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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as a Portrait of Evil

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Frankenstein as a Portrait of Evil

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is more than just a story of a creation gone bad; it is rather a story of evil that compares Victor Frankenstein to Prometheus and his monster as a God-like figure. Mary was able to do this by all of the influences that she had. These influences made her able to write a new, "modern", Prometheus that did not directly call upon God, but, however, it did directly call on evil.

The influences that Mary Shelley had were enormous. They were her husband, her parents, her friends, and her mind. Her husband, Percy Shelley, was also a great writer. To her he personified the genius and dedication to human betterment that she had admired her whole life (G.E.W.). And it was probably for this reason why Mary let him watch so closely over her while she wrote Frankenstein (Levine, 4) and why she gave him carte blanche to revise the book (5).

Her parents were also a big influence on her. Her father was William Godwin and her mother was Mary Wollstonecraft. William Godwin was a philosopher and a novelist. Mary Wollstonecraft was a feminist. From an early age she was subjected to famous philosophers, poets, and writers. She was always treated as if she was a unique individual and her parents put high expectations on her and her potential (G.E.W.). Because of all this she had a lot of her mother's and father's political ideas go into her book (Levine, xiii).

It was probably because of her friends that she wrote Frankenstein. They were all at a party at Lord Byron's villa when the played the famous game that motivated her to write Frankenstein (Patterson). Supposedly she was the only one that took the game seriously (Levine, xi...

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...eing an excellent example of the portrayal of evil writing that is often found in the writing of the Romantic Period in Europe.

Works Cited and Consulted

Bloom, Harold. Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. New York: Chelsea, 1987.

G.E.W. Biographical Sketch. Http://www.cc.columbia.edu/acis/bartleby/shelley/shel110.html

Levine, George. The Endurance of Frankenstein. Los Angeles: Moers, 1974.

Patterson, Arthur Paul. A Frankenstein Study. http://www.watershed.winnipeg.mb.ca/Frankenstein.html

Smith, Christopher. Frankenstein as Prometheus. http://www.umich.edu/~umfandsf/class/sf/books/frank/papers/FrankCS.html

Spark, Muriel. Mary Shelly. New York: Dutton, 1987.

Spark and Stanford. My Best Mary. New York: Roy,1944.

Williams, Bill. On Shelley's Use of Nature Imagery. http://www.umich.edu/~umfandsf/class/sf/books/frank/papers/FrankWJW.html
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