Birth is a natural process of creating a new life.
Birth symbolizes life, giving future hope to people. In
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the main character, Victor
Frankenstein, creates a being with his own hands; he has
created something magnificent and terrible at the same
time. Upon the moment of birth of this creature,
Frankenstein runs away in horror. In relation, the author
herself as she wrote this story, puts her life events
into the book. Mary Shelley s mother died soon after her
birth; and Mary, herself, had four stillborn children. To
Mary, you can t have life without death, and vice versa.
In the birth scene of Frankenstein, this creature means
failure of creation and death.
When Victor is putting his ideas together to create
this creature; he describes this creature as beautiful
and proportioned. His limbs were in proportion, and I
had selected his features as beautiful. (Volume 1, page
935) Like an expecting mother, Victor thought that the
process of creating this creature was going to turn out
marvelous. But upon looking at the creature moving,
Victor thought I had desired it with an ardour that far
exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the
beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and
disgust filled my heart. (Volume 1, page 935) It was
like as if Victor failed to create something beautiful as
The creature does not represent life; it represents
death, destruction and hopelessness in Victor s eyes.
Through an unnatural process, Victor uses science to give
life to this being that he put together through limbs of
what it used to be living beings. This is an important
part because the creature not only brought death upon
Victor, but also to William, Clerval, Justine, and
Elizabeth. It is impossible to get life from dead things.
From a creation that supposed to be marvelous turns
disastrous. What would one get from trying to create life
from using the source of death is the result of more
Victor knew that by creating the Creature, he has
brought death upon himself. Cursed! (although I curse
myself) be the hands that formed you! (Volume 2, p961)
Victor curses himself because he only has himself to
blame for this creation. In the book, the creature
follows Victor wherever he goes; as if, it s a daily
reminder that he is getting closer to death day by day.
On a similar term, death is an unavoidable event in life.
The creature also sets as a reminder of death that he brought on to everyone that he loves.
When the creature request Victor to create another
being alike, Victor fears that it will eventually being
destruction to the human race. And a race of devils
would be propagated upon the earth, who might make the
very existence of the species of man a condition
precarious and full of terror. (Volume 3, Page 1001) As
this quote indicates the fact that Victor is afraid if he
creates another female companion for this creature, he
will bring destruction and death not only to himself but
also to the human race itself. Since more death result in
creation from death, this means that it will bring death
to others on this world. If one creature represented
death to a few, it will bring destruction to the world if
another creature is created.
Death is an event that intertwined with death in
Mary Shelley s life. Mary Wollstonecraft had many
stillborn births; and, Mary Shelley was the only child to
survive. Unfortunately, Mary Wollstonecraft died soon
after giving birth to Mary Shelley. Similarly, Mary
Shelley herself had one child survive to adulthood. In
Frankenstein, Victor runs away after he sees the creature
comes to life. What follows is a dream about Elizabeth
and Caroline, Victor s mother. I thought I saw
Elizabeth, I the bloom of health, walking in the streets
of Ingolstadt. Delighted and surprised, I embraced her;
but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they
became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared
to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my
dead mother in my arms (volume 1, page 935) The
significance of this dream interprets what will become of
Elizabeth. As if it foretells Elizabeth s destiny.
Although Elizabeth is Victor s companion, in a way, she
replaces in place of Victor s mother. In a very same way,
Elizabeth will also risk her own life to take care of
Victor. Elizabeth, my love, you must supply my place to
your younger cousins. (Volume 1, page 927) Caroline has
placed her duty upon Elizabeth as the lady of the
household. Death is an event that happens often in
Victor s life. But because this creature represents
death, it was like seeing his mother. This is the reason
why Victor runs away in horror after the birth; it is
because he sees Elizabeth s death in the creature.
From what is supposed to be a wonderful creation of
life, it turned disastrous. The creature haunts Victor
through out the story, remind Victor that death is near
by. Victor creates this being from the dead, and resulted
in death upon him and others. The creation of this
monster presented the fact that life and death are always
related in some ways. The biography of Mary Shelley is
relevant to Frankenstein because it interpret birth into
different meanings. To both Victor and Shelley, death
resulted from creation.