A Trouvaille

Look what I found whilst cleaning out my room…

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I read this book along with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for my capstone course, Studies in Romanticism, in my senior year of college. Using these two books for my thesis, I argued that subjectivity is rooted in knowledge in both Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and that both authors depict knowledge differently. I successfully argued that Shelley depicts knowledge negatively by showing how Victor Frankenstein’s pursuit of power leads to his tragedy. While, on the other hand, Austen depicts knowledge positively by showing that Elizabeth Bennett’s self-awareness leads to felicity.

At that time, we were required to write at least 15 pages for which I was a tad bit worried. I did not know if my topic would be able to span that long. So when I started to formulate how I was going to about it, I started making an outline. I love outlines! They help me focus. They don’t only help me focus, they help students focus. I used outlines to help 5th grade students collect their thoughts as they started to write 4-5 paragraph essays. And they loved it because now they knew where they were going with their topic. Anyways, I started to make an outline and I worked on it, added to it, and perfected it for about a month and a half. See, for me, I don’t start to put anything on paper until I have some sort of content going for me. If you give me a blank piece of paper, I won’t even touch it until I am sure of what I am going to put on that paper. I may write over, scratch, and tear my outline paper to shreds, but I will never touch that blank piece of paper until I have something solid. And you better believe that I made use of that outline. Lines and arrows filled the entire page as sentences climbed up the sides. For each new point I made, I assigned it a number which represented a page. When I was satisfied with what I had, I started writing. For me, writing is an active process. When I started writing, I knew that from my outline I would not be able to come up with 15 pages of solid writing alone. But I knew that along the way, I would be able to come up with content that is relevant to my topic. And boy! was I on fire! I had submerged myself deep into my writing. From arguments that I had previously made, new arguments arose. And just as I had done with my outline, I was working my way through my paper. This was my canvas at that moment and I was working my way towards perfecting it. I wrote 16 pages in three days. All that work payed off because I received an A+ on that paper 🙂 .

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