The Creature Within

756 Words4 Pages
At age eighteen Mary Shelly had already dealt with more traumatizing experiences than an average person would have to handle in a life time. Following her mother’s death, ten days after Mary’s birth, her father, William Godwin remarried in 1801, to a woman who had little interest in her new husband’s daughter. Having never had the chance to get to know her birth mother, and receiving little to no affection from her second, helped set the stage for Mary’s novels. Frankenstein, her most famous novel, was first published in 1818, and is nothing more than a glorified journal entry.
Characters as well as situations from Mary’s life are all reflected in the attention capturing plot of Frankenstein. Even Mary herself can be found in Victor Frankenstein’s monster. As a creation that never truly got to know his creator, Frankenstein’s monster felt secluded and socially isolated just as Mary did growing up. At a young age Mary blamed her step mother for alienating her already estranged father from her. Frankenstein’s creature had similar feeling towards his care giver. "Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us" (Shelley93). In this Mary felt she had emotionally lost her mother as well as her father. Living socially isolated in a dysfunctional family is also a very strong situation portrayed in her novel. "Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded" (Shelley94). None of this was helped by the fact that Shelley was expected to live up to the overpowering reputations of both of her parents. In a way, Shelley was an intellectual monster of her parents' creation - a radical thinker in a society where radical thinking, or think...

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...tural act of procreation in which a woman became unnecessary.
Sigmund Freud once pointed out that people often unintentionally manifest their own unconscious in their actions (Dobie 49). A shining example of this would be Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In this famous novel about a man creating life, much of Shelly’s childhood is evidently reflected. Throughout the piece Shelley’s personal psychology came face to face with her adolescence, and what she discovered was her own creature.

Works Cited

Dobie, Ann B. Theory into Practice: An Introduction to Literary Criticism. Thomson Heinle. Boston, MA. 2002.

Hayes, Kas. “Similarities Between Author and Creation in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein-The Monster Within”. Yahoo Contributor Network. 3 Oct. 2008. Web. 17 May. 2014

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003. Print.
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