Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The Themes Of Giving Birth And Creating Life, Isolation And Alienation And Family And Kinship.

2100 words - 8 pages

Introduction and problem definitionIn this short essay I would like to state thoughts and answer questions concerning the famous book "Frankenstein" by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. The story has been a huge influence on the genre of gothic novels, on female writers and on movie makers. Its themes have fascinated the literature scene and inspired other authors. This is why I would like to introduce the main themes leading through the story.I will focus on the themes of giving birth and creating life, isolation and alienation and family and kinship. I will give a short overview on how these themes still fascinate the readers of this book almost 200 years after it was written.While reading the book I wanted to find out more about the time and social background the book was written in. In my opinion themes in a story can give you a good overlook of the circumstances in a certain time period. Interestingly it is also a reflection of modern times' society.My essay will feature a general overview of the story and characters. This way it will be easier to prepare a context. However I will focus on introducing the themes.I will end this essay with a conclusion of what I found out about the story, its themes and social circumstances.In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein a lot of themes are discussed. They appear in almost every line of the book and are represented by descriptions of nature, religion and the people that surround themselves with this. In my opinion the main themes center around the protagonists and their actions. The most human and natural themes such as giving birth and social organizations are in contrast to isolation and loneliness and creating life with the help of science.Giving birth and creating lifeEven though the main character is a male, he steps into the position of a woman. By calling the process of creating the monster "labour" he literally gives birth to the monster himself- "After so much time spent in painful labour" (1.3.30) But not only has he said: "and the moon gazed on my midnight labours" (1.3.29), he sees his "work-shop of filthy creation"(1.3.8) as a female uterus and returns to the female symbolism of bearing a newborn child. He is not only a deputy of women but at the same time he puts himself in the position of god by deciding whom to give life and death to. At this point it seems unclear to me for what reason he does all this. Woman during this time did not have many rights in general. One of the things that made them irreplaceable was the fact that they were the ones to give birth and life to a new human being. With taking over this part himself, Frankenstein lowered a woman's position in the social life once more. To exaggerate this thought, Frankenstein put woman in the position of being useless and unnecessary in this world in general. If males could give birth or better create life, then what else are women needed for? Mary Shelley probably used this thought to draw attention to her own situation as a female writer...

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