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Key Terms
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Here is a list of the key terms with which you should be familiar when studying Mary Shelley's Frankenstein:

Term

Definition

Epistolary

Written in the form of a series of letters.

Narrative

The person, as distinct from the author, who is telling the story

First person narrative

Present themselves as an ‘I’ who is involved in or witness to the events described.

Antithesis

A contrast or opposition.

‘I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel.’

Oxymoron

A combination of contradictory words.

Embedded narrative

 

A story enclosed within a frame narrative, a tale within a tale. The creature’s narrative is an embedded narrative. Victor’s narrative frames that of the monster. Victor’s narrative is embedded within the frame narrative of Walton.

Paradox

An apparently contradictory statement which is nevertheless somehow meaningful.

Protagonist

The leading character in a story.

Confessional novel

Appearing to deal with intimate experiences of the narrator’s life.

Ambiguity

When something can be interpreted in more than one way, often used to suggest uncertainty in meaning.

 

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