Shelley was born in London. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died ten
days after giving birth to her. She was one of the first feminists and
her father was the writer and political journalist William Godwin, who
became famous with some revolutionary works and attitudes to most social
institutions, including marriage. In
her childhood Mary Shelley was left to educate herself amongst her
father's intellectual circle. In 1813, at the age of 16, she met Percy
Bysshe Shelley, who came into Godwin's circle, and she ran away to
France and Switzerland with him. They married in 1816 and their first
child, a daughter, died in Venice, Italy, a few years later. The story
of Frankenstein started on summer in 1816 when Mary joined with Percy
Shelley and Claire Clairmont near Geneva. She took a challenge to write
the most frightening ghost story and, with her husband's encouragement,
she completed the novel within a year.
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read Frankenstein as a story of fear and danger, but Mary Shelley
expressed in it beliefs that were important to her. She believed that
human beings are naturally good. They become evil only because society
makes them lie and cheat and behave badly. In Mary Shelley's book,
Frankenstein has tried to create "the perfect man", but he is
ugly, so ugly that people fear and hate him. Society produced the
dangerous Monster instead of the perfect man.
The novel starts with
series of letters from Robert Walton to his sister. Walton is an English
Arctic explorer who spots a strange creature on a dog-sled. The
exhausted Victor Frankenstein arrives, in pursuit of the creature,and
while recuperating tells his story. He has been born into a wealthy
Geneva family. After his mother dies of scarlet fever and becomes a
student of natural philosophy and medicine. Inspired by occult
philosophy and the teaching of his mentor, Waldman, he builds a creature
in the semblance of a man and gives it life. It body is assembled from
parts which Frankenstein has stolen from butcher shops, dissecting
rooms, and charnel-houses. The creature is repeatedly rejected by those
who see it, but the monster proves intelligent, and later highly
articulate. Receiving no love, it becomes embittered. Frankenstein
deserts his creation, who disappears. The novel contains no supernatural
elements. Frankenstein is a scientist who challenges the Creator of the
world with the possibilities of modern science, but is destroyed by his
own ethical irresponsibility.
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