Frankenstein: Allusions

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David Pham
Professor Robert Guffey
English 100
13 November 2012
Frankenstein: Into the Depths of Allusions
An allusion is a figure of speech that is a reference to a well-known person, place, event, or literary work. These allusions are typically used by an author who intends to make a powerful point without the need to explain it. Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein provides many examples of allusion 's. She connects the story of “Prometheus”, Coleridge 's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Milton 's Paradise Lost to her own novel to convey the critical points of the meaning behind the story. Not only does Mary Shelley make use of the mythological symbolism, but includes biblical allusions of the creation of Adam and Eve as well. The
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This innocence allows Adam and Eve to live in the Garden of Eden, free from all conflict under the condition that they follow the only rule God gave them. This rule was to simply stay away from the tree of knowledge. However, Satan came to Eve in the form of a snake and tempted her to eat from the tree knowledge. This tree grants the consumer knowledge and curiosity, which negates the innocence Eve once held. Adam, learning of this, is quite furious, yet he eats the apple as well. The apple granted the two beings the ability to know of lust, shame, and mutual distrust. Their punishment would be banishment from the garden, pregnancy for Eve, and labor work for Adam. Hence the title, Paradise Lost, meaning the simple and gracious life they lead has crumbled due to their actions. With this, we are able to connect the monster to Adam. The quote “I am thy creature: I ought to be thy Adam” (66) is said to Victor by the creature when they encounter each other atop Mont Blanc. This quote essentially explains how the monster began as an innocent creature knowing nothing, much like Adam, and suffers considerably as he discovers how people view him. He is a monster, a symbol of terror to the human race. As readers go further into the book, they learn that the monster reads Paradise Lost and from there he compares his existence to Adam while Victor plays the role as the cruel God. The
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