Gothic Fiction/Science Fiction
Mary was born in 1797 to feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and novelist William Godwin. She educated herself from her parents’ works and published her first poem at age 10. At age 16 Mary eloped with her cousin’s husband, Percy Shelley. Her cousin then drowned herself in a river. 8 years later, Percy drowned while sailing during a storm. Mary became pregnant 5 times, but 4 of her children died before age 3. She wrote the story “Frankenstein” because of a wager between her and her friends, but she was the only one to publish her story. Mary wrote “Frankenstein” at age 19 and was inspired by a dream she had about a terrifying monster. When she published Frankenstein, her husband was given credit of authorship instead of her. Mary died at age 54 in 1851 while sleeping at her current home in London. The cause of her death is not certain but it is believed that she had a brain tumor.
The story starts off with a captain named Walton finding Victor Frankenstein near death while his ship is stuck in ice. Walton revived him enough to hear the story of the miserable Frankenstein and why he is in the middle of the North Pole. Frankenstein starts off by telling him of his perfect young life, and how he was once happy and had everything. Victor describes his lovely family, friends and how he loved knowledge. But the quest for knowledge was ultimately the beginning of Victor’s end. He goes to a university and learns the secret of creating life. Victor spends days and nights creating a being and becomes insane because of his solitary work. Once the being comes to life Victor realizes that he has created a monster and runs away. While away he runs into an old friend who nurses Victor back to health. As Victor gets better he plans on seeing his family only to be told that his youngest brother was murdered. While in Geneva he decides that the monster he has created is the murderer and wants vengeance but when his creation tries to explain himself. The monster tells victor that his only way to happiness and the safety of people is to give him a mate. Victor promises the monster a woman of his species but then breaks that promise because he cannot fathom bringing another “daemon” into creation. The monster promises to be with him on his wedding night because of Victor’s broken promise. The monster then kills his friend and wife. Victor blames the monster for the death of his entire family: William, Justine, Henry, Elizabeth, and his father. After all the pain and misery Victor goes through he declares that he can only die peacefully if he avenges his family. He follows the monster all around the world until he is at the verge of death in the North Pole. The story is again narrated by Walton who tells us that Victor has died and his creation came to see him in death. Walton sees the monster and is told that Victor was his last crime and that he was going to burn himself rather than live on. Author's Style:
Frankenstein is heavily influenced by John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Frankenstein’s monster learns to speak and read from it. The monster’s own speech is identical to John Milton’s writing style and influences the relationship Shelley creates between Frankenstein and the monster. The book was originally titled The Modern Prometheus. An example of his style is seen when the monster says; “I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel...” This quote alludes to the story paradise lost which is a story that retells stories from the bible. The one being referenced at the moment is Lucifer's and Adams fall from grace.
1. “I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”
- This is the monster speaking about getting a wife or continuing to destroy things. It characterizes him as a normal person instead of a monster;