Frankenstein Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Touches Essay

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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein touches on a number of important social and political issues that resonate to this day, and perhaps none more so than the role of women when it comes to procreation and childbirth. The novel perpetuates the notion that procreation independent of woman is unnatural and ultimately destructive, and although this is not a morally, ethically, or scientifically defensible position, the novel is remarkably effective in making its case. In particular, Frankenstein's relationship with Elizabeth and the monster's asexual birth highlight the novel's position regarding the importance of motherhood and the dangers of an absent mother. By considering the scene of Frankenstein's mother's death alongside the monster's birth, one is able to understand how the novel posits motherhood as an essential element of any healthy human life, and furthermore, how the absence of a mother precipitates humanity's most destructive impulses.Download full
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TOPIC: Essay on Frankenstein Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Touches on a Assignment

Perhaps the most important scene concerning Frankenstein and Elizabeth's relationship comes when Frankenstein's mother dies. Just before Frankenstein is about to head off to college, his mother becomes deathly ill, and on her deathbed, she basically instructs Elizabeth and Frankenstein to get married. In fact, in her final words, she tells Frankenstein and Elizabeth that "my firmest hopes of future happiness were placed on the prospect of your union" (Shelley 19). This fits quite naturally with the preceding narrative, because by this point Frankenstein and Elizabeth have developed a close relationship, and indeed, Frankenstein and Elizabeth are eventually married. However, the mother's death just before Frankenstein goes away to college serves as a kind of omen, because it is during his time in college that he develops an interest, and one might say infatuation, with the notion of creating life. This is particularly important because the creature which arises out of this infatuation ultimately kills Elizabeth, such that one can interpret the mother's dying desire not as a hope for the future, but rather as an ominous foreshadowing as to Elizabeth's eventual fate. Furthermore, Frankenstein's mother's death results in a conspicuous lack of mothers throughout the rest of the novel, a lack that will play an important role in the scene of the monster's birth.

While Frankenstein's mother's death foreshadows the danger of a life absent a mother, the birth of the monster completes this dangerous prediction by showing the revulsion that, at least according to the novel, is the undeniable result of procreation absent a mother. Following his mother's death (and his lack of a marriage to Elizabeth), Frankenstein decides to create life on his own, but the event does not go as he planned. Immediately after the monster comes to life, Frankenstein questions "how can I describe my emotions at this… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Frankenstein Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Touches" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Frankenstein Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Touches.  (2012, June 18).  Retrieved January 16, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Frankenstein Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Touches."  18 June 2012.  Web.  16 January 2022. <>.

Chicago Style

"Frankenstein Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Touches."  June 18, 2012.  Accessed January 16, 2022.