Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley began herfirst novel in Geneva in 1816, this book, Frankenstein, was
later published in 1818. The text is an example of Gothic literature, incorporating
gruesome references, supernatural occurrences and a dark and eerie setting. The text
also contains characteristics of a science fiction text, this being an imaginative use of
scientific knowledge. The story is based around a man who usurps the Gods and
Mother Nature to create and sustain human life, hence the alternate title of the
Modern Prometheus. The text follows this man, Victor Frankenstein, his life, the
monster he creates and the consequences of his machinations. It is set in Geneva in
the 18th century, however the author cleverly blocks the exact years in which the
action takes place, leaving her free to alter historic details. Many of the themes in
Shelley's novel may be loosely based on her own personal experiences in life and
parallels between the central characters and Shelley herself are evident throughout the
text. These parallels exist mainly to create meaning and promote a sense of realism in
Throughout Shelley's life there were two men who had a huge influence on
her being; her father, William Godwin, a famous writer, most known for his political
and moral ideas; and Percy Bysshe Shelley, a well known Romantic poet with strong
ties to Godwin. In letters to her friends, Shelley wrote: "Until I met [Percy] Shelley I
could justly say that he [Godwin] was my God…I remember many childish instances
of the excess of attachment I bore him."1 However, despite great nurturing of her
intellect, the emotional side of her upbringing was neglected. The fact that these men
had such a great impact on Shelley's life makes it quite feasible that they may have
been reflected in the characters of her novel. Both Percy and Godwin share
characteristics with the central character to the text, Victor Frank…