In this essay I will be talking about the historical background of writer Mary Shelley and about her novel ” Frankenstein”. Mary Shelley was born on the 30th of August 1797. Mary Shelley’s father was called William Godwin who was a Godwin and a philosopher. After Mary Shelley was born, Mary Shelley’s mother Mary Wollstonecraft who was a feminist writer at the time died 4 weeks after Mary Shelley’s birth. When Mary Shelley grew up she ran off with a poet called ” Percy Bysshe Shelley” who was already married.
Mary Shelley was very well educated. Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley had a baby girl in February in 1815 who unfortunately died almost a month later. The Shelley’s went on holiday in about 1816. Mary Shelley had a dream that was used as the basis of ” Frankenstein”. It was very wet so a ghost writing competition was organised to pass time, it was then that Mary Shelley had written her novel ” Frankenstein” Mary Shelley’s ideas were inspired by developments inscienceand medicine which made people wonder if life could be created.
People were religious and thought God was in charge of life and death, so any person tempering with his powers was likely to be horribly punished. Mary Shelley had a further series of tragedies in life. These tragedies include the death of Mary Shelley’s in 1816 due to committingsuicide; including the death of Mary Shelley’s own two children; one who died in 1818 and one in 1819. When Mary Shelley was 22 years of age which was in the year 1822 the death of her husband had also occurred. In 1818 Mary Shelley’s book was published namelessly, and later on in about 1830 it was published with her name on it.
The reason for this is because when it was published previously in the years secretly, it was always believed that women should not work and are not as useful as men are and should remain as housewives looking after their children. Another reason for this was that it was believed that women are not capable of writing novels. Later on when years had passed Mary Shelley had died in 1851. In the novel Frankenstein the creature is first mentioned in the letter IV to Robert Walton. The letter had written in it: ” a being which had the shape of a man, but apparently of gigantic stature”.
The novel is set in the mist and ice, this is a gothic novel and causes a sense of mystery about the creature, and creates an atmosphere. This is so we create an image inside our minds of the creature and the mysterious atmosphere which leads an expectation. Mary Shelley uses words like ” dreary, dismallye. eg ” the rain pattered dismally against the panes”, dull and dim”. Mary Shelley used a lot of pathetic fallacy in this novel. In chapter 5 Shelley tells us that there is little light at a certain pint in the novel.
This is because she wrote ” my candle was nearly burnt out… Here Shelley builds up the atmosphere by writing ” so dark that anything could happen”. The size of Frankenstein’s creature reminds us of Walton’s letter ” to make the being of gigantic stature, that is to say, about eight feet in height and proportionally large”. The creature is linked with corpses, graveyards, maggots and dead bodies. This description makes the reader feel disgusted and sick and would not want the creature anywhere near them and would most likely feel revolted and sickened which would make them feel furious and think the creature is just morally wrong.
Mary Shelley and her audience knew about body snatchers. In chapter 5 Mary Shelley sets a gothic scene by creating an atmosphere (at the beginning of chapter 5). Mary Shelley makes it all spooky and then starts to describe the character and then goes back to the weather. Shelley uses the word ” detain” to show that Victor is scared that the creature will stop him from leaving. This makes us feel that it is threatening and is dangerous when she calls it a ” demonical corpse”. She implies that it’s from the devil and makes the reader scared of the creature. Victor’s reaction is violent and gothic.
To add to the tension and fear the beast is by his bedside so he runs outside to escape it. Shelley uses words like ” miserable monster” and ” demoniacal corpse”. I think that Shelley uses such word because I think that it is true the creature is very much like a miserable monster as the creature is very lonely and does not know who he is and has no one who likes him and all the creature wants is sympathy. I think that this is why Shelley uses words like ” miserable” and also uses words like monster because the creature is just like a beast and acts like a monster does and is like a monster is usually described.
Shelly also uses word like ” demoniacal” possibly because the creature is shown to be evil and up for revenge for why he was created. ” demoniacal” means that someone is evil or is possessed by an evil spirit. The reason why Mary Shelley could have used corpse after ” demoniacal” is because the creature is made of different corpses and dead bodies. Victor is ill for weeks, and then when things look happy, Victor receives a letter from his partner.
The letter contains: ” About 5 in the morning I discovered my lonely boy whom the night before I had seen blooming and active inhealth, stretched on the grass livid and motionless the print of the murderous finger was on the neck”-letter from Geneva. Mary Shelley uses pathetic fallacy again in the novel when victor goes to the place where William was murdered… e. g. ” the darkness and storm increased every minute and thunder burst with a terrific crash over my head”; he sees the creature ” a flash of lightening… ” .
Victor reacted with shock thinking he had made the killer kill William. E. g. He was the murderer! I could not doubt it”. In the chapter of sympathy (chapter 11), we hear the creatures side of the story, ” am I not alone, miserably alone? ” this makes us feel extremely sorry for the creature and makes us think that it was not the creatures fault and was not the creatures decision to come into the world and have life so we cannot really blame the creature fully for what is going on. The creature was taken from villages to villages just because people were horrified of him as children shrieked and women had also fainted over seeing him. ” Some attacked me until, grievously bruised by shoes…
I escaped… “. The creature was homeless and had nowhere to live; he had no roof under his head and desperately needed a roof over his head. The creature was so desperate for a roof above his head that yet a hut was joy to him no less than paradise. ” Exquisite and divine a retreat… ” The beast really wanted somewhere to belong. The creature takes shelter in an animal shed at a farm and is very kind to them. When the creature sees them he feels very happy to see what afamilyis like and also feels upset and unwanted knowing he is not wanted by anyone and is hated by the people.
They were a mixture of pain and pleasure, such as I had never before experienced… “. In chapter 15 there is a blind man and the creature helps him and is extremely kind to the blind man, the creature takes advantage of this that he cannot see the ugliness of him and likes the love he gets from the old man and feels like he is cared by someone for the first time. Just like i mentioned previously I really feel sorry for his creation, this is because the creature is not at fault for his creation. The creature must feel very miserably like he says because he also has a heart like humans and feels unwanted, rejected lonely.
I do not blame the creature for wanting a female just like him, so he could have someone to love and someone to love and care for him even after seeing how he appears. When the creature is rejected from the old man’s family the creature sets off to find his creator who he believes to be his father. ” My father, my creator… “. At the time the creature was rejected by the family the creature feels sour inside himself we know this because ” the spirit of revenge enkindled in my heart”. There is a point in the novel when Frankenstein’s creature saves a girl from drowning.
When the creature tries to breathe life into the girl, the creature is shot by a man. ” I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind”. The creature meets William, when William see’s the creature William is scared of him and tells him that his name is Frankenstein. At this point William is killed by the creature. ” I gazed on my victim and my heart swelled with exultation and tallish triumph… ” When Shelley used the word(s) ” gazed on my victim” she makes it sound like William has done a huge crime and he is at fault for what Frankenstein has done by creating the creature.
The creature asks Frankenstein for a female creature, like himself, someone to love him and someone that he can love and spent the the rest of his life with. ” If I cannot inspire love I will cause fear, and chiefly towards you my arch enemy… “. Here the creature say’s to Frankenstein that if he cannot find his love then he will become his enemy and take away his love. ” I demand a creature of another sex but is hideous as myself… we shall be monsters, cut off from the world… let me see that excite thing… At this pointI believethat the creature is asking for something that he thinks is reasonable. I think that the creature has a right to ask this because the creature did not choose to come on to this world and it is not fair for him to be lonely with no one to be with. The creature makes a deal with Frankenstein saying that he will leave him and everyone alone and go far away from them only if Frankenstein creates a female creature. The problem with this is that if a female creature is to be created it could also become like Frankenstein and they both may want to take revenge from Frankenstein.
Another problem would be that the creatures would have children and this would lead to something very serious. After the creature say’s all these things Victor feels sickened with what the creature is saying. ” The filthy mass that moved and talked… “. Victor agrees to create a female creature for the male creature. When victor is in the process of creating the female creature he changes his mind, when he changes his mind he rips the body into pieces. When Victor does this act the creature see’s everything and is furious and vows to take revenge. ” I shall be with you on your wedding night”.
The creature mean that if he cannot get someone to love and spend the rest of his life with neither will Victor. When the creature gets to Elizabeth (Victors wife) and kills her, Shelley uses a storm again to create a scary atmosphere and a horrific atmosphere. ” She was there lifeless and inanimate, throw a cross the bed”. Victor dies and Walton finds the monster by his body. The creature say’s he regrets the killings but was provoked to do such doings. ” I pitied Frankenstein… the important envy and bitter indignation as filled me with an insatiable thirst for vengeance”.
At this point i feel sorry for the creature only because he has no one left, otherwise I do not really feel sorry for the creature here because due to him Elizabeth had died and she had nothing to do with anything. Elizabeth was not at fault and was very unfair for the creature to kill her in such a brutal and insane way. So I think that the creature would just have to live with and put up with what he has done, and could have a tried a different way of trying to persuade Frankenstein of creating a female creature for him rather than threatening to kill his wife on his wedding night, which I think sounded very sick and extremely unfair.