Pancras Churchyard in London Essay
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Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelly. We can tell by Mary Shelly’s back ground, were she has incorporated some of her social experiences in to her novel. Mary was the daughter of an anarchist father (William Godwin) and a feminist mother (Mary Wollstonecraft). In today’s terms this could be thought as a ‘wild upbringing’. Mary grew up in an environment that suggested she needed to question the way society was being run. Mary’s mother died ten days after giving birth to her, an act that Mary’s father was never quick to forgive; in fact he blamed Mary for his wife’s death and this often forced Mary to attempt to take her place.
This was often in the form of sitting on literary discussions and meeting her father’s estranged guests. At the age of 17 Mary would often write at her mother’s grave side at St Pancras Churchyard in London; where the couple had married. Mary includes her fascination with death into Frankenstein. An example is, in chapter 24 pages 217 Victor says “as night approached, I found myself at the entrance to the cemetery. ” His random wonderings have led him to be with his dead family, where he feels alone and maybe wants to join them.
It was through Mary’s fascination with the cemetery that she met her soon to be husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelly. He followed her there upon her father’s instruction and declared his love for her; it was to become their meeting place. In the novel Mary uses the cemeteries a few times, when Victor goes to the cemetery to collect dead bodies to create his monster. There are clearly some important dates in the life of Mary Shelly that no doubt influence the subject matter of the novel.
In 1805 there was the Napoleonic Wars lasting until 1815 causing great hardship and social upheaval. In 1811 Britain witnessed similar unrest and feelings of revolution. In 1814 Mary elopes with shelly and travels into France and Switzerland, this could have given her the ideas in chapter 9 where the scenery is mountainous and beautiful. Also in the novel, the monster goes exploring in Switzerland. In 1816 Mary and Shelly go to Switzerland and this is where the Novel is begun.
Suicides of Fanny Imlay, Mary Wollstonecraft’s daughter by a previous liaison, as well as Percy Shelley’s wife Harriet allowing Mary and Percy to marry. This could be linked to when Victor is wondering weather to commit suicide in chapter 9 by jumping into the silent lake. Mary Shelly was somewhat of a celebrity of her time and was friends with all of the famous writers and poets, and a lot of those people influenced and helped her in the writing of Frankenstein. Not only was Mary Shelly influenced by the poets around her but by classic Greek mythology and in particular the tale of Prometheus.