Autobiographical elements in Frankenstein
Frankenstein’s writer Mary Shelley’s personal life was quite tragic and many modern critics majorly the ones who are feminist discuss Frankenstein in regards to the chronic elements of reproduction and death. Each element in the story is extracted from Mary’s life, elements such as the motherless child, the father rejecting the child, a grieving mother mourning for the death of her child, and a university student conducting a bizarre experiment. Read the custom term paper further to learn more about the autobiographical elements in Frankenstein.
How are the characters and stories linked to Mary’s life?
The characters in Mary Shelley’s book Frankenstein represent the autobiographical substance of the book, especially in its stance on the motherless daughter. The motherless daughters in the story represent Shelley herself. These motherless daughters are left open to the contempt, denial, and dehumanization in a patriarchal society. Shelly’s fear of motherhood and being motherless is shown through her book, where almost every character is a fictionalization of someone she knew. For example, Percy Bysshe Shelley, her husband, is written by the name of Victor Frankenstein who is the protagonist in her story. In the book, Victor Frankenstein creates a motherless creature that he abandons as soon as it comes to life. Similarly, her father William Godwin abandoned Mary when she decided to secretly marry Percy Shelly. While she was away from her father she gave birth to two children, both of whom died afterward. This is represented in her 1831 introduction of the book calling it her “hideous progeny,” her creation in the place of a child.
This fear of motherhood is represented in her book. All the motherless characters in the book who are subjected to death and patriarchal rejection are mostly daughters, and Shelley herself was abandoned by her own father, Frankenstein’s creation can be read as an extension of the following theme, and also as Shelley herself. Frankenstein has a much more common characteristic with the daughters as compared to the fathers and the sons in the story.
Furthermore, Mary made statements in Frankenstein about the issues which are caused due to the lack of family relationships and parental abdication of responsibility. However, it is not clear if she indicts her own father for his treatment towards her when she was a child. However, if we read Mary Shelley’s other work including Frankenstein and compare them within the context of her personal life we come to understand her more clearly.
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