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Frankenstein And The Alienation And Loneliness Of Mary Shelley

1933 words - 8 pages

"All men hate the wretched; how, then must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us. You purpose to kill me. How dare you sport thus with life?"- The Monster to Victor Frankenstein in Chapter 10 of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Pp.83A tale of man who creates life only to abandon it soon after, Frankenstein is considered to be the first of the soon to be many gothic horror novels. Allegedly written out of boredom "caused by a cold and wet summer in Geneva, Lord Bryon proposed that each member of the summer's party write a ghost story" (Ginn 2), Mary took the task a little overboard and wrote a novel filled with love, deception, and most importantly, the creation of the monster that is a self description of Mary Shelley's life and the alienation and loneliness in which she suffered throughout it.Mary Shelley was born on August 30, 1797. Daughter to William Godwin, a philosopher and Mary Wollstonecraft, a muckraker for women's rights, her parents were colleagues as well as lovers and married only a few days before her birth. At age 17, she ran away with her soon to be husband Percy Shelley. Because of this, "Mary Shelley became a societal outcast for [the] actions and had few friends. Within days she discovered that all of her old circle shunned her, intimates who had cherished her and friends who professed the most liberal principles). Her own father, hypocritically enough, who lived with Mary Wollstonecraft without being married, would not speak to Mary until she and Percy were legally married. Godwin publicly stated, "Mary has committed a crime against hallowed social arrangements, morality, her family, and Harriet Shelley" (Woodbridge). Just like the creature in the book, motherless and then abandoned, both Shelley and the creature turn to the studies of different cultures, religions, and literature for comfort and to fill the emptiness in their heart in which their creators have caused. Shelley rarely wrote about her personal life in her journals but instead recorded everything she read and studied on a daily basis.Besides Frankenstein, other works by Shelley include Falkner (1837), Lodore (1835), The Last Man (1826), and Mathilda (1959), although none were as popular and widely recognized as Frankenstein.The novel begins with an explorer named Robert Walton, a man who has set his mind on exploring the North Pole and its mysteries, finding a man by the name of Victor Frankenstein floating on ice at sea. Upon taking him aboard, Frankenstein tells him a tragic story of how in his pursuit of knowledge and selfishness, he creates life in which Walton recalls the story to his sister with a series of letters. Frankenstein creates the monster only to abandon it out of fear, disgust, because of its hideousness. Rejected, the monster takes off and seeks refuge near a cottage where through observations he...

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