Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: Science, Science Fiction, Or Autobiography?

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Science, Science Fiction, or Autobiography? In this evaluation, I will consider Sherry Ginn’s assessment that while the novel contains autobiographical details, it is actually a work of science fiction. Sherry Ginn, an Assistant Professor of Psychology and the Director of Women’s Studies at Wingate University in North Carolina, relates the many similarities in the Mary Shelley’s personal life and her novel Frankenstein. Ginn concludes that the novel is Science Fiction and relates Mary’s personal life to the novel through Erik Erikson’s “The Eight Stages of Man” psychosocial theory. Through Ginn’s presentation, one is able to ascertain that there is not enough evidence to support the theory that Frankenstein is …show more content…
However similarities do not equal an autobiography. Ginn notes that “reducing the novel to autobiography is too simple”. Shelley’s life was complex and she overcame great trials and tribulations. Ginn believes “that reading Frankenstein and Mary 's other work within the context of her life allows us to understand her more clearly”. In this rough time of her life, Shelley was able to create a masterpiece that was ahead of its …show more content…
Griswold’s assessment regards the similarity in themes as indicative of the “autobiographical nature of the book” (Griswold). Griswold implies that the motherlessness of the book itself proves it autobiographical. However, an autobiography is an account of a person’s life written by that person according to Webster’s dictionary. In the strict meaning of the word, Frankenstein cannot be labeled and autobiography. While many of the themes contained in Shelley’s novel were born from her life, a true autobiography would need to contain a strict accounting of Shelley’s

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