Frankenstein By Mary Shelley (1797 – 1851) Essay, Research Paper
Mary Shelley wrote this novel on a dare
at the age of nineteen. While she and her husband (the renowned poet Percy
Bysshe Shelley) were vacationing with Lord Byron and others in the Alps
– where much of the story takes place they started to exchange ghost stories.
Intimidated at first by the fame of some of her companions, some of England’s
greatest writers, Mary finally offered up her contribution, Frankenstein:
the Moden Prometheus. The work was a breakthrough, spawning the birth of
two literary genres: science-fiction and horror fiction.
This novel – and resultant motion pictures,
which have usually degenerated into simple horror plots – has had a recent
resurgence in popularity due to the efforts of “feminist critics,” who
have penetrated its deeper themes. Along with her exposition of the dangers
and ethical dilemmas involved in experimenting with life, and her homily
against judging by appearances, perhaps one of Shelley’s most important
contributions in Frankenstein is her brilliant portrayal of the male desire
– conscious or unconscious to circumvent the role of woman in giving life.
With a new focus on these deeper issues during the last half century, Frankenstein
has achieved renewed status as a multidimensional literary classic.