Introduction to M.Shelley's Frankenstein

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Submitted By sfg2002
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Introduction

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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