Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Essay

Mary Shelley’s FrankensteinMary Shelley is an author who wrote the novel of Frankenstein. MaryShelley herself in her life, experienced many deaths of close friendsand family. When she was first born her mother died, furthermore Maryhad a baby, who died 12 days later and her husband Percy Shellydrowned. Maybe it was these experiences, which led Mary Shelley towrite such a novel of great horror published in 1818. Frankensteinitself is called ‘the modern Prometheus’. Prometheus in Greek mythstole fire from Zeus and gives it to humanity but was then eternallypunished by Zeus. In the Latin version Prometheus created man fromclay and water. Victor Frankenstein is seen as a modern Prometheus ashe rebels against nature by making an unnatural man because he wouldbe of benefit to mankind and he is then punished by his creation.

Frankenstein is an account of the life of Victor Frankenstein asrelated to him by the British sailor, Robert Walton, by whom he hasbeen found on the ice floats of the Antarctic Ocean. Frankenstein,when first introduced, is weak and worn. ‘Only one dog remained aliveon entering the vessel Frankenstein faints’. Walton says he has neverseen a man in such a ‘wretched condition’. This description makes usevoke sympathy for Frankenstein. It shows something bad has happenedin the past and it is this that makes the reader want to read on.Rubbing Frankenstein with Brandy, Walton manages to revive him and sothey wrapped him up in blankets and put him near the fire. This showsFrankenstein is in a bad state. When one of the sailor says ‘Here isour captain and he will not allow you to perish on the open sea…

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…, and quicken the beatings ofthe heart. The language although complicated at times, enhances thefeeling of involvement in the novel. This novel seemed to foresee apath in futuristic science. At the time people would be shocked, asthey would not know if this could come true and in 1802 a scientistfound electricity present in human limbs. This is probably what keptthe tale of Frankenstein alive.

We are given the impression that Frankenstein was a guilty party andvictim at the same time. Through the story we feel sorry for him, weemphasize with him then we come to despise him because of his actionsbut Mary Shelley makes Frankenstein come across as a tragic hero whofound himself caught between the grips of discovery and fate and inall, we begin to understand the feelings and the whole tale ofFrankenstein.


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