Free Essay About The Concept Of Monstrosity In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus”

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Frankenstein, Literature, Children, Novel, Mary Shelley, Creature, Imagination, Monster

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/03/20

A gothic novel “Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus” by Mary Shelley has been firmly standing in the world of literature as one of the best classical gothic creations for almost two hundred years. She was only about twenty when the world saw “Frankenstein’s” first edition which was published in 1818 (Lederer 1). It must be also noted that Shelley wrote “Frankenstein” in the context of personal tragedy. A critic Ellen Moers pointed that before the novel appeared Mary had given birth to a baby girl who died soon after. This situation had its continuation in the dream that occurred to Mary Shelley: “Dream that my little baby came to life again; that it had only been cold, and that we rubbed it before the fire, and it lived. Awake and find no baby” (qtd. in Schor 10). Nowadays, in the light of constant remakes and new screen versions, some people became confused by differentiating between the real Frankenstein and the monster. This essay focuses on the monstrous part of the novel, i.e. discusses the concept of monstrosity, as well as tries to establish the boundaries between monsters and non-monsters in the novel showing that the society and the scientist himself were the key reasons of creature’s behavior and may be considered as “monsters” in the novel.
First of all, it is important to understand the nature of monstrosity and what is “the monster”. Aristotle in his fourth book “On the Generation of Animals” stated that “Anyone who does not take after his parents is really in a way a monstrosity, since in these cases Nature has in a way strayed from the generic type”. Furthermore, according to Huet, “monsters as if come either from God and the Devil or their appearance is caused by some stars and comets” (1). In addition, woman, in some context, was also seen as monster, because she was not a man and the form of her body was deviated from as if the norm. However, monsters can also come from a pregnant woman’s imagination. The “monstrous” child is seen as personification of the mother’s feelings, thoughts and hidden passions (as it might be understood - some immoral, vicious, depraved thoughts or actions). In such way, the monster comes from its birth giver imagination (Huet 1-10). The same situation we inspect in Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, i.e. the creature comes from its creator’s imagination in the time similar to that of woman being pregnant – “winter, spring, and summer, passed away during my labours” (Shelley 23). Victor Frankenstein is a young “mad scientist” willing to serve future generations and eager to get to know the unknown even though it means to go against the societal conventions. He decides to overcome death and creates a creature from the remnants of the dead bodies. However, as soon as the work is done, Victor becomes terrified by the results: “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form?” (Shelley 24). In continuation of his monologue, Victor is describing the ugliness of his creature and says: “I had gazed on him while unfinished he was ugly then; but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived” (ibid.). The physical appearance of the living being horrifies Victor and he leaves his “child” all alone in the world full of ignorance and cruelty.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold, ed. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. 2013. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.
ebooks.adelaide.edu.au. Aristotle. On the Generation of Animals. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
Huet, Marie Hélène. Monstrous Imagination. 1993. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.
Lederer, Susan E. Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature: an Exhibition by the National Library of Medicine. 2002. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
Schor, Esther. The Cambridge Companion to Mary Shelley. 2003. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

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WePapers. (2021, March, 20) Free Essay About The Concept Of Monstrosity In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus”. Retrieved December 01, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-the-concept-of-monstrosity-in-mary-shelleys-frankenstein-or-the-modern-prometheus/
"Free Essay About The Concept Of Monstrosity In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus”." WePapers, 20 Mar. 2021, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-the-concept-of-monstrosity-in-mary-shelleys-frankenstein-or-the-modern-prometheus/. Accessed 01 December 2022.
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"Free Essay About The Concept Of Monstrosity In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus”." WePapers, Mar 20, 2021. Accessed December 01, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-the-concept-of-monstrosity-in-mary-shelleys-frankenstein-or-the-modern-prometheus/
WePapers. 2021. "Free Essay About The Concept Of Monstrosity In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus”." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved December 01, 2022. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-the-concept-of-monstrosity-in-mary-shelleys-frankenstein-or-the-modern-prometheus/).
"Free Essay About The Concept Of Monstrosity In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus”," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 20-Mar-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-the-concept-of-monstrosity-in-mary-shelleys-frankenstein-or-the-modern-prometheus/. [Accessed: 01-Dec-2022].
Free Essay About The Concept Of Monstrosity In Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus”. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-the-concept-of-monstrosity-in-mary-shelleys-frankenstein-or-the-modern-prometheus/. Published Mar 20, 2021. Accessed December 01, 2022.
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