March 05, 2012

Mary Shelley's 'The Last Man': things to think about

Some questions to consider while reading The Last Man:


Why should the theme of 'the last survivor of humankind' be so popular at the beginning of the 19thc?

Why do 19thc readers find such solitary figures (cf. the Wandering Jew and the Ancient Mariner) so fascinating?

How might the prophetic feel of the novel novel encapsulate contemporary anxities?

Do politics and philosophy meet successfully here?

Why would apocalyptic visions such as this be entertaining, then and now?

How far does humanity deserve its fate?

What levels of human agency does Shelley allow?


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Contemporary representations:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqQV6Jn9VZM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8LncLHhAFQ&feature=fvwrel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRKALDjSa8I


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