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What Makes Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ Relatable to Us

We all look for literature we can relate to.  Sometimes, we’ll read something that unfortunately doesn’t quite connect with us, and we may up wondering why we picked up the book in the first place. But one book that was published in 1818 and is still relevant today is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

 

image via origins

 

Mary Shelley was someone who had a difficult life from the moment she was born.  Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died shortly after giving birth to her.  So, her father, William Godwin, and her stepmother, Mary Jane Clairmont, were the ones who raised her.

 

 

Mary experienced a lot of hardships in life.  Her stepmother never sent her to school, never appreciated her, and tried to get Godwin to focus more on her biological daughters.  She even lost her own three children after childbirth!  These painful experiences didn’t stop Mary, though, as she went on to write the famous novel we all know today.

 

The atmosphere in Frankenstein has elements of Mary’s own world: her passion and knack for detailing the natural world, the mountainous Swiss region, and loss.  The things that Mary writes about in her novel are things she has experienced herself.  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein relates to us because of how much the characters lose.

 

 

image via study

 

Victor Frankenstein, the main character who creates the Creature (whom pop culture incorrectly calls Frankenstein!) experiences loss through the death of his loved ones.  The same applies to the very thing Frankenstein made; the creature loses his child-like innocence of the world and his unconditional kindness.  The novel itself embodies love and loss. Both are mutually exclusive, and something everyone knows all too well.

 

When we see Victor’s loved ones die, or the Creature slowly spiral downward, we feel the same torment that plagued Mary Shelley in her life.  This is what we all can relate to: loss.  Even if our experiences of it differ.

 

Featured image via  oupblog

 


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