Mary Shelley was a Briton. She is was an author that wrote on drama, short stories, novels, biography and essays among others. Her most legendary and memorable book being Frankenstein which is a gothic novel. Additionally, Mary also engaged in writing travel books which is a fact that a lot of readers are not conversant with. A number of analysts are convinced that Mary Shelleys life affected her creative works in one way or the other. That is why her work has a lot of personal touch. The aesthetic nature of Shelleys books have lead to their preservations in great libraries and areas across the world including the British library, the John Murray collection, Huntington library, Abinger collection and New York Public library. This paper seeks to critically analyze Mary Shelleys life and find a connection between her reality and the major themes and settings in Frankenstein.
Educational theme is a major connector between Shellys and Frankensteins lives. Mary Shelley was born in the year1797, August 30th and met her death 1st February 1851 in London. Her parents where very educated and both engaged in writing books. Her mother was a dedicated feminist writer while her father engaged in pieces of work that were concerned with the general societys issues. Since Marys parents were authors it goes without saying that education was a key element in Mary Shelleys life. It should however be noted that she never experienced formal education but made detailed use of her fathers library. The same could be said about Victor Franksteins character, the theme of education is highlighted in the gothic novel of Frankenstein (p.56).
Death as a theme is very visible in both Marys life and Frankenstein. First and foremost Fanny, sister to Mary killed herself in the year 1816.Later on that year, Harriet, Shelleys first wife committed suicide. This was a tragic situation, as death seemed to surround people that were associated with Mary. The same theme prevailed in Frankensteins life as the monster that he created killed his family members (p.98). The monster killed the sister and his lover after their wedding period.
Family is also a dominant theme in both Shellys and Frankensteins life. This is because family constitutes a great deal of Shelleys biography as it does in the novel. Frankenstein has a closely knit family which he cares about (p.123). These is the reason as to why the monster targets the family after it felt rejected and shunned .On the other hand Mary grew up with her father being there for her and her relatives back in Scotland. Marys mother did a few days after her delivery but that did not put an end to the family connection Mary had. She later on got married to Percy in 1814 and bore children, Mary was blessed with many children, some of whom died.
Texts form a large party in the gothic novel of Frankenstein authored by Mary. There is a great deal of journals, notes and letters quoted and also intertwined in the book. Take for instance Paradise Lost story is fitted in the monsters story and also love life of Safie and Felix. Moreover, Waltons letters tell the tale of Frankensteins life story. Mary Shelleys life is also surrounded by texts in form of books. Both William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, Marys parents were well known writers in their time. Mary spent time in her fathers library and wrote a lot of books herself example Valperga which she wrote after her husband died. This similarity is striking as Mary is obsessed with the idea of books in real life as she is in her imaginative work.
Additionally, idealistic nature of the environment is a major theme in the lives of both Mary and Frankenstein. For instance, Frainkeinsten found peace in the environs that were well endowed with water, trees and solitude. He pursued solace at the Rhine River in Germany, mountains in Switzerland and England. In the novel Shelley dedicated herself in bringing out how the moments of solitude helped Frankenstein relax and think clearly. The author also describes her love for nature when applauding how storms helps clear the sky for brighter days ahead. Similarly, after her husbands death Mary seeked solace in nature as she travelled in different areas with amazing views and scenarios. She went ahead to compile notes from her travels which she went with her son into Rambles in Germany and Italy.
All in all, it is evident that authors produce pieces of work that they can relate to. The difference comes in when the books they write are a creative and twisted way of expressing real life situations. Authors use their wild imaginations to facilitate entertainment and education to the readers. This they do by use of the themes and lessons that their novels generate.
Lendon, Davis. Theme Analysis. London: Leyland, 2008.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. London: Samuel Simmons, 1667.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Lackington: Hughes, 1818.
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