Another Voice In Frankenstein Essay

This essay has a total of 1030 words and 5 pages.

Another Voice In Frankenstein


There are many varied interpretations of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in the study of
literature. In fact, most critics have, if not opposing, somewhat contrasted views on the
novel. However, a popular perception of the novel seems to be one in which Shelley is said
to be representing her own views through the voice of the monster created by Victor
Frankenstein. But what exactly are Shelley's views? So many have taken apart this novel,
analyzing it beyond all bounds, and yet it still remains a puzzle to most, as to what
message Shelley tries to give to the reader. Perhaps this quandary is the direct result of
this over-analysis. What if we are looking too carefully? If we were to take a step back,
we should see that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is nothing more than the not uncommon story
of the average teenager.

This isn't to say that the novel is not a work of art, rather, it is quite possibly the
best prose ever written by an eighteen year-old. But the fact of the matter remains. Mary
Shelley was eighteen going on nineteen when she wrote Frankenstein. Taking this into
account, it becomes more apparent that Shelley was not commenting on social aspects of her
time or the feminist movement that her mother helped create, rather, she was simply
expressing her feelings as a teenager, as so many of us need to do. These feelings of
isolation, separation, and being misunderstood, all of which are not uncommon to many
teens, are in fact the same as those experienced by the monster in Frankenstein. In this
way, the monster most likely is a representation of Mary Shelley.

Almost all of us can relate to a time in our lives when we were young, and misunderstood
by our parents. Almost all of us have had an experience where we had done something wrong
and during the process of being berated by our parents, tried to convince them that they
were wrong, instead. This point is universal to all teenagers and apparently it was to
Mary Shelley as well, when we observe the following passage:


Be calm! I entreat you to hear me, before you give vent to your hatred on my devoted head.
Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my misery? Life, although it may
only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.



When viewed from a teenager's point of view here, it looks as if the monster, being
berated by Frankenstein, is trying to "get a foot in" on the argument. All to often,
parents will simply tirade their child. Here Shelley is arguing back to her parents. She
is asking for a chance to be heard, rather than just undergo an invective. This situation
fits in very well with Shelly's life. In fact, at about the time that she began writing
this novel, Shelley ran away with her soon to be husband Percy Blysse Shelley. Percy
Shelley was married at the time. This caused her to be deemed as an outcast from society,
even by her very own father, William Godwin.
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