Shelley's Use Of Romanticism In Frankenstein By Mary Shelley

1612 Words7 Pages
Devian Poteet

2 December, 2014

British Literature

Frankenstein: Mary Shelley 's Use of Romanticism Throughout Mary Shelley 's novel "Frankenstein," first published in 1818, an educated reader can see the great influence that the literary movement of romanticism had on her writing in this particular novel. It can be said that Mary Shelley was heavily inspired by romantic writers, such as Percy Shelley and Lord Byron (Duncan). Shelley also incorporated some Gothic styled themes into her novel, which seemed to first contradict what would have been considered as romanticism. Many gothic writers incorporated themes of horror and supernatural, while the romantic writers focused on nature and what is natural. That being said, an argument can be
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Shelley challenges the reader to consider what is natural and unnatural. Throughout the entire text, romanticism is highlighted through the distinct emphasis on the difference between what is considered science (man playing God), and what is nature (a happening that comes as natural as birth). The monster, very distinctly, represents the concept of what is unnatural and scientific. When Victor Frankenstein creates the monster, Shelley describes what becomes an imbalance and uneasiness in what is known as the natural course of life. This imbalance of nature, ultimately results in Victor 's losses, such as the loss of his own sanity, his family, and loved one. It causes the reader to question whether or not Victor, or the monster is the antagonist. What 's so clever about Shelley setting up the story in somewhat of a "frame" storyline, is that Victor 's story of losing the battle between what is natural and what is unnatural acts as a setup for the end of the novel. "You seek for knowledge and wisdom , as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been" (Shelley). Victor warns Walton, the man who has saved him from the cold, as Walton creeps closely to trying to reveal nature 's…show more content…
Rather than pinpointing a problem and solution, she allows the reader to make up their own mind about the novels significance. She does not give the book a happy ending, nor does she state a common theme in the last sentence. Rather, she lets the reader ponder over the death of Frankenstein and the unknown disappearance of the monster. The man dies and the monster lives; the possibilities of what this might mean are many. Shelley incorporated themes and qualities that one might find in most romantic writing, but she uses them in such a way that it challenges the original use of them. By combining themes and ideas used in romantic writing with elements that are highly daring and gothic, she creates endless new opportunities for both the
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