Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, And The Need For Family

2389 words - 10 pages

Where would we be without our families? Our Families shape us into the men and women of the future. What determines our morals, desires, happiness, faith, and our all encompassing lives. Mary Shelley’s family helped shape her into the woman that she had become. Having come from a family of great accomplished writers, she herself, set out to be a great writer. In the novel Frankenstein, written by her, there are several similarities between the monster and Shelley herself, all the while revealing to the reader the need for a complete family by the addition or loss of several family members in several different families in the novel, from Victor Frankenstein’s own family, to the De Lacey family, and the several other families that had small appearances in her novel. They all had one thing in common; they all needed an extra family member to complete their families to live happily. Victor Frankenstein shared this unfortunate circumstance and I believe that with the loss of his mother his subconscious mind consumed him and drove to create a being to fill the void that was missing in his family. But in turn created a void in his creature to want to be loved and wanted by another being.
This void to have family members and a complete family was a goal of Mary Shelley’s, albeit as a very underlying goal. This can be seen by the actual life that Mary Shelley led; it appeared to be that everyone that was in Shelley’s family passed away. From Shelley’s mom dying from complications during birth, to all of her children regrettably passing in one way or another and even on her fourth try to be complete she unfortunately had a miscarriage. This, furthermore, led to the passing of her husband as he drowned. All throughout Mary Shelley’s life, she strove to make a family of her own, and reluctantly was never able to achieve that goal, which I believe caused her to show family as a very strong theme in her novel. Due to her pain, I believe she digressed into several other novels one in which was “Mathilda”, a fictional novel where Kathleen Miller explains the death of her father. Mathilda “feigns madness, steals money, and orchestrates her own death” (Miller 1). Family plays a pivotal role all throughout several of Shelley’s writings and this is no different from that of Frankenstein.
This brings us back to Frankenstein, when Elizabeth came into the family. She was a foster child who was adopted by a cousin of the Frankenstein’s. Victor’s father took her in after both of her previous families had failed. This already begins to show the importance of family, and as most people like to say, it all went downhill from here after acquiring Elizabeth into the family. Victor Frankenstein’s mother soon came ill after nursing Elizabeth back to health from a sickness. As his mother was in the verge of passing away she turned to Elizabeth and said; "Elizabeth, my love, you must supply my place to my younger children. Alas! I regret that I am taken from you; and, happy...

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