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The Label Of Monster In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

3710 words - 15 pages

The Label of Monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

The novel, Frankenstein, was written by Mary Shelley in 1817. The
novel is of a gothic genre as it includes the themes of monsters,
death and oppressive nature. Her father raised her, after her mother's
death ten days after Mary was born. Her father, William Godwin, was a
radical philosopher, who encouraged Mary to read a lot. Mary met a
young, married poet when she was sixteen; they fell in love and eloped
together in 1814. Mary's life became full of sadness as three of her
children died and her half-sister committed suicide. The couple became
free to marry when Percy Shelley's wife drowned herself, yet their
fathers never forgave them for being together. One highlight in Mary's
life was giving birth to a son, Percy, yet this happiness was
short-lived as Mary's husband drowned at sea three years after his
son's birth.

While Mary Shelley was writing Frankenstein, she was reading "Emile"
by

Jean-Jacque Rousseau who believed that to exist happily man had to
have freedom, equality and fraternity. Rousseau says that men become
evil by the way they are treated by society, and this relates to the
monster in Frankenstein, who is rejected by humans. He isn't allowed
his basic human rights that Rousseau talks about

Prometheus, in the Greek version of the myth was a rebel who stole
fire from Zeus. He becomes a friend to mankind but is punished by
Zeus. The Latin Prometheus is where a monster is created from clay and
water. So, Victor Frankenstein is considered a modern Prometheus
because he creates a life form and is punished. This is also relative,
as "A Modern Prometheus" is an alternative title for the novel.

Dr. Faustus is a link to the novel as he sells his soul to Satan in
exchange for all the secrets of the universe. Yet after acquiring this
power, he does not know what to do with it. Now, he is tormented by
Satan and perishes in hell. This relates to Victor Frankenstein as he
pursues secret knowledge and when he gains it, he does not know what
to do with his creation, and abandons the creature. The monster
retaliates, like the devil, by destroying Frankenstein's family and
friends.

The epic poem, "Paradise Lost" by John Milton, also relates to this
novel as it tells the story of how Satan was banished from heaven for
rebelling against God. This is relevant to Frankenstein as the monster
was banished by other human beings for being aesthetically challenged.

The story of Adam and Eve is also important to the content of this
novel as Adam rebels against God and eats from the tree of knowledge.
They were both banished from the Garden of Eden for losing their
innocence. Victor Frankenstein's childhood is a paradise but he
thrives for knowledge and rebels against God by creating a man. The
monster becomes self-aware...

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