Introduction to M.Shelley's Frankenstein

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sfg2002
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Frankenstein was Mary Shelley's (1797-1851) first published novel, written when she was only eighteen years old in 1818. In her preface to the 1831 edition, Mary Shelley tells the reader that she was asked by her publisher: "How I, then a young girl, came to think of, and to dilate upon, so very hideous an idea?" Explaining where and why the idea for Frankenstein came to Mary Shelley could answer it
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (living with but unmarried to the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley); Shelley; George Gordon, Lord Byron; and Dr. John Polidori spent the summer of 1816 in Switzerland. According to a 1 June 1916 letter by Mary Shelley, "almost perpetual rain confines us principally to the house." Lord Byron (a friend of Shelley's) and his physician John Polidori, resided nearby at the Villa Deodati. Persistent heavy rains kept them indoors, the four finally resorted to telling familiar and recently published horror and ghost stories. For days they told tales which included gothic elements: graveyard and convent, burial vaults, mysterious trap doors and passages, wild locations, secluded spots, and pursuits by moonlight. Finally, one evening at Byron's villa, they made a pact to see who could write the most frightening ghost story. Both Percy Bysshe Shelley and George Gordon, Lord Byron, had earned widespread fame; even Mary had first published a book at the age of eleven (Mounseer Mongtongpaw). Each undertook the task eagerly. It is said that Mary had a nightmare on which she draw the idea for her novel. She dreamt about a student who sewed together dead limbs and thus created new life. Spurred by the horror of her nightmare, Mary completed the story within two months and the novel appeared on January 1, 1818.
The question I would like to examine in this paper is whether Frankenstein's Monster is a villain or a victim? "Am I to be thought the only…...

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...Monster Speaks" N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2013. Baldick, Chris. In Frankenstein’s Shadow: Myth, Monstrosity, and Nineteenth-Century Writing. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1987. Bernard E. Rollin. Frankenstein Syndrome: Ethical and Social Issues in the Genetic Engineering of Animals. Cambridge University Press, 1995. Betty T. Bennett. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: An Introduction. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Bloom, Harold, ed.Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987. Caroline J.S. Picart. The Cinematic Rebirths of Frankenstein: Universal, Hammer and Beyond. Praeger, 2001. Dorothy Nelkin and M. Susan Lindee. The DNA Mystique: The Gene as a Cultural Icon. Henry Holt & Company, 1996. Forry, Steven Earl. Hideous Progenies: Dramatizations of Frankenstein from the Nineteenth Century to the Present. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990. Frankenstein: Complete, Authoritative Text with Biographical, Historical, and Cultural Contexts, Critical History, and Essays from Contemporary Critics, 2nd ed. Johanna M. Smith, ed. St. Martin's Press, 2000. "Frankenstein." N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2013. "Frankenstein Quotes." By Mary Shelley. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2013. Goldberg, M. A. "Moral and Myth in Mrs. Shelley's Frankenstein. In Keats-Shelley Journal, Vol. 8, 1959, pp. 27-38. John Williams. Mary Shelley: A Literary Life. St. Martin's Press, Inc., 2000. Jon Turney. Frankenstein's Footsteps: Science, Genetics and......

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...1818, by an “anonymous” author, Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus has inspired numerous adaptations, remakes and parodies across different literary genres. Reprinted again in 1831, this time with an introduction written by Mary Shelley acknowledging her authorship, Frankenstein through its discrediting of science and the omnipotence of nature, confirms ands challenges our own habitual understandings of the world around us. The habitual understanding I will be focusing on is western hegemonic rationalism and the dominance of science as the ruler and explainer of my universe in comparison to the earlier more romantic ideology of Shelley’s time. Frankenstein also carries a warning about ambition. In a society that believes ambition to be a good thing, Shelley attempts to revel catastrophic consequences for humans over come with the quest for glory and science’s obsessive and overly ambitious nature. Western hegemonic ideal is the cultural identity that has conditioned me, becoming habitual, normal and routine. However, Shelley was privileged as she was writing at the beginning of the scientific enlightenment era, and could therefore identify what would be lost if science and technology were to usurp the position of God, nature and fate. Art, emotions, passion, suffering, humility etc were to be restricted into liminal spaces, creating a world not unlike Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World. Romantic philosophies have been endorsed in Frankenstein through the downfall of......

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...Name: Course: Tutor: Date: The theme of alienation in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein Frankenstein, as a book, is one that is rich with ideas on how mankind can be able to utilize knowledge for evil and good intentions. The book also brings out how some individual, those without knowledge or ‘defected’, are treated by society at large. In another instance, the book helps to illustrate how mankind views and is affected by technology. One of the main characters of the story is Victor Frankenstein. Victor is a young scientist obsessed with finding the unknown secret of life. To this end, he manages to create a creature out of dead organs; in his laboratory. At first, the monster is gentle, but mankind negative attitude and fear towards it manages to change that. To this end, the monster seeks revenge towards its creator; it manages to do so by killing close relatives of its creator. The book clearly illustrates the theme of alienation and the innocent bystanders that are directly affected by it. Frankenstein and his character are presented as one complete thing; with one being a complement of the other. This paper aims to explore and support the theme of alienation in Mary’s book. The book starts with a clear illustration of alienation in the form of the scientist; victor. Victor has faced alienation almost his entire life. The alienation is seen from his childhood, work, and the society at large. The life of victor is that of science; his mission and goal being that of......

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