Essay on the Influence of Mary Shelley’s Life on Frankenstein

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Influence of Mary Shelley’s Life on Frankenstein Since its publication in 1818, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has grown to become a name associated with horror and science fiction. To fully understand the importance and origin of this novel, we must look at both the tragedies of Mary Shelley's background and her own origins. Only then can we begin to examine what the icon "Frankenstein" has become in today's society. Mary Godwin was born in London in 1797 to prominent philosopher William Godwin and well-known feminist and author Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. Shortly after Mary's birth, her mother died of complications from childbirth, and this event set the stage for the strained relationship between Mary and her father. Godwin blamed Mary for her mother's death and put her in the care of her unqualified stepmother, who favored her own children and forced Mary to do tedious housework. Godwin felt that punishing Mary would satisfy his grief, and consequently Mary became withdrawn in her studies. Her talent for writing is believed to have saved her from premature suicide. Possibly as an attempt to be accepted by her father, Mary immersed herself in literary studies and her father's intellectual conversations with other philosophers. She attempted to compete with her mother's legacy by continuously writing. It was reported that Mary's "attempts to compete with her dead mother reached obsessive proportions by the time she turned seventeen." "When Mary was seventeen," writes Samuel Rosenburg, "she began taking her books and writing material to the nearby Old St. Pancras Church, where her parents had been married and where her mother was buried. There, seated in the graveyard behind the church, th... ... middle of paper ... ...ience fiction. From this novel, many other versions have spawned, each one versions of the legendary novel by 19-year-old Mary Shelley. Works Cited Florescu, Radu. In Search of Frankenstein. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1975. Glut, Donald F. The Frankenstein Language: A Tribute to Mary Shelley and Boris Karloff. Metuchen: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1973. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. London: Puffin Books, 1818. Rosenburg, Samuel. "Happy 150th Dear Frankenstein," Life. March 15, 1968. taken from "the Life of Mary Shelley" document online: http://www.desert-fairy.com/life.shtml Works Consulted http://www.mountwashingtonvalley.com/frankenstein/ http://www.cityu.edu.hk/ls/research/frankenstein/ http://www.frankensteinwaxmuseum.com http://www.rrfrankenstein.com http://www.godsandmonsters.net
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