Frankenstein Novel Analysis By Mary Shelley

My dear how are you these days? I hope you are fine. It has been months since we have seen each other. Despite being miles away I always try my best to acknowledge you every little detail of my life. As you know I love reading novels and specifically realistic novels but this time despite reading a realistic novel I read a science fiction novel which left me awestruck. The novel is prescribed in my under-graduate syllabus. Although the novel contains more than one hundred pages.

I still could finish the reading within a day. It is a novel by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein published in 1818. Mary Shelley with her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley along with their friends George Gordon Byron and John Polidori were vacationing in Switzerland, in the year 1816. They spent their time by reading gothic stories. Byron challenged the other friends to write a completely different gothic tale of their own. Shelley came up with the idea of conquering death, a creature who would create a grotesque monster in his own image.

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Shelley in the novel presents the unique concept of creating of life by an ambitious science student, Frankenstein. It is as Victor Frankenstein and the creature are two distinct halves to one character. Victor overwhelmed by the idea of creation of life, created the Monster but when he created the being Victor realized he had done wrong and he rejected to own it. He considered his action of creation of the thing to be a sin and a crime against mankind.

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Shelley through the character of Frankenstein tells the story of a man’s thirst for ambition and knowledge which leads to the creation of a monstrous being and going against the laws of nature. Thus, the creation of life shows how the disturbance of the natural order of life may cost lives and huge destruction.

I would like to tell you that the method which Shelley uses to write this novel is quite different. Unlike simple style, Frankenstein is a narrative with three different first person narrators. Shelley’s use of multiple narratives gives the reader the insight into the character of Frankenstein and the Monster. The narrative style of the novel is like a frame within a frame. Each narrative creates effect on the narration (1.) The novel Frankenstein, deals with Robert Walton on an expedition to explore the North Pole. On his journey to explore the North Pole he meets Victor Frankenstein who is found lifeless and in very wretch condition and he is restored to life by Robert Walton. Victor narrates his unquenchable thirst to find secrets of life and tells Walton about the creation of the Monster. Then Monster narrates his miseries and asks Victor to make a female companion for him. The narrative is taken by Victor who till his death narrates the story to Walton and again the narrative is taken back by Walton that brings novel to an end.

The Monster’s narrative tries to persuade Victor Frankenstein, the creator to make a female companion for him. The Victor’s narrative attempt to persuade Robert Walton to take revenge and completely destroy the Monster (Creature). All the three narratives share the common theme of loneliness and thirst of knowledge. Both Robert and Victor willing put their ambition for pursuit of knowledge above all. Whereas the Monster’s pursuit for knowledge is self-understanding. The Monster wants to know the answer to how he can fit into society and also questions his creator why he created him so ugly why not beautiful. This shows the treatment of characters on the basis of appearance. The Monster who is eight foot tall, yellow skin that covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath, his lustrous black hair, pearly white teeth is disliked by all as he appears to be an object of horror and he was also treated badly by the people (Shelley,39). Whereas Elizabeth, the cousin of Frankenstein is portrayed as an epitome of beauty. She is described as docile, good tempered and who possessed an attractive softness (Shelley, 21).Throughout the novel Frankenstein praises her for her nature and beauty. In our daily life also we come across several people who focuses more on appearance than reality. The famous idiom “Do not judge a book by its cover” metaphorically means that one should not judge the value of someone or something by outward appearance but should consider the qualities. Monster the benevolent creature who took pleasure in secretly aiding the De Lacy Family, saved a drowning girl and learnt speaking and reading skills. Despite his generous nature he is hated and attacked by human beings for his physical appearance which forced him to commit evil deeds. Like in THE RAPE OF THE LOCK by Alexander Pope, Belinda a young lady focuses more on appearances and applies make-up to look beautiful and attract men.

The novel highlights the theme of isolation. As everyone needs a companion or a partner to spend their life. I am grateful to have you my dear on my side, you are my go-to-go person and greatest blessing. Similarly Victor in order to get rid of alienation and isolation attempted to create the Monster but he end up creating him his enemy. Robert Walton also faces alienation as he often write letters to his sister and is alone on the expedition. Victor also write letters to Elizabeth and longs for his other family members and friends as he lives far away from them and remain immersed in the world of science. Likewise, Robert and Victor the Monster also feels isolated because he is disliked by human beings and is hated for his appearance and in order to end his isolation he demands for a female companion from Victor Frankenstein.

Shelley displays how scientific processes and ambition lead to isolation and deterioration in health. Walton is so driven away by his wish to explore the North Pole that he is willing to take risk with his health. Frankenstein shows the same determination in the field of natural science as he continuously work for two years which lead to decline in his health and he also moves himself away from people.

As last year I told you about the great work of John Milton and how it presents the outcome of rebellious nature of fallen angels against the God. You will happy to know that Shelley draws a parallel between the novel Frankenstein and Epic poem, Paradise Lost. In the novel, Frankenstein stands symbolic to God and the Monster is symbolic of the Satan, fallen angel. Frankenstein takes over the role of God, the creator, and tries to give life to assembled body parts of dead human being collected from graves.

Shelley portrays the Gothic and the Romantics elements in the novel. Gothic novels makes use of mystery and supernatural elements and it takes place is dark, gloomy and isolated places. Romanticism was born as an intellectual movement from opposition to Enlightenment view which focused knowledge and reason. Romanticism emphasized on emotions, love, and imagination (Frankenstein Blog). Shelley makes use of gothic elements in the novel such as while Victor collecting the bones and body parts in the charnel houses and graves and he also works in closed, dark and isolated laboratory away from the contact of people and nature. Frankenstein also face the great element of gothic, death. The novel accounts lots of death starting with the death of Victor’s mother leaving them all sad and lonely. Further the creature takes revenge from Frankenstein by murdering his brother, William, his friend, Henry Clerval and his wife, Elizabeth. Along with the gothic elements the novel also highlights the elements of Romanticism. Victor Frankenstein embodies the characteristics of Romanticism as he represents imagination and innovation. In the novel there are rich instances of nature which also represents Romantic ideas. The feelings of the characters are often reflected in the nature (Newborn). For example, the dreary landscape mirrors the isolation that Walton felt when he travelled into the cold land and the icy descriptions of the land where Walton travelled to and where monster escapes signifies their loneliness. Another example from the novel is when Victor regrets creating the monster and his surroundings are presented as wet and dull.

Thus, the Frankenstein analysis very clearly conveys not to disturb the natural law of creating life and one should not get driven away by his or her ambition. It also conveys the message of very famous proverb “Health is wealth”, as Robert and Victor in pursuit of their respective ambition neglects health and become miserable.

I will suggest you to read this novel. You can either purchase it from any bookstore or order online. Besides, I can mail it you. Also, I can lend if you want. It will also make you feel delighted and experience a new thing. I will be eagerly waiting for your reply. I will hope to see you soon. I cannot wait more to spend time with.

Updated: Feb 21, 2024
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Frankenstein Novel Analysis By Mary Shelley. (2024, Feb 21). Retrieved from

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