StudentShare
Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Search
Go to advanced search...
Free

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - Book Report/Review Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
Mary Shelley and her novel, Frankenstein (Shelley), occupy a position in literary history that is unique due to a variety of reasons. Mary Shelley's position within a literary circle that comprised the great poets of her age, P.B. Shelley and Lord Byron, and her illustrious parentage (William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft) put her at the meeting-point of a variety of influences that helped shape her literary sensibilities. …
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93.1% of users find it useful
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Frankenstein by Mary Shelley"

The Creator and the Creature: Frankenstein Mary Shelley and her novel, Frankenstein (Shelley), occupy a position in literary history that is uniquedue to a variety of reasons. Mary Shelley's position within a literary circle that comprised the great poets of her age, P.B. Shelley and Lord Byron, and her illustrious parentage (William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft) put her at the meeting-point of a variety of influences that helped shape her literary sensibilities. The influence of John Milton’s Paradise Lost is visible in her writings. Many writers have commented on this influence, Burton Hatlen’s influential essay, “Milton, Mary Shelley and Patriarchy” (Hatlen) being the one that to a great extent enables a unification of the theories regarding the influences of her parents, her literary circle and her personal reading of Paradise Lost. A professor at the University of Maine and a distinguished American literary scholar, Burton Hatlen was committed to the cause of Marxism and was an ardent supporter of the cause of the oppressed and the subaltern. It is this interest that seems to be reflected in his essay on Mary Shelley and her most famous work. He argues that Frankenstein seeks not to validate and reinforce the hierarchical structures of patriarchy that were propounded by the church and seemed to be endorsed by Milton in his epic. The Romantics sought to dispel this image of a conservative Milton. Hatlen places Frankenstein within this history of efforts to recover and rediscover Milton. Frankenstein, Hatlen says, carries on from where Milton’s work ended and tries to answer those questions about the Christian god that Milton raised but refused to answer because of his stated goal of having to “justify the ways of God to men” (Milton 4). The hierarchical relations between God and Adam, and Adam and Eve are mirrored in the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and his monster. Both relationships, Hatlen states, reveal an expectation on the part of the creator for ownership of the creation. Mary Shelley talks about the exploitative nature of religion and patriarchy and shows how the two are intertwined in this relationship. She attempts to conflate theories of how both these modes of oppression affect the lives of people through her work. Repeated references to Paradise Lost, in Frankenstein, validate Hatlen’s theories and the importance that he accords to Milton’s work in Frankenstein. The monster’s revolutionary thoughts derive their strength to a great extent, on his knowledge of Milton’s work that he gains from the French family near whom he had taken up residence for a brief period. For a stable social order, it is essential for relationships between the creator and the creature to be cease to assume a hierarchical nature. The Romantics were greatly interested in the establishment of such an order and this was evident in their interest in the French Revolution and in what they perceived to be revolutionary characters from literature, like Prometheus and Satan. It is this interest that Hatlen seems to be making an oblique reference to. Hatlen comments on how earlier critics of Frankenstein have pointed out the absence of any female character that can fulfill the role of the mother for the creation in the lives of Frankenstein and the monster. While acknowledging the merit of such an argument, however, one also needs to see the greater design behind such device. Mary Shelley, by not giving any female character the responsibility for ‘mothering’ the creatures in Frankenstein, forces us to rethink our assumptions about the very roles that women play in the society. Motherly roles need not be taken up exclusively by women; men can also share the responsibility, seems to be what Mary Shelley is saying. Hatlen cites the example of the character of Henry Clerval to illustrate this argument. Henry Clerval and his act of nursing back Victor Frankenstein to health is portrayed as an act of motherliness, emotions that are conspicuous by their absence, in Frankenstein, for his creature, whom he refers to as the ‘monster’. It is a similar relationship that Milton’s god shares with Adam. Adam in turn, views Eve as an inferior being. Mary Shelley’s novel seeks to accuse not a person or a community for these deficiencies, but a system, the system of patriarchy. Hatlen rightly says that Mary Shelley’s intention in the novel is to show how patriarchy reduces people to mere pawns in a game of power between the creator and the creature (as happens by the end of Frankenstein). The essay sums up the root concern of the novel succinctly when it points to the lack of “mutual respect” (Hatlen 298) between the creator and the creature, man and woman, and father and child, in patriarchy, represented by the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and the monster. Frankenstein is thus, an appeal against the deep-rooted inequalities that are engendered by patriarchal systems that prevent victims and their perpetrators from leading a fulfilling life, chasing after monsters that are largely self-created. Works Cited Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Eds Hunter, Paul J. New York: A Norton Critical Edition, 1995. Print. Hatlen, Burton. “Milton, Mary Shelley and Patriarchy”. Frankenstein. New Delhi: Worldview Critical Editions, 2003. Print. Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Eds. Teskey, Gordon. New York: A Norton Critical Edition, 2004. Print. 4 Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Book Report/Review Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/education/1418455-critical-analysis-evaluation-essay
(Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Book Report/Review Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words)
https://studentshare.org/education/1418455-critical-analysis-evaluation-essay.
“Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Book Report/Review Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/education/1418455-critical-analysis-evaluation-essay.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Feminism and Frankenstein

... Feminism and Frankenstein At the beginning of the 19th century, the concept of feminism was still relatively new. Women had specific prescribed roles to fill in society and those who didn’t fit into the mold were typically ostracized or otherwise brought to ruin. Despite this, women often found means of breaking out of their limited spheres enough to express some of the greater issues encountered within this male-dominated system. One of the more successful female writers emerging during this time period and addressing this issue was Mary Shelley. Growing up in a more progressive household and influenced by her husband and his literati friends, Shelley incorporated many of her feminist beliefs and observations within the characters...
9 Pages(2250 words)Case Study

An Overcorrection of Mary Magdalenes Biblical Role

A purely theological approach to DVC would be impossible since the claims the book makes takes issue with what has been supposedly left out of the bible. This essay will in no way attempt to question whether any non-canonical gospels should be considered; that sort of investigation should be left to historians.

As Brandon Gilvin states in Solving the Da Vinci Code Mystery, “It’s difficult to start a discussion on the creation of the bible from the Bible itself” (7). As the word of God is being questioned, it does us no good to turn to the Gnostic Gospels, the main sources of the claims of Mary Magdalene’s and Jesus’ marriage. In these texts, Mary Magdalene is the most mentioned person after...
11 Pages(2750 words)Essay

Mary Wollstonecraft on Education

Understanding that women are just as able as men in many capacities and some very important ways that she excels causes one to realize that no one should be able to take her rights away. It is the mother who gives protection for the initial nine months to the divine creative force of nature – regardless of whether the offspring is male or female. But what is prescribed in various secular and spiritual texts and what is practiced in society currently are contradictory. A female child is victimized during every step of her life, from the moment of birth, notwithstanding the fact that it is she who sacrifices at those stages. Women need to be the social, spiritual and legal equals of men. These were the arguments that Mary Woll...
10 Pages(2500 words)Assignment

The Complexity of The Book Frankenstein written by Mary Shelle

...FRANKENSTEIN By Mary Shelley Outline Frankenstein is a story which was written by Mary Shelley in the year 1818. She started writing this novel at a very early age of 18. Though this story was presented as a purely fictitious work, it has a greater depth than this. The writing of Mary Shelley expresses her ambitions. This reflection is presented in a perfect manner in the character of Frankenstein. The novel portrays an image of Mary Shelley writing her book in the work of Frankenstein while creating the monster. The ambitions of Mary Shelley as a young writer can be perfectly compared with those of Frankenstein as a young scientist trying to craft his own creation. At the same time, Mary Shelley has also related this novel...
9 Pages(2250 words)Book Report/Review

Summary of Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

...Like a fair amount of science fiction, particularly from the 19th and 20th centuries, the novel Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is a thematically complex work that takes other-worldly or speculative situations and derives from them a premise readily applicable to our own reality. Frankenstein is particularly interesting because its place in the literary canon; written during the Romantic Period of English literature, by the wife of legendary Romantic Percy Bysshe Shelley and the daughter of revolutionary intellectual parents William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, the novel shows a unique confluence of ideas and principles not seen in other works at the time. Beyond those pressures, Frankenstein is a powerfully symbolic work...
6 Pages(1500 words)Research Paper

Josephs Dialect in Wuthering Heights and Jane Wilsons Dialect in Mary Barton

...Running Head: DIALECT Joseph’s Dialect in Wuthering Heights and Jane Wilson’s Dialect in Mary Barton of the of the Joseph’s Dialect in Wuthering Heights and Jane Wilson’s Dialect in Mary Barton Dialect is a form of language that belongs to a particular region or social set up. The pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and every part of dialect is different from standard language of the society. As far as indexicality is concerned, it can be understood as a fraction of pragmatics. Pragmatics can be explained as study of language. Indexicality deals with usage and outcomes of language. It informs about the methods that are employed in comprehending language and communication as a whole. Wuthering Heights and Mary Barton employ different...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Gothic Romance: Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevensons Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

... Gothic Romance There are numerous genres in the writing community, one of the most popular ones being that of gothic romance. The books that are allotted under this have the elements of horror, romanticism as well as fiction in them; the plot is usually placed in a medieval setting. This style of literature was initially introduced during the eighteenth century and was soon followed by the release of many widely successful books in the following years such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Despite – or because of – there being a lack of the books concluding with a happy ending and the complexity displayed by the characters, they are greatly loved by the readers to this day. The villainous...
8 Pages(2000 words)Term Paper

Analysis of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

... Lecturer Essay # Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Frankenstein is the most famous work by Mary Shelley, an English and dramatist. Shelley’s father, William Godwin, was a philosopher and historian while her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft was a philosopher and feminist. Although her mother died when she was less than two weeks old, Shelley was raised by his father who later married a neighbor Jane Clairmont (Pastore, ed., 10). Shelley was thus exposed to philosophers, historians and other great people at an early age. Shelley’s growth in the world of literature blossomed when she got married to Percy Bysshe, a poet (Pastore, ed., 11). Shelley and Percy traveled across several countries in Europe including France and Germany. Throughout this period...
6 Pages(1500 words)Literature review

The Importance of Family Values and Social Interaction in Mary Shelleys Novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus

... The Importance of Family Values and Social Interaction in Mary Shelley’s Novel “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” Literature works cover a variety of topics of human beings’ actual reality serving as a reflection of their thoughts and ideas. At the time many writers have wondered whether a person has the right for creation of his own kind. Naturally, the question is not just about child-bearing; it touches the scientific approach to the issue of revival of inanimate matter and insertion of soul into it. In this respect Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” appears to be a bright example of the story focused on the creation and further life of a unique living being named after his father...
7 Pages(1750 words)Book Report/Review

Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and Johann Goethes The Sorrows of Young Werther

...Berenice Mejia English 101 Patricia Estrada M/W 9:30am-10:50am 5/16/15 Final Protagonists of Mary Shelley’sFrankenstein” and Johann Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werther” are very deep, interesting, motivated, truly exciting and incredibly dramatic. That is why they deserve attention and accurate analysis. As the main heroes Victor Frankenstein and Werther reflect and embody what authors wanted to say to their reader and ideas which creators of these characters wanted to pronounce for the general public. Both Werther and Victor die in the end however their aims and desires in life differ. In the following composition I will analyze their deepest passions, reveal what connects them and what makes them original. But I can say...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Book Report/Review on topic Frankenstein by Mary Shelley for FREE!

Contact Us