love to have a look at this for you but I won't get chance until the end of the next week. I know this probably wasn't what you were looking for but if next week comes and you still would like someone to look at it then I would be very happy to oblige. Let me know, and sorry I can't offer help any sooner.
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(Original post by JESSHOLMES)
Hi there. I'm an undergraduate literature student and I also tutor gcse to a level students; so I might be of some help. Frankenstein is one of the texts I will be writing on for my exam in May, so I do know it pretty well and it might be good revision for me also. I would honestly love to have a look at this for you but I won't get chance until the end of the next week. I know this probably wasn't what you were looking for but if next week comes and you still would like someone to look at it then I would be very happy to oblige. Let me know, and sorry I can't offer help any sooner.
That's okay, I'd really appreciate if you did have a look whenever
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Hi, does anyone have any notes on Frankenstein or key themes? The exams so close and I'm honestly lost. And which critics and quotes would be useful for Frankenstein?:erm:
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Okay, sorry it has taken me long and I hope I'm not too late, but Ive had a horrible sickness bug and haven't been fit for much for the past week

So first of all, this is a very good answer to have been written in timed exam conditions. Although I am now doing a degree in literature at university, I didn't actually do it at A Level so I might be unwise to exactly what is expected of A Level students. As I mentioned, I tutor students and said these were of gcse to a level, but I'm actually in Scotland so it's the Scottish equivalents.

I would firstly say that there is a vast landscape of critical writings on Frankenstein and so at this point Anne K Mellor is kind of a soft-target; much more has been written since. However, I don't know if these are the critics you've been told to use and so if you have, please ignore me.

Secondly, I feel at time that your points need a bit of expansion. Just an extra sentence or two after your point to elaborate further and link it directly to the question would be fine, I'm not talking drastic changes. Your second paragraph does this, but this gets lost as you get further into your answer. Of course, this is easily done under timed conditions, so you just have to remember to do it at all times. I think, for instance, your third paragraph needs to be more detailed; it desperately needs linking to the question.

I know you were probably running out of time, but you might want to mention how old, blind Mr De Lacey treated the creature before his family return and provide insight into the monster's appearance. And similarly, Victors distrust and detestation for the creature originates from its appearance. I can't remember the exact quote but when the creature pleads with Victor to create a female companion for him, Victor says something about how he felt compassion for him and wished to console him, but then the look of him turned those feelings to horror and hatred. Points like this emphasize a monstrosity of humans that the creature does not possess: prejudice. It might be interesting to draw ideas of race as well: the creature is said to have 'yellow skin' (said by Victor) and to look like a savage from an 'uninhabited island' (Walton).


I know it might seem like I'm attacking your essay but I actually think it is very good, I'm just trying to help you sharpen up your ideas. I think your answer is well developed and critical, and I would probably put it in the top of band 5. If you expand slightly on some of your ideas you will be Band 6 no problem.
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(Original post by JESSHOLMES)
Okay, sorry it has taken me long and I hope I'm not too late, but Ive had a horrible sickness bug and haven't been fit for much for the past week

So first of all, this is a very good answer to have been written in timed exam conditions. Although I am now doing a degree in literature at university, I didn't actually do it at A Level so I might be unwise to exactly what is expected of A Level students. As I mentioned, I tutor students and said these were of gcse to a level, but I'm actually in Scotland so it's the Scottish equivalents.

I would firstly say that there is a vast landscape of critical writings on Frankenstein and so at this point Anne K Mellor is kind of a soft-target; much more has been written since. However, I don't know if these are the critics you've been told to use and so if you have, please ignore me.

Secondly, I feel at time that your points need a bit of expansion. Just an extra sentence or two after your point to elaborate further and link it directly to the question would be fine, I'm not talking drastic changes. Your second paragraph does this, but this gets lost as you get further into your answer. Of course, this is easily done under timed conditions, so you just have to remember to do it at all times. I think, for instance, your third paragraph needs to be more detailed; it desperately needs linking to the question.

I know you were probably running out of time, but you might want to mention how old, blind Mr De Lacey treated the creature before his family return and provide insight into the monster's appearance. And similarly, Victors distrust and detestation for the creature originates from its appearance. I can't remember the exact quote but when the creature pleads with Victor to create a female companion for him, Victor says something about how he felt compassion for him and wished to console him, but then the look of him turned those feelings to horror and hatred. Points like this emphasize a monstrosity of humans that the creature does not possess: prejudice. It might be interesting to draw ideas of race as well: the creature is said to have 'yellow skin' (said by Victor) and to look like a savage from an 'uninhabited island' (Walton).


I know it might seem like I'm attacking your essay but I actually think it is very good, I'm just trying to help you sharpen up your ideas. I think your answer is well developed and critical, and I would probably put it in the top of band 5. If you expand slightly on some of your ideas you will be Band 6 no problem.
Thanks so much! Really appreciate it!

Just a question about "linking paragraphs to the question more"...is it okay to be really blunt and just say "this shows that humans are more monstrous than the Monster" or something like that? I'm not sure how to do that bit
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(Original post by lightningdoritos)
Thanks so much! Really appreciate it!

Just a question about "linking paragraphs to the question more"...is it okay to be really blunt and just say "this shows that humans are more monstrous than the Monster" or something like that? I'm not sure how to do that bit
Yes that is pretty much exactly what you need to do. I know it seems to obvious but examiners will be looking for markers like that to show that you are actually answering the question.
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