Essays

The Life of Mary Shelley – a brief overview of the life of Mary Shelley. Written by Kim A. Woodbridge

The Summer of 1816 – a brief overview of the summer and the events leading up to Mary Shelley’s idea for the novel Frankenstein. Written by Kim A. Woodbridge

Literary Sources of Frankenstein – works that Mary Shelley read that influenced her when writing Frankenstein. Written by Kim A. Woodbridge

The “Birth of a Monster – Frankenstein can be read as a tale of what happens when a man tries to create a child without a woman. It can, however, also be read as an account of a woman’s anxieties and insecurities about her own creative and reproductive capabilities. Written by Kim A. Woodbridge

Mary Shelley and Knowledge – What is surprising, however, is the enormous body of knowledge contained in Frankenstein. The novel contains references to the fields of literature, poetry, science, education, politics, history, and mythology. How did such a young girl, living a life considered morally objectionable to society and harassed by family and financial burdens, acquire such a vast amount of knowledge in all fields of study that encompassed the important issues of her day? Through examination of biographical information and Mary Shelley’s journal entries, we will be able to answer this question. Following, I also plan to highlight Mary Shelley’s knowledge of literature with primary emphasis on the works studied by the monster in relation to his origins as well as Mary Shelley’s. Written by Kim A. Woodbridge

The Author is Become a Creator God – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein can be read as an allegory for the creative act of authorship. Victor Frankenstein, the ‘modern Prometheus’ seeks to attain the knowledge of the Gods, to enter the sphere of the creator rather than the created. Like the Author, too, he apes the ultimate creative act; he transgresses in trying to move into the feminine arena of childbirth. This essay was written and submitted by Ruth Bushi, who recently completed work on her Masters at the University of Durham. She can be contacted at r.bushi@blueyonder.co.uk You can visit her website at
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Bibliographic Studies on the Work of Mary Shelley – bibliographic analysis of Frankenstein. Written by Sumeeta Patnaik

Frankenstein – A Cautionary Tale of Bad Parenting – In this essay, I shall be examining the two main characters, Victor Frankenstein and the creature, and considering what Shelley could be telling us about parenting, child development, and education through their experiences. As a young child, it could be said that Victor Frankenstein is indulged and spoilt by his parents, and later on by his adopted sister, Elizabeth and his friend, Henry Clerval. Written by Susan Coulter.

Who Created the First Monster? – Mary Shelley teaches us all well the long range effects of spoiling a child to the extreme in her novel Frankenstein. Set in the mid-19th century, the novel details the life of Victor Frankenstein and the monster he created. However, it also serves as a model of the ultimate repercussions of overindulging children. This is an issue too few parents bother with today. Written by Tapia Martinez-Russ.

The Last Man and the Order of Society – The Last Man was Mary Shelley’s most ambitious and experimental work. Necessitating that a plague, which decimates mankind, is justified in its pursuit, Mary Shelley creates a world where utopian ideals can cause the destruction of mankind, if they are not checked by moral and ethical standards. Published in 1826, the novel was widely pilloried by a public who found it’s gloomy tone and high Romanticism to be ‘out of touch’ with a more progressive society. Mary Shelley’s concept of humanity decimated by a deadly plague affronted progressive politicians as godless and as a result, the novel was banned in Austria and became more of an in topic at dinner parties than a book to be seriously read. Written by Sumeeta Patnaik

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