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Creator and creature: a distance relation between science and human being in Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus (1818) and Flowers for Algernon (1966)

Grant number: 22/00383-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2022
Effective date (End): December 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Comparative Literature
Principal Investigator:Daniela Mantarro Callipo
Grantee:Mariana Casarin Frata
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL-ASSIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Assis. Assis , SP, Brazil


Science and intelligence thematic are common in the genre of science fiction novels, usually composed of narratives in which the events are revolved around experiments that, in a rational view, could occur in the future in acceptable proposals, although absurd, like the possibility of reviving dead bodies or human intelligence increasing. Therefore, it is common that, when experimental science shows itself well succeeded in that type of novel, it is also found in reports that show how people start to deal with it and the impacts that take place in their life. This project has the purpose to analyze how the relation between creator and creature is presented and developed in the novel Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), by Mary Shelley, and in Flowers for Algernon (1966), by Daniel Keyes. It will be compared the way that the divergences between the two analyzed objects - firstly, Victor Frankenstein and the monster, in Frankenstein (1818); in second place, the scientists Prof. Nemur and Dr. Strauss, together with Charlie Gordon, in Flowers for Algernon (1966) - result in abandonment and social distance feelings to the considered creature, exposing the fact that science and the experiments that are realized stand, in truth, for the benefit of the own creator, which denounces a kind of scientific vanity and self-centeredness. Therefore, the expectation for this work is to confront the two novels, in order to understand in which way the scientific artifices and the knowledge development can guarantee wisdom and illuminate paths and, at the same time, contribute to the dehumanization and exclusion, mainly from the ones who find themselves in a denial and neglect position. (AU)

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