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Frankenstein | Study Guide

Mary Shelley

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Frankenstein | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

Journey of Man and Monster OVERVIEW Main Characters Victor Frankenstein, Chapter 4 ow dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow. Victor Frankenstein The Monster Victor Frankenstein grows up idealistic and passionate about science. Current depictions of Victor Frankenstein and his creation are often simplified into caricatures of the mad scientist and his monster. But the novel, originally titled Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, is far more complex. As the parallel stories of Victor and the monster unfold, distinctions blur between man and monster. Left to wander the countryside after his creation, the monster becomes fascinated by the De Lacey family. He enters university to achieve scientific greatness and becomes obsessed with creating life. Secretly watching the family, the monster grapples with topics like self-awareness and the meaning of life. When he succeeds in animating the monster, Victor is overwhelmed and flees in disgust. Despite protecting the De Laceys and even saving a young girl, the monster is repeatedly rejected. When he refuses to create a mate for the monster, Victor must watch as his loved ones are killed. With no place in society and no companion, the monster vows to destroy Victor and himself. Shelley's description of the monster coming to life was heavily influenced by the science of the day. Her husband, Percy, and fellow writers were fascinated by the experimental use of electricity on dead bodies, and Victor exemplifies Europe’s revived interest in science. Scientific Idealism Surrounded by famous figures (a philosopher father, feminist mother, and poet husband) Mary Shelley found recognition of her own as a skilled writer. Intelligent and headstrong, she married as a teenager and later persevered through the deaths of her husband and several children to publish works of fiction, criticism, and poetry. Frankenstein was initially published anonymously in 1818, and her name was added in 1823. MARY SHELLEY1797–1851 Context Mary Shelley’s work embodied Romanticism, which expressed itself in literature through an emphasis on the emotional, individual, and imaginative. Shelley’s Frankenstein was foremost among Romantic works that explored horror andthe supernatural. Romantic Movement = Killed by the Monster Arctic explorer; records Victor's story Robert Walton Victor's closest friend and confidant Henry Clerval Protagonist; the monster’s creator VictorFrankenstein Victor's creation; brought to life by science The Monster Victor's childhoodsweetheart and betrothed Elizabeth Frankensteinby the Numbers Considered by many as the first true science fiction novel Films inspired by Frankenstein >25 #1 >130 Languages that the book has been translated into, including Arabic, Basque, and Urdu 21 Mary Shelley’s age when Frankenstein was published IDEALISM CURIOSITY LOSS DISILLUSIONMENT Mary Shelley 1818 English Novel Author Year Published Original Language Frankenstein Horror Author

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