Mary Shelly created the character of Frankenstein in the beginning of the nineteenth century. She described him in a novel called Frankenstein that was published in 1818. There is a legend that Shelly first came up with an idea of reanimation of a dead body when she was spending a nice evening with her friends in Switzerland. Lord Byron was one of those friends, who offered to tell ghost stories. Shelly’s story had a tremendous success: everyone was frightened, and Byron even ran out from the room.
Later Mary Shelly wrote the story down, and it became a great example of gothic literature. Gothic novels are famous for their focus on the supernatural and mysterious events. Without a doubt, the most popular character was Victor Frankenstein who created the monster by using rather mysterious techniques. He wanted to produce a human being, but when the creature became alive, Frankenstein fell into fear, because he did not realize the consequences of what he did. Later he tried to destroy the monster.
Frankenstein setting is dark and exotic that distinguishes gothic novels, so the readers feel terror, especially when they realize that Frankenstein and his creature were doubles, which had the same feelings but different perspectives. It is worth mentioning that some literary historians consider the novel the first science fiction piece of literature. They claim that Mary Shelly provided remarkably veracious description of scientific experiments conducted by doctor Frankenstein. She managed to make her readers believe that she told them a true story.
The major topics raised by the novel include use of knowledge for good or evil purposes, development of technologies and ethical issues related to its application into people’s lives, treatment of uneducated, and the powers of nature and human ability to fight them. Obviously, these topics are still interesting to read and think about. Today, people are also being afraid of new knowledge and have doubts about how to use it in order to improve human well-being but avoid different risks.
The topic about death is prominent throughout the novel. In fact, Victor Frankenstein overcame death creating a living being, but he was not happy about what he did. Such doubts about the role of a mortal person also seem typical for the literature of that period. Supernatural connection of the monster to his creator was amazing and illustrated how these characters bridged the mortal and supernatural worlds. Thus, Shelly managed to follow almost every gothic tradition in her novel.
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