Essay On Contemporary Criticisms Of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Decent Essays
Contemporary criticisms of Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein appeared first after 1970. The story tells of a man named Victor Frankenstein who attends university and is consumed by aspiration to discover the "secret of life". When he is convinced he 's found it he creates a monster in the privacy of his apartment (SparkNotes). By choosing play God he ends up creating a creature who inevitably ruins his life and everyone 's that he loves. Before 1970 a majority of critics discussed Mary Shelley as a person rather than the novel she wrote. Subsequent to 1970 critical attention questions Frankenstein 's role in "established literary traditions" and the status of said traditions themselves (Smith 273). Feminist critics particularly asked why women authors were often excluded from the Romantic texts. Critical focus took a different direction after 1990 concentration on whether the novel had attained high-culture status (Smith 237). In Mary Shelley 's novel, Frankenstein, the main protagonist Victor concocts an intelligent but grotesque monster. Frankenstein plays God calling forth contemporary criticisms such as cultural, …show more content…
Shelley and her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, moved from city to city never staying in one place for long. While on an Italian adventure to Rome and Venice, Mary was overcome with severe depression after the deaths of both her children, Clara and William within a year. Freudian psychoanalysis helps readers of Shelley 's novel analyze the many layers of significance in the perpetually layered and affluent text (Psychoanalysis). The monster that is created is driven to his violent tendencies because of the way he is shunned by society and his creator. Analyzing the text psychoanalytically shows how the monsters first experiences in the world that lead to the development of his violent nature

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Throughout the story of Frankenstein there is a monster starting to appear in the book, then the monster is revealed at the end of Frankenstein. The book Frankenstein is about how a man that is isolated from his own family, and how the death and destruction of his family and friends can cause a man to turn into a monster. The book starts out with Robert Walton writing letters to Marry Shelley, about him desiring one friend.Throughout Frankenstein there is little incidents that take place in the book that will make the main character turn into a full blown monster at the end of the book Frankenstein. The motifs of Frankenstein are isolation and abortion/destruction. The motif of isolation is how the main character isolates themselves away from…

    • 1697 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Dr. Frankenstein spends the following months in bed, sick with a nervous fever. Enough time having passed, Victor begins to feel as if his creation has simply went away. However, when his brother William is found murdered, Victor comes to the realization it was his creation who killed his brother. Victor, believing his explanation would sound insane in court, allows Justine, a dear family friend, to be executed for the murder stating, "No one, except I, the creator, would believe in the existence of the living monument of rash ignorance which I had let…

    • 1296 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Both the main characters in the novel rely on revenge to solve an issue, which only leads to more conflicts. Victor Frankenstein begins this cycle when he first creates the monster. After the monster came to life in his small room in the University of Ingolstadt, he ran away from it in disgust. Little did Victor know that abandoning the monster was the beginning of the war that was about to begin between the creator and the creature. After becoming abandoned, the creature tries to provide for himself.…

    • 1149 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Because Frankenstein was clouded by the knowledge he was gaining he didn’t realize how it could affect others. After the monster was created, Frankenstein receives a letter from his father saying that his younger brother, William, has been murdered. Victor then returns to Geneva and discovers that the monster has killed his brother. He sees the monster lurking near where Williams body was found and assumes this crime was done by it. Shelley takes us through this moment and describes Frankenstein's feelings of doubt.…

    • 1300 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Frankenstein’s tragedy of the passing of his mother could have directly caused him to create the monster. After the death of his mother, Frankenstein leaves his family to die and creates a new life, with the Oedipus Complex as his motivator. Freud theorized in the Oedipus Complex that a male child will have a sense of rivalry with his father, because he does not want anyone to get in the way of his mother-son bond. Frankenstein’s mother died when he was young, and Frankenstein lived in agony because of this; her death was something that he never did overcome. One could theorize that Frankenstein was angry at the world because of his mother’s death, which would explain why he created a being capable of killing; he desired to take revenge on the world for taking away his mother-son bond.…

    • 1435 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The creator of the beast, Victor, abandoned his creation in fear but, as time goes on his creation will find him and cause him such misery that he wishes nothing but death for himself and his monster. The author, give various of themes throughout the novel such as ‘everything has a story’. This can be understood when Frankenstein's monster tells him to listen to his story from the beginning of his birth until that moment. ‘Everything deserves love or they will go mad’ is another theme represented in this story because Victor after listening to his monsters story did not believe that it deserved nor needed love for he is a monster and has gone bad. Though he did not question why his monster went mad, even when he went mad himself for the sake of…

    • 703 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Months of travel and a swift decline in the health of Victor Frankenstein has not tempered his desire to exact revenge upon his creation. Even at his most feeble Frankenstein wishes to kill his creation. “I am weak; but surely the spirits who assist my vengeance will endow my with sufficient strength.”(Shelley 219) Frankenstein hunts the Creature far north, only to die with his goal unfulfilled. Vengeance has consumed Victor to the point he tries to pass on his quest to Walton. “...I asked you to undertake my unfinished work; and I renew this request now,...”(Shelly 220) Yet the request by Frankenstein is futile because Walton has already made the decision to return to England.…

    • 1662 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “We are unfashioned creatures, but half made up” (Shelley 23). According to Eoin O’Connor, a writer for The Christian Science Monitor, “Mary Shelley’s story came to her in a waking dream in which she saw a "hideous phantasm of a man" being animated by "the working of some powerful engine." When Shelley opened her eyes, she saw moonlight entering her room through the shutters, and a story was born.” In the Gothic thriller novel, Frankenstein (1831), eight-teen year old author, Mary Shelley depicts the fantasy of a tormented man by the name of Victor Frankenstein who intelligently conquered the secrets of life and nature. Victor is joined along with his close family consisting of his adopted sister, Elizabeth Lavenza, his father, Alphonse Frankenstein,…

    • 1563 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In Mary Shelley’s book Frankenstein, the main character, Victor Frankenstein is a scientist whose inability to see past his own ego ultimately leads him to create a monster. Not fully aware of the consequences of his creating a new race of humans, he spends his entire life trying to destroy the same creation. Victor’s impulses to create such a monstrosity directly correlate to a part of his mental state that houses emotions of sex and aggression. His incomparable urge to surpass his ego in his thirst for this romantic knowledge ultimately leads to his downfall. In the beginning of chapter five, Mary Shelley encapsulates gothic elements that grotesquely depict the features of the beast as well as the environment in which victor creates his monster.…

    • 837 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Prior to that fateful night, Victor led a seemingly normal life with a loving family and an innocent curiosity to science. After the creation of the monster, Frankenstein falls into a deep depression that he does not overcome. The monster’s existence acts as a punishment to Victor for meddling with life and death with science. The Monster becomes an endless interference and threat not only to Frankenstein, but also to the people that he loves: Frankenstein’s younger brother William is murdered at the hands of the Monster in vengeance with the Frankenstein family’s young servant, Justine Mortiz wrongfully accused and then executed for the murder. Victor tormented by the guilt and falls into a deep depression.…

    • 2374 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Decent Essays