Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus addresses conventional romantic themes like isolation and beauty of the nature and one can find that the novel discusses the ultimate pain of lose. It is often considered as a humanistic critique of technological development or new scientific inventions. Personal tragedies and sufferings of the author are visible in the novel. The death of her three children at a very early age haunted her to the end of her life. Relationship and loss ply a vital role in Marry Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. Marry Shelley’s novel requires building up of relations. Comparing with PB Shelley’s play Prometheus Bound a reader can find similarities. Calling for freedom and relationship are common in both stories. The relation between Prometheus and Asia gives a new light of romance and marvel in P.B Shelley’s play Prometheus Bound. The thirst of emotional and sexual reunion in the midst of unending sufferings leads the reader/audience to the world of aesthetic pleasure. Both P. B. Shelley and his wife Marry require the existence of marital relationship. Casual reading of the novel ‘Frankenstein’ leads the reader to think that the story Frankenstein is a marriage argument.
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Marry Shelley connects the theme of relationship especially marital relationship to the major events of the story. Entire story explores the physical and emotional sufferings of the three major characters Walton, Frankenstein ad the Monster. From Walton’s work reader can find the heroic generosity of man to accept or provide partnership. In case of Frankenstein and the Monster reader can feel the cry for love and companionship. The writer reveals the message of love and companionship through her characters. The unnamed Monster in Marry Shelley’s novel demonstrates the childlike innocence and the realization that he is different from human being haunted him severely. Even the Monster cannot overcome the trials and tribulations of isolation in earthly life. Like a small child it cries for a mate or partner for sharing its feelings. Famous literary critic George v. Griffith criticizes: “childlike in his innocence, the monster wants only to be loved, but he gets love from neither his “father” nor from any other in the human community.” (Griffith). The Monster tries to read and learn and it reveals his strong desire to become a human being. It falls in love with the family, children and peasants. But, no one is ready to accept it because of its barbarous look. The reader can see the most destructive and devilish figure of the creature and it swear to seek out his creator in order to find out why he is diverse from other people and demands a mate. Analyzing Freud’s psychological theory one can see that, the need for sexual satisfaction is the base of human body. When ever it is rejected from love and consideration the creature becomes violent and it kills Victor’s youngest brother, William. Its cry for a mate to share its solitude or frustrated thoughts forced it to kill Victor’s wife Elizabeth. Frankenstein in due course makes a mate for the creature but kills her in fear because of the trouble that the two creatures might produce. The creatures desire to make relationship is very clearly depicted in the novel Frankenstein. After killing the boy; the Monster removed the necklace from the dead body and fixes it on the breast of a sleeping girl named Justine.
Literary critics have often mentioned that, the Monster in Marry Shelley’s novel is the reflection of Frankenstein’s inner thoughts and dreams that reveal his unending thirst for love or to be loved. His dreams have Elizabeth in her full beauty with a sudden frozen face of his mother His severe pain and sufferings are visible in his words. Frankenstein cries; “I shunned the face of man; all sound of joy and complacency was to torture me” (Shelley 71).
As an individual in a well educated society Marry Shelly, demonstrating a contemptuous evaluator of the science of her day, which was against the family and the human relationships. Analyzing Victor’s inner conflicts and the creature’s unending thirst for love and relationship; one can feel that the novel is a marriage argument. Author’s unsuccessful married life, her husband’s tragic death and the unexpected loss of her children made the reader to think about the theme of marriage and family relationship in the novel Frankenstein.
Frankestein’s loneliness and isolation is one of the conquering themes in the novel. This theme explored through the feelings and expressions of three characters. In the beginning, the reader can see that Victor feels extreme fear and anxiety and he leads a life without his family. The presence of family members can change the emotional and physical appearance of a man. Frances Ferguson argue that;” A woman’s going forth from her father’s house and cleaving to her husband is, of course, the standard means through which a new family is created and continued.” (109). Frankenstein continuously yearns for escape from the world of deep, fearful, deathlike seclusion.
A desire of the Monster in Frankenstein for a life partner, we can consider it as the central theme that establishes a universal legitimacy. The heavenly marriage concept provides a foundation for a firm life according to every living being. It is an institution that makes social recognition; the Monster in Frankenstein felt loneliness like a man without any friend in the world. A person fulfills many psycho- physical aspects through the marriage or with a partner that is helpful for the existence and meaning of the life.
Tragedies faced during her life time are the environment that made here a Monster in her Frankenstein. A life without marriage or a partner is the horrible condition that is understood by the misfortunes of the Mary. In the online article entitled Identity Issues in the Life and Fiction of Mary Shelley; Sherry Ginn makes some relevant studies about the autobiographical elements and the argument for marriage in the novel Frankenstein. It remarks; “While Mary made quite a statement with Frankenstein about the problems arising from lack of family relationships and parental abdication of responsibility, it is doubtful whether she consciously meant to indict her own father for his treatment of her in childhood.” (Ginn). Author’s perceptions about personal tragedies and thirst for a structured family life reflect her in novel and a reader can find author’s conscious effort to demand marriage and family relationships.
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In case of Shelley’s Prometheus unbound one can feel the pain of isolation and separation in different surroundings. Shelley pictures the character of Prometheus as a great hero who serves his life for human being. In Act two of the play, reader can see the most romantic scene that the meetings of Prometheus, Asia, Ion and Panthea. Here, Shelley celebrates the alteration of heart in Prometheus by signifying that his protagonist’s discovery of love generates its confirmation throughout the entire world. Asia rose from her cave in the Caucasus and flowing to join her beloved husband. Shelley explains their reunion as a celebration of the entire universe. His Wife’s presence motivates Prometheus and he regains his vigor and passion. The study entitled Shelley’s first major lyrics
And prometheus unbound by Ratomir Ristić comments that; “Supported by Ione and Panthea, the incarnations of hope and faith, he endures all the sufferings.” (79). Prometheus undergoes a kind of spiritual and emotional transformation through his meeting with his wife and others. Analyzing Marry Shelley’s novel Frankenstein the need for sexual or emotional reunion gives a kind of regeneration. The Monster’s thirst for the mate and affection along with Prometheus’s regained power underlines the significance of relationship or marriage.
To conclude, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus provides a rare aesthetic pleasure for the readers and it discusses various topics such as isolation, defectiveness of scientific developments, presence of nature and human relations. The characters of Victor Frankenstein and the Monster reveal the unending thirst for love and relation. Emotional and physical union regains power and passion. The Monster’s violence and Victor’s loneliness underlines the need of relationships; especially family relations. Comparing with P.B Shelley’s play Prometheus Bound, one can see that Prometheus’s regained power after his union with Asia and the Monster’s unending revenge against his creator demonstrates the importance of relationships, especially the marital affairs. Therefore, one can reach at the conclusion that Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus is a marriage argument.
Ferguson, Frances. Solitude and the Sublime: Romanticism and the Aesthetics of Individuation. Routledge, 1992. Print.
Ginn, Sherry. Identity Issues in the Life and Fiction of Merry Shelley. NC: Wingate, Wingate University. Web. 2010.
Griffith, George V. Frankenstein (Criticism). Answers.com. 2010. Web.
Ristic, Ratomir. “Shelley’s First Major Lyrics and Prometheus Unbound.” University of Nis: The Scientific Journal Facta Universitatis 2.7 (2000): 69-86. Web.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus. Harvard University: Sever, Francis, & Co, 1869. Print.