Author: Mary w. Shelley
Date of Publication: 1818
Genre: Gothic- romantic novel
Characteristics of the Genre: In the Gothic Fiction, Frankenstein illustrates a mixture of horror and romance between the characters leaving readers in mystery and curiosity of what is going to happen. This is often associated with the Gothic Revival architecture. They show emotion and brings a thrilling chill of fear. Mary Shelley showed signs of mystery to make Victor create the Creature. A Gothic Double uses characters who seem good but they are associated with the characters who are evil. She gives examples of a Gothic Double when she makes it seem as if Victor was a good guy but in reality he associated with the Creature.
Historical Information about the Period of Publication: During the 1800s, the development of new ideas and experiences began to occur. This was called the enlightenment period. People became more interested in science and philosophy. Shelley portrays that in her book Frankenstein when she talks about Victor creating the creature. She became the most influential of the Enlightenment radicals.
Biographical Information about the Author: Mary Shelly was born as Mary Wollstonecraft in London, England. Her mother died after her birth so she never really knew her. Mary loved to write stories and daydream. She felt as if it was a way for her to escape into her imagination. Mary never got along with her stepmother, but became good friends with her stepsister. She later was forced to move to Scotland with one of her father’s friends. There she experienced domestic tranquility like never before. Mary met a guy named Percy Bysshe Shelly. They both believed in free love. She became alienated from her father after starting a relationship with Percy. Percy and Mary escaped to continental Europe. There, they struggled financially. Mary became pregnant and lost her first child in 1815. She had many children who all died. When Mary and some friends got trapped in Lake Geneva, one of her friends decided that they all should try to write their own horror stories. This became the formation of Frankenstein, Mary’s best work. Later, her life became very uneasy. Everyone who was close to her had died. Mary became depressed and became a widow at age 24. Mary struggled with problems caused by her dead husband Percy. She later died of brain cancer at the age of 53.
Plot Summary: Frankenstein starts off with the character Robert Walton writing to his sister Margaret. He was headed to the north pole to be somewhere isolated. He’s trying to explore a way to reach it faster than going through countries. Originally, he wanted to be a poet but he received money so he went on a voyage. He would rather accept fame and glory over money. It was his father’s dying wish for him to have a nautical life. He had to train himself for the voyage. In his next letter to his sister, he has arrived in Archangel. He states that he feels very alone because he has no true friend who can relate to him. He feels that compared to the other people on the ship, he is illiterate and not as smart as them. He gives his sister mixed emotions because he says he doesn’t know if she will see him again or if she does she wont speak to him. he turns around and says everything will be okay. After that letter it took him a while to return because nothing important has happened. All of a sudden an incident happened. They were surrounded by ice. There appeared an image of a man and a gigantic person in a sledge. Only one sledge stayed. The man boarded the ship and spoke to Robert in English. This man became known as Victor Frankenstein. He begins to tell the story of his life hoping that Walton won’t make the same mistakes as him. He begins to tell him about his father, Alfonse Frankenstein. His father’s best friend was Beaufort. Beaufort was very rich but he became poor. He saved up some money and looked for a job. This helped him