How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein
Different authors have different intentions for authoring their books. Whereas some write to expand literature and demonstrate literal techniques, others write to communicate on a specific issue either directly or indirectly. In a way, therefore, although writing is an art it is more or less a source of communication. Through communicating, authors can reveal a lot about someone, a specific aspect or even themselves through a particular piece of literature. Confirming these allegations as true is the writer Mary Shelley through her novel Frankenstein.
Mary Shelley was among the most famous writers of the 18th century. She first authored and published her book Frankenstein in 1831. Unfortunately, the book was not accepted by many during that era, many people have shown much interest in the book in the 20th century. Although the book Frankenstein expresses the emotions of Mary Shelley as a monster, there is also much parallelism between the life of Mary Shelley and what the book narrates.
The life of Mary was not that pleasing since her birth. It bore so many misfortunes that would remain private if not for her writing capability. However, she chooses to reveal what her life was made of and her emotional relation towards that life in Frankenstein. The book begins in a place called Geneva (Melloy n.p). It is in this specific location that Mary Shelley introduces one of the main characters Victor Frankenstein who poses in the novel as her husband. The introduction symbolically marks the beginning of the book Frankenstein.
Studies and also interviews have indicated that Geneva was a place where Mary Shelley lived with her husband and along a particular lake situated in the place was where his husband dared Mary Shelley along with three other writers to narrate various ghost stories (Shelley n.p). From here, she got inspired to write a horror novel piece. In the absence of her husband’s words on the narration of a ghost story that day along the Lake Geneva, it would be difficult for Mary Shelley to author a horror novel much less the one having a starting point at Geneva where she introduces her husband.
In the novel, Mary ‘kills’ the mother of Victor. She makes the reason for the death to be diseases which is parallel to the time she lived. During the time Mary Shelley was alive most of the people were killed by diseases and the inability of the hospital to prevent the certain occurrence. For instance, her mother also died giving birth to her since there is nothing much that the doctors could have done.
Additionally, throughout her life due to many losses, Mary has lived trying to fit in the lives of other people. In the novel, the monster is also trying to fit in the lives of others, but the people are not kind enough to let her fit in their niche. The same happens to his husband who in the novel is chasing the monster out of hatred yet in real life he is chasing Mary Shelley out of love (Hogseche 549). Given this, it is acceptable to assume that Mary reflects her life to some extent in the life of the monster.
William is an important character in the novel. Although portrayed as Victor’s brother, his character as fixed by Mary in the story reveals that his role was instrumental in Mary’s real life. To begin with, Mary gives Victor’s brother the name William which is the same name as her real father. Additionally, William is also the name of the son of Mary Shelley in reality. The character of Victor’s brother William in the novel is pleasing and one to admire basing on how Frankenstein praises him from his looks to his character as a young boy.
Perhaps this is how Mary Shelley viewed his son. As a person who is calm, charming and defenseless to the monsters regardless of how harsh the monsters are towards him. Mary is indirectly introducing his son’s life into the novel maybe because he was an essential part of his life. Therefore, he cannot miss being part of the novel narrating her life. Mary Shelley’s description of William tells the reader of the facial description of his son (Petsche 99). In this particular scene, many parallels can be drawn from Mary Shelley’s life about her son.
Another significant scene in the novel whereby Mary Shelley expresses her childhood and adulthood life is the scene demonstrating about Victor’s Frankenstein childhood and adulthood. Initially, it was clear that the mother of Victor succumbed to death due to her immune’s systems inability and the medical practitioner’s inability to treat the disease she was suffering. As a result of this, Victor Frankenstein had to be raised by his father. In a way, Mary Shelley was trying to reflect her childhood and adulthood. The reason is that in reality, Mary’s mother died while giving birth to her due to various complications (Petsche 113). Influenced by this, her father had no option other than to raise her on his own. However four years later, things were different about parenting. Mary Shelley’s father remarried, and the wife helped the father in taking care of Mary Shelley.
Further to this, Mary’s stepmother had two children who were not related by blood to Mary’s father or Mary herself. Therefore, Mary Shelley as a result of the remarriage had two stepsisters. In the novel, the reader is introduced to pretty much the same scenario by the character Mary Jane Claremont. The character Mary in the novel apart from representing the real name of Mary Shelley also represented a bit of the life of Mary Shelley. She does this when she brings two children into the Frankenstein family. The two children named Justin Moritz and Elizabeth Lavenza were the different stepsisters, and in reality, Mary Shelley also had two stepsisters (Gomez 362).
The last representation of Mary’s life through the books was through the elope scene. From the scene, one learns that Victor got married at a relatively earlier age than expected. Although it is Victor being portrayed as the one engaging in early marriage, the scene was indirectly focusing on the marriage of Mary Shelley. The reason is that through her bibliographies one learns that Mary Frankenstein got married at the age of 17 influenced by the escape with her husband where they left and returned after an estimated couple years.
In the same act, ironic foreshadowing exists that reflects the life of Mary Shelley. In the act, the wife of victor gets killed by the monster yet in reality exactly after the book was published Mary’s husband got snatched from her (Gomez 365). Lastly, the introduction of Godwin into the life of Wollstonecraft made Mary Shelley depressed and lonely as Mrs. Godwin favored her children more. In real life, the same loneliness in Mary is experienced may be because her stepsisters became more favored by her stepmother unlike her. She hence ended up hating her stepmother as was in reality.
Throughout the analysis, it is clear that the novel reflects the life of Mary Shelley. To some extent, she represented the monster in the novel though partially as different characters like Victor also represent the monster. However, it is necessary to prove how she expressed her emotions through her monster character. Through the monster character, it is evident that Mary Shelley expresses her hatred, loneliness, and depression and isolation emotions. She does this through various acts. In the case of expressing her isolation and loneliness emotions, this is portrayed in the act where she tries fitting in the life of people, and the people reject her. She also expresses her hatred emotion through familiarizing the reader with why she hates her step mother-because she favors her children more (Britton 7).
Additionally, she expresses her hatred in her monster character through killing Victor’s wife. Amidst her monster character she also emotionally reflects her loving nature as she loves William like her son who she claims was defenseless among the monsters hence the monster could not harm him. In a way, this emotionally expresses her good side as a monster (Britton 11). Therefore, from this, it can be argued that the book reveals the different emotions of Mary Shelley through the various acts she engages herself in that denote hatred and depressions. These emotions are perhaps the emotions she bore throughout her entire life.
In the beginning, it was clear authors can choose to write on their personal lives through their different pieces of art. From the analysis above, it is evident that the books Frankenstein is parallel to the life of Mary Shelley as was assumed in the introduction section. Based on the analysis above there’s no denying that the allegations are correct. The reason is that what is detailed in her novel bears much similarity from what is detailed in her various bibliographies and studies conducted concerning her life. Therefore, the book Frankenstein is a true denotation of the life and experiences of Mary Shelley. Influencing this is the fact that Mary manages to narrate her life indirectly through the book as viewed in the analysis and express her different emotions as a monster in the long run.
The desire to make history to discover what remains undiscovered, or to know what remains unknown is a timeless human goal. Although many have failed to realize this […]
It is no surprise that the function of men and women in a society plays a huge role in the pieces of literature that would arise during a specific time. […]
Frankenstein, recognized as one of the most famous literary works of horror ever written, was the direct result of three brilliant authors challenging themselves to create a story that would […]
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Shelley illustrates how the environment tears apart the life of a scientist, Victor Frankenstein. Victor’s generation of a creature from dead matter seemingly deems him an […]
Over time, the presence of patriarchal ideologies in the Western world has lessened drastically. Yet in the past, women have lived in brutal societal conditions that most people, especially men, […]
Laced with haunting similarities between the creator and the created, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein implements the Doppelganger effect to further develop the story of one man’s quest for knowledge and the […]
As a relatively new form of accepted literary criticism, gender studies can’t help but to incorporate aspects of multiple other forms of criticism. Gender criticism depends on the distinction, or […]
In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein’s behaviour becomes more and more grotesque in the buildup to the creation of the monster. When he leaves for the university in Ingolstadt […]
The Anti-Enlightenment Theory in Frankenstein. In the Age of the Enlightenment, knowledge is considered power, focusing mainly on reason and science. However, shortly after the 18th century, when this period […]
Different authors have different intentions for authoring their books. Whereas some write to expand literature and demonstrate literal techniques, others write to communicate on a specific issue either directly or […]