Mary Shelley Life And Frankenstein
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Mary Shelley Life And Frankenstein
It is clearly evident that there are many parallels between the novel
Frankenstein and the life of its author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Throughout
her life, Shelley experienced many deaths of loved ones. These tragedies led her
to create a monster story that expressed her psychological state of mind. From
researching biographical texts of Shelley, I learned that the deaths of loved
ones that Mary Shelley experienced had a significant influence on the plot of
Frankenstein. Mary Shelley was born into a family that contained notable
writers, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. These two writers influenced
Mary Shelley’s decision to become a writer. One night as Shelley was going to
sleep, she began thinking of a horror story. Before she realized it, pages and
pages of words were flowing and soon enough, Frankenstein was created. Without
realizing it, Shelley was incorporating events that were taking place in her
life to the story that she was writing. Mary Wollstonecraft became very sick
when Shelley was born. She had suffered due to complications during childbirth.
Everything happened all at once and two weeks after she gave birth, Mary
Wollstonecraft died. Mary Shelley was the cause of the death of her mother.
Never would she be able to get close and bond with her mother the way mothers
and daughters do. She realized that she had to stay strong and accept what life
had to offer her. "Though she had struggled to reject that instinctive guilt,
carefully schooled as she had been in logic throughout her thirteen years by her
renowned philosopher father, the thought continued to haunt her" (Leighton 3).
Thoughts of her mother would always be with her, but life had to go on. There
was no better way for Shelley to keep the spirit of her mother alive then by
following in her mother’s footsteps and becoming a writer. Now she would be
able to be as expressive as she wanted and release all her grieves and emotions.
The way Shelley’s mother died is quite similar to the way Frankenstein’s
mother died. While his mother was taking care of Elizabeth, his "sister,"
from scarlet fever, she became very sick and simultaneously died. Here,
Elizabeth feels that she is the one responsible for her mother’s death. If she
had insisted that her mother stay away from her while she was sick, she would
have still been alive. Elizabeth and Victor had to accept what happened and move
on with their lives. "My mother was dead, but we had still duties which we
ought to perform; we must continue our course with the rest and learn to think
ourselves fortunate whilst one remains whom the spoiler has not seized"
(Shelley 43). They would both always feel the pain and sorrow of the loss of
their mother, but they knew that going on with life and doing well for
themselves would make their mother both happy and proud. When Mary Shelley gave
birth to a boy, she decided to name it William in honor of her father. After two
years of happiness, little William became seriously ill and died. This was the
most traumatic thing Shelley had to encounter. It was hard enough having a
mother die, now it was her son. Life did not seem to have much meaning to her
anymore. "The world will never be to me again as it was – there was a life
and freshness in it that is lost to me...I ought to have died on the 7th of June
last" (Walling 19). This was a very upsetting and chaotic time for Shelley.
She could not come to any realizations as to why her baby was taken away from
her. It seemed very ironic that Shelley named Frankenstein’s little brother
William, especially since William dies. Frankenstein could not understand the
real reason as to why this happened to William. Was he the cause? No matter what
the implications were, Frankenstein knew that Justine, his cousin, could not
kill her own family member. Questions were left unanswered and things were
always a mystery to Frankenstein. As Shelley was growing up, she had a lot of
step/half brothers and sisters from different marriages. She was not able to get
very close to them because she was always moving around and living in different
places. One significant half-sister that Shelley remained close with was Fanny
Imlay. She was four years old when their mother had died and as she and Shelley
were growing up, Fanny would talk about Mary Wollstonecraft and tell her
everything she remembered about her. Shelley remained close to Fanny
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Frankenstein, Romanticism, English-language films, Organ transplantation in fiction, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Frankenstein in popular culture, Claire Clairmont
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