Analysis Of Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein '

1054 WordsJan 22, 20165 Pages
Significantly Absent Within many pieces of gothic literature, women are absent in order to show the control and dominance that men have in society. Frankenstein is particularly notable for its number of absent mothers. This may link to Mary Shelley’s own life, as her birth caused the death of her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft. The main absent mother in the novel, is the motherless monster. Although the monster was not born, he was created by Victor Frankenstein who he sees as a mother figure. Margaret Homans argues that while Frankenstein is creating the monster – while he is pregnant with it, one might say – he is full of excitement and anticipation; but as soon as it is “born”, he hates and rejects his own creation, his own “child”.…show more content…
This action is similar to an instinctive child reaching towards a mother figure. However, Victor’s reaction to this could reflect his transgression against the process of sexual reproduction and realisation of his unnatural creation. This is also an anti-maternal action. Shelley describes the monster as having “yellow skin” and a “shrivelled complexion” and being uneducated. This is similar to the description of an infant, and may link to the fact that children were significantly absent within Shelley’s own life. Christina Bacchilega’s critical quote that “the devil is only the institutionalised projection of our fears and desires” supports the idea that the monster itself may represent the fear of the evolution of science within society. During the 19th Century, ‘Galvanism’ was an upcoming scientific advancement that involved using electricity to provoke movements within dead bodies. Mary Shelley may use the monster to create an element of didacticism in order to apprise society of the dangers that science contains. As Mary Shelley’s novel explores the lack of a mother, which is personal to the writer’s own life - this can be similarly expressed within Poe’s, ‘To My Mother’ is said to be based upon the absence of a maternal figure in Edgar Allan Poe’s personal life; as he was left an orphan during his infancy due to the death of Eliza, as he matured he was brought up by his stepmother Francis who also died. Another mother figure to Edgar Allan Poe was his
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