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The Real Monster In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1930 words - 8 pages

Frankenstein is a classic horror novel, but with a twist of many other
genres. Written by Mary Shelley, it was a novel which mixed many
exciting elements, such as horror, drama and romance. The story
follows a young doctor named Victor Frankenstein, who has an obsession
to reincarnate the dead, but his attempts at this fail horribly, and
Victor finds himself in deep peril, as the monster stalks him
throughout the world. I aim to investigate the issue, however, of who
is the true monster in Frankenstein. The monster or Frankenstein
himself?

Mary Shelley, the creator of Frankenstein, was a highly intellectual
and creative woman, one of the elite writers in Britain. Her
inspiration for Frankenstein was taken from several things. The plan
itself for Frankenstein was taken from a dream, but her theories of
life and explanation of the human anatomy came from noted scientists,
philosophers and alchemists from Europe. This spawned the seed of the
monster of Frankenstein, an intellectual creature, a lover of music,
poetry and other such sophisticated occupancies. The basis of the
whole story in itself, however, is a result of a visit to the country
and place where the actual book was based in itself. In the summer of
1816, nineteen-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover, the
poet Percy Shelley (whom she married later that year), visited the
poet Lord Byron at his villa beside Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
Normally, poor weather conditions would entreat them to go into the
house, where they would often entertain each other with a volume of
ghost stories Lord Byron held in his possession. . One particularly
stormy evening, Byron challenged his guests to each write one
themselves. Mary's story, inspired by a dream, became Frankenstein.
Shelley could relate to the experiences of Frankenstein personally
regarding the matter of death. When Percy Shelley's (Shelley’s first
lover then husband) first wife, Harriet, drowned in London in 1816,
rescuers took her body to a “station” of sorts in London. Normally,
smelling salts, electricity, shaking and artificial respiration had
been used to restore drowning victims to life. Unfortunately, Harriet
did not survive the treatments.

When Frankenstein began to make his creature, his dreams were of a
beautiful creature (despite the graveyards and hospitals he had raided
of dead corpses), a creature with intellectuality, strength and a
capacity of love that would surpass man in all of these areas. Despite
raiding graveyards, Frankenstein created the body with (what he
thought to be) the finest body parts available at the time. However,
when Frankenstein realizes that he has just looked at the body as
individual parts, for example the “pearly teeth”, “blue eyes”,
“lustrous black hair”, but he had not looked at the body as a whole.
When he did, he realized he had created an abomination,
“Beautiful-Great God! His Yellow skin barely covered the work of
arteries and...

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