Mary Shelley inventively evaluates the incentives which are responsible for propelling the characters of Frankenstein into their fatal downfall; making Frankenstein a prime source for psychoanalytical study.
Though Claire continued in Mary and Percy's household until 1820, she was temporarily diverted by an affair with , during the spring of 1816. Persuading Percy and Mary to accompany her to Switzerland to meet Byron, Claire set off with the Shelleys in early May 1816 and eventually moved into a chalet on the banks of Lake Geneva, within walking distance from Villa Diodati, where and his physician, Dr. , were staying. and Percy became close friends, sailing together on the lake and having literary and philosophical discussions in the evenings. Both Mary and Percy found fascinating and intriguing. He was handsome, capricious, cynical, and radiated an intellectual energy. Mellor surmises that "The intellectual and erotic stimulation of [Percy] 's and 's combined presence, together with her deep-seated anxieties and insecurities, once again erupted into Mary's consciousness as a waking dream or nightmare," becoming "the most famous dream in literary history."
Frankenstein is the Real Monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Frankenstein includes very few female characters, by design. The women in the novel are not central characters. The more complex points of view held in the novel are shared amongs the main characters, three men (one of whom is a monster, technically). In Frankenstein, the science of reanimating corpses is real. . Many ambitious men attempted the process . It stretched credulity to read about reanimation actually working, but as women were not given much space in the sciences, allowing women the agency and the ability to become involved with the process, even in fiction, may have been too scandalous for Shelley’s the readership of England in 1818 to accept even in fiction.
Manifestations of Femininity in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
It’s also worth noting that Mary witnessed doctors attempting to revive her half-sister Fanny using electricity, following a drug overdose—methods similar to those Mary invented for the creation of Frankenstein’s Monster.
Shelley frankenstein essay; Research paper Academic Writing Service
Interestingly, the largest quotient of substantive female characters in science fiction is currently in the YA market—books aimed at readers around the age Mary herself was when she pioneered the genre. , , and their many contemporaries present active, engaging, flawed heroines fighting against, usually, some sort of patriarchy. For Mary Shelley, writing a novel at all was an act of resistance; using her full name as author on the 1822 reprint was an even bolder choice. Today’s science fiction authors and readers owe it to her to continue advocating for more female voices both behind the scenes and in the works themselves. Outside of YA, female characters in science fiction often still appear only as preternaturally sexy love interests who need saving, devices to motivate the male heroes, or femme fatales who exist to betray the male heroes. These roles can be, and sometimes are, finessed into something more, but are problematic and alienating if they are the only offered representatives of their gender. Mary Shelley wrote primarily male characters in order to appeal to the largest readership at the time—educated men. Today’s audiences represent all genders, most of whom are happy to read books by a variety of authors; yet publishing continues to elevate male voices above female, creating a self-fulfilling cycle that continues to suppress women’s voices.
Mary shelley frankenstein essay
While Mary Shelley’s work is less biographical when compared to the work of or the , the gothic underpinnings of her life translate directly into her work, exemplified by the gloomy world she created in Frankenstein. Teenage Mary would meet her married lover for assignations in the same graveyard in which her mother was buried, and allegedly lost her virginity to him in this same location. The pair eventually left England, and Shelley’s wife and children, for a new life in continental Europe. In fairly short order, they found themselves penniless and forced back home. Mary’s father refused to accept them, so they moved in with her stepsister, Claire Claremont, who would also become one of Percy Shelley’s lovers. Shortly after Shelley’s wife, Harriet, gave birth to a child in 1816, Mary went into premature labour with her first child, who died days later. Her second child, William, whom the doomed child in Frankenstein is named for, and would also die in infancy.