Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

"How dare you sport us with life", this is a key quote from Mary

Shelley's novel 'Frankenstein'. This recollection draws the reader's

attention and focuses them on several crucial themes such as religion,

science or nature, all of which were risky subjects of debate of the


In the idea of religion it is looked at as if Victor Frankenstein was

tampering with life and God as well as disrespecting the sanctuary of

life. Readers of this novel during the nineteenth century would have

been typically that of Christian faith so the novel may have been

rather controversial. Furthermore Mary Shelley used the aspect of

science and nature. This was a subject in the nineteenth century of

political debate. The political debate was that was life started by a

'Spark' from God or was life much like a patchwork quilt, bits and

pieces merged together. These themes of Frankenstein were all fears of

the time but this novel was rather unusual of novels of the time as

the literary movement of the time was mainly romantic poetry and

novels. However considering Mary's upbringing the novel may have been

predictable as Mary's whole life was surrounded by death where her

mother died soon after her birth, and she had a premature daughter who

sadly died. Also Mary was taught to be fascinated by technology yet to

be terrified as in the wrong hands terrible things could happen, so in

fact it was not unusual for the quiet girl named Mary to write such a


In chapters 5, 10 and 23 the setting is used to illuminate characters

and themes. In chapter 5 we see Victor Frankenstein's first reactions

to the birth of his life long work. The monster comes to life on a

'dreary night of November' therefore giving the feeling of a cold,

gloomy, and dark setting. This is compounded by the rain that patted

'dismally' on the planes of the window. The setting is also rather

isolated as Victor is there all alone, which in itself builds up

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