New Horizons 考试辅导(SAT\ACT\SSAT)& Language Arts

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New Horizons 9th Writing Contest(2)

Author: Source: Date:2019-1-25 15:09:11 Popularity:12

Upper Years(G8-9)



Teacher's Review: This past semester our Upper Years Writing class read the gothic horror classic Dracula, (among others). For one of our writing assignments, students were asked to compare one of the characters to the English Victorian ideal “Angel in the House,” and illustrate her fall to the creature she becomes as she is exposed to the animalistic evil of Dracula. Lilian’s submission did this well, using appropriate source material and sophisticated e­xpression that also mirrored the writing in Dracula itself, giving the paper a firmly Victorian feel.

Lillian's work:

Even though Lucy accepted Arthur’s proposal and was engaged to him, she felt truly sorry for “two of the poor fellows”, Dr. Seward and Quincey Morris in her letter to Mina, and that she was so miserable and couldn’t bear seeing these men she knew loved her honestly “going away and looking broken-hearted”. 

She also expressed, in an obedient manner, that “a woman should tell her husband everything”, that she believed in the idea that husbands should be head of the household and the moral leader of the family. These features displayed by Lucy are undeniably similar to how wives in the Victorian era loved, honored and obeyed their husband, and how they sacrificed themselves daily to sympathize with the minds and wishes of others.

Then, however, something bizarre started happening to Lucy. She had begun sleepwalking, undressed, without realizing it. One night, as Mina awoke and searched for Lucy, she caught sight of the half-reclining, snowy white Lucy on a bench, completely exposed, with only a skimpy nightgown that was totally inappropriate for a Victorian fiancée to wear, and with “something, long and black, bent over her”; from where Mina was she could see “a white face, and red, gleaming eyes” when the black figure raised his head, all of which suggests that Lucy was touched by evil, by Dracula,symbolizing her loss of purity and indirectly foreshadowing Lucy’s inexplicable conditions in the coming days. 

As Lucy described her nighttime walk, she recounted an out-of-body experience and a weird, blissful sensation; she even “had a vague memory of something long and dark with red eyes”, which suggests Dracula’s assault on her and further reiterates vampires’ threat to female purity.

As she continues getting weird, creepy and really weak, Lucy developed severe anemia, being “more horribly white and wan-looking than ever”; in a few weeks, all of her suitors gave her blood transfusion, one after another, to try to save her, but one night she was attacked by Dracula in the form of a wolf and a bat.

Van Helsing and Dr. Seward found Lucy barely alive on the morning after she was attacked. Magically, those bite mark on her throat had vanished, and she now had “canine teeth”which looked longer and sharper than ever: a sign that she has become a vampire. After waking up, Lucy requests a kiss from Arthur in a rather lustful and unconventional manner. “A spasm as of rage flit like a shadow over her face; the sharp teeth champed together” as Van Helsing pulled Arthur away from her. Lucy has become a demon, to the point that there was no way she could be saved.

Lucy was drained of blood and died, and was interred, but there were soon reports of small children being attacked and injured on their throats, each child claiming to have been taken by a bloofer lady to play. Van Helsing and Dr. Seward suspected that the bites on children’s necks were made by Lucy, who had risen asa vampire. 

They went to her coffin one night to find it empty, and witnessed her feeding on blood to satisfy her inhumane hunger. When directly confronting Lucy, we as the audience can completely sense her falling from the gentle “Angel of the House”to the repugnant, fallen creature--Lucy tossed the child whom she once carried onto the ground when being interrupted by the men, callous as a devil, and became a seductress beckoning her fiance Arthur(whom she almost seduced) with a wanton smile and a hypnotic voice. 

“Her sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness”, and her eyes “unclean and full of hell-fire” while “blazed with unholy light”. These sensual characteristics on Lucy are totally opposite from “The Angel in the House”, the ideal wife in Victorian culture.


Teachers's Review : Harry is a thoughtful student who is never afraid to voice his opinion in class. He always takes the time to formulate a well-reasoned response that makes his classmates think about the question or problem in a new way. His essay does this as well. By considering the abstract and trying to focus on the root of Frankenstein and his monster's problems, Harry is able to give us a unique perspective of the themes and cautions tackled by Mary Shelley's time honored masterpiece.

Harry's work:

In the novel” Frankenstein”, the author introduces the readers to Frankenstein’s and the monster’s tragic experiences in the first 16 chapters. The purpose of tragedy is to learn from them in order to avoid them. Although their misfortunes are different on the surface but, in fact all tragedy occurs because of a lack of connection to the outside world in the essence.


FromFrankenstein’s perspective, he soughtto combine the old and new science to create a new being. Victor became obsessed with the idea of creating the living form and acts upon it. Immediately after creating the monster, Victor fell into a depression and fear, only to find tragedy from the monster. Convinced his youngest brother's murderer was his creation, he sets off to find the creature.

For the monster, he was first created by Victor Frankenstein at the University of Ingolstadt. Because he was formed into a hideous and gigantic creature, the monster faces rejection and fear from his creator and society. He was even compassioned to the acceptance from his "adopted" family, the De Laceys. During the time he spent in De Laceys house, the creature also begins to learn about himself and gains general knowledge through the books he reads and the conversations he hears from the De Laceys. He learned aboutthe evils of human nature and decided to murder for revenge.


First, Frankenstein’s despair and tragedy occurbecause of a lack of connection to either family or society. Put another way, the true evil in the novel is not Victor or the monster, but isolation. When Victor becomes lost in his studies of mad science,he removes himself from human society. So he had a chance to focus on things of his own for no one could disrupt him. Therefore, Victor’s extreme “determination” makes him to lose sight of his responsibilities and the consequences of his actions, not fully aware of the consequences of creating a new race of humans. 

Thus he spends his entire life trying to destroy the same creation. His focus on his creation ultimately destroy him. If Victor had not cut himself off from the outside world, he will tell his family what he is doing and listen to his family’s advises. So the tragedy is more likely to alter. However, not until he had created the monster did Henry Clerval met him and bought a letter to him. Victor realized he had focused on the wrong things just then. By then there’s no way to change the fact that the new being will bother Victor until he’s dead. Victor’s experience had a lot to learn from.

The author thought that boundaries should exist to contain what man truly requires knowing since men are greedy, they cannot utilize their knowledge in a positive way. During Shelley 's time, industrializationand science began advancing at unfathomable rates. Shelley feared that mad scientists innovate in some ways inhuman. (For example, the concept of modern school is first introduced in that era. Going to school is certainly an inhumane innovation.) Therefore, in her novel, she pointed out that communication with friends or family is a solution to her worry toward mad science.


Furthermore, the monster turns vengeful not because it's evil, but because of isolation that fills him with overwhelming hate and anger. Since he was rejected by the society and his creator, his only understanding about human nature was from two books–Plutarch’s Lives and Sorrows of Werter. Meanwhile, these two books are all very negative books. Frankenstein’s monster only learns the negative part of the human nature. 

However, human nature was complex, one cannot understand it through books. If the creature had chance to interact with people, he will understand the positive side of humans. It is said by the monster “If I have no ties and affections, hatred and vice must be my portion.” This quote proves that isolation filled the being with hatred and rage. And what is the monster's vengeance? To make Victor as isolated as he is.


Add it all up, and it becomes clear that “Frankenstein” written by Mary Shelleyfind isolation from family and society as the worst imaginable fate, and the cause of hatred, violence, and revenge.

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