Romance in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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Romance in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley The Romantic Movement in England, and subsequently in America, occurred in the late 18th to the early 19th centuries. In her novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley conforms to many literary trends that were used by the romantics. One literary trend of the romantic era is for the story to be set in a very remote or foreign place. Possibly, the purpose of having a story set in a foreign place was to create a realm that is entirely different from the known world of the reader. After all, for a monster in an apartment in the middle of London would hardly have been believable. Above all, the Romantic writer's objective was to create new and/or different worlds so that their readers would concentrate wholly on unusual themes and ideas. In the novel Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein, the main character, has to deal with the death of his mother during a time in his life when he is ready to set out for college. The death of Victor's mother has negative consequences on his life. When Victor leaves to attend college he no longer has his mother with him and is cut off of almost all relations with females. This misfortune led to the creation of his monster. A common trend of the romantic era was the focus on emotional behavior. Throughout Frankenstein Shelley deals with some aspect of emotion, from the adoption of Elizabeth in the beginning of the novel to the death of Victor's mother. This focus on Herrera -2 emotions can explain the irrational behavior of the characters in this novel. Such as Victor's desire to play God and create life, in this case a monster and not realizing it was hideous until it came to life. The death of Victor's mother enables him to create life as he says "... ... middle of paper ... ... such as natural philosophy and chemistry, he falls upon the question of how to bring someone back to life, "One of the phenomena which had peculiarly attracted my attention was the structure of the human frame, and, indeed, any animal endued with life"(51). After Victor figured out what gives life, he experimented with creating a human being. He constructed a giant man, 8 feet tall with superhuman strength and endurance, from harvested body parts that he took from corpses. He worked secretly and without rest for almost a year, during which time his correspondence with his family and friends stopped. His health began to decline from the constant labor, little rest, poor diet, and lack of exercise, but he refused to stop working until his project was finished. I feel that this dedication also is romantic because it shows great devotion and sacrifice from Victor.

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