The idea for the novel of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein came to her one night when she was staying in the company of what has been called ‘her male coterie’, including Lord Byron and her husband, Percy Shelley. Mary Shelley’s whole life seems to have been heavily influenced by men. She idolised her father, William Godwyn, and appears to have spent a good part of her life trying very hard to impress both him and her husband. There seems to have been a distinct lack of female influence, her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, having died weeks after her birth, being replaced by a neglectful step-mother. These aspects of her life are perhaps evident in her novel. The characters and plot of Frankenstein were perhaps influenced by Shelley’s conflicting feelings about the predominately masculine circle which surrounded her, and perhaps the many masculine traits that we see in novel were based upon those of the male figures in Shelley’s own life. In this essay I will attempt to show some of these traits.
After learning about the life of Mary Shelley, I have grown to appreciate the novel, Frankenstein, even more since the first time I read it. She led a life nearly, as tragic as the monster she created through her writing. Mary seems to pull some of her own life experiences in Victor’s background, as in both mothers died during or after childbirth. Learning about Mary’s personal losses, I have gained a better appreciation of her as an author and a woman of the 17th century. She had association with some the most influential minds of that
Frankenstein is among one of the most iconic novels written during the early 19th Century. This novel was written by a distinguished Mary Shelley and first published in the year 1818. Shelley’s story is considered to written before its time as it challenged many themes and ideas of humanism, natural science, ambition, abortion, etc. The novel itself sparked many controversies and debates as numerous different topics are challenged and discussed throughout the novel. Shelley flawlessly executes the story as she writes in a dramatic gothic drama tone and allows the reader to step into different views of the story by changing perspectives.
The interpretation of the young girl’s ghastly nightmare, fashioned by her own imagination derived the novel “Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus.” Mary Shelley began, putting pen to paper reveling her cautionary tale, a moral lesson hidden within a horrifying story that would awaken thrill and terror in her audience. Mary felt that if this was not accomplished, the novel would not live up to its title “The Modern Prometheus.” She relates to geographic elements that are subsequent the French Revolutionary era, with a strong connection to Greek mythology. In metaphor she illustrates how creature and creator are one in the same and with the symbolic use of sickness and nature creating the foreshadowing for events to come. Mary Shelley divulges though this novel her personal approach on humanity and life’s lessons; formulating the idea that ignorance is bliss and human injustice is wrong by taking in to account the sexiest views of the later eighteenth-century.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. The Mary Shelley Reader. Ed. Betty T. Bennet & Charles E. Robinson. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Romantic writer Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein does indeed do a lot more than simply tell story, and in this case, horrify and frighten the reader. Through her careful and deliberate construction of characters as representations of certain dominant beliefs, Shelley supports a value system and way of life that challenges those that prevailed in the late eighteenth century during the ‘Age of Reason’. Thus the novel can be said to be challenging prevailant ideologies, of which the dominant society was constructed, and endorsing many of the alternative views and thoughts of the society. Shelley can be said to be influenced by her mothers early feminist views, her father’s radical challenges to society’s structure and her own, and indeed her husband’s views as Romantics. By considering these vital influences on the text, we can see that in Shelley’s construction of the meaning in Frankenstein she encourages a life led as a challenge to dominant views.
To conclude, there were some vast differences in Owens’s and Shelley’s lives which influenced their works, nevertheless there are some similarities in both ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dulce et est. Decorum’ as shown throughout this essay in the use of themes, styles of writings and literary devices.
The idea of duality permeates the literary world. Certain contradictory commonplace themes exist throughout great works, creation versus destruction, light versus dark, love versus lust, to name a few, and this trend continues in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The pivotal pair in this text however, is monotony versus individuality. The opposing entities of this pairing greatly contrast against each other in Frankenstein, but individuality proves more dominant of the two in this book.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein: A Norton Critical Edition. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. New York: W. W.
Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, has captured people’s attention since it was first written. People often wonder how much of Mary Shelley’s life is documented in her novel. From the theme of parental abandonment, to the theme of life and death in the novel, literary scholars have been able to find similarities between Frankenstein and Shelley’s life. The Journal of Religion and Health, the Journal of Analytical Psychology, and the Modern Psychoanalysis discuss the different connections between Shelley’s life and Frankenstein. Badalamenti, the author of “ Why did Mary Shelley Write Frankenstein?” in the Journal of Religion and Health, primarily discusses the connection between Victor