Influences on Life and Literature

Frankenstein, recognized as one of the most famous literary works of horror ever written, was the direct result of three brilliant authors challenging themselves to create a story that would incite fear and horror in the reader. Mary Shelley and her husband Percy, along with friend and fellow writer Lord Byron, decided they would each write horror stories, read them, and declare a winner after all had been read. After a vivid dream, Mary Shelley began writing the gripping tale of Victor Frankenstein. Although the challenge by her fellow writers, along with an obscure dream, was the impetus for her writing, many specific and often tragic events throughout Mary's life greatly affected the way she shaped her novel ("Mary Shelley" 2). Frankenstein, often viewed only as the horrifying tale of a scientist gone mad, can be analyzed as being the articulation of the fears of a woman, Mary Shelley, about pregnancy, birth, and as a direct result of influences from other writers and even her own parents.

In order to thoroughly understand the influences that affected Shelley's writing, specifically Frankenstein, one must have an adequate knowledge of a few key events in Mary's life. Born on August 30, 1797, Mary Shelley...

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