Frankenstein: An Allegory of Liberal Parenting Essay example

Frankenstein: An Allegory of Liberal Parenting Essay example

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A mother’s unconditional love is the constant foundation in the variable equation of successful families. But what happens when this natural instinct doesn’t manifest itself, and all a mother sees when she looks upon her new baby is an ugly, loud, smelly, and completely parasitic creature? Without the interference of the illogical sentiment of selfless love, a mother would always reject the almost unrecognizably human infant who appeared monstrous. Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, lacked this motherly instinct, a fact that she unhappily discovered at the birth of her first child, a two-month premature infant, who lived six short weeks, and was never graced with a name. Today, Shelley would probably be diagnosed with postpartum depression, and treated accordingly before her condition could escalate to its apex of postpartum psychosis, a disorder associated with in infanticide and suicide. It is uncertain as to whether Shelley ever reached this point, and the world may never know if her baby died as a victim to Shelley's inner monster, from side effects of neglect, or from complications due to prematurity. Regardless of what happened to Shelly and her baby historically, it seems evident that writing Frankenstein served as Shelley’s only venue, cast in fiction, to understand her terrifying and dehumanizing illness. If Frankenstein is read through the premise that it served as Shelley’s coping mechanism in which she played out her experience with postpartum depression, one can interpret each character frame in the story as the structure of Shelley’s self-excavation process, each delving to deeper level of Mary Shelley’s psyche.
In beginning a self-reflection, the best place to start is the beginning; childhood experien...

... middle of paper ...

...ral application.
The tragedy of Shelley’s torment is that she suffered in isolation, creating the fictional characters of Victor and the monster to suffer with her. Knowing that her personal journal pages written between the birth and death of her first child through the completion of Frankenstein are ripped out and missing, one has to wonder if Shelley burned the memento of the experience, just as in the conclusion of Frankenstein, when all traces of the grievous act are wiped from the earth by the suicidal burning of the monster. If it is assumed that through the process of writing this secret autobiography, Shelley worked to understand her issues, perhaps upon its completion she was finally able to move on. She burnt all traces of the literal history of the event, leaving Frankenstein as her eternal lesson to humanity.

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