Mary Shelley's Confrontation of Life

Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein curdles readers' blood not merely with dreary nights and gruesome murders, but through a tale of man's most morbid undertakings. While the monster itself constitutes the most concretely catastrophic effect of Frankenstein's deed, the real horror lies in the scientist's sinister unveiling of the mysteries of nature. With the knowledge of Shelley's personal loss of two children during birth and the death of her lover, the reader can more fully understand the overarching themes of her novel; her own frustration and confusion with the death of loved ones and her apparent inability to raise children parallel Frankenstein's fascinated devotion to defying the natural passage of life.

Mary Shelley speaks to the reader's most fearful sentiments primarily through Frankenstein's effort to dodge existing rules of science and nature. In describing his ultimate fall to Walton, Frankenstein's explanation reveals Shelley's similar sense of hopelessness between the merciless jaws of chance: "Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction." Through the scientist's words the reader can recognize the writer's...

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