Q. What is the Narrative Structure of Frankenstein?
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is written by deploying the flashback technique which has been compared by critics to a Chinese box-a structure of stories within stories. The major framework is provided by the first narrator-Robert Walton whose expedition to explore the Arctic region brings him into contact with the principal narrator Victor Frankenstein who is found almost dead is nursed back to life. Victor narrates his quest to Walton and within Victor’s narrative is the narrative of the monster he had created; and again the narrative is taken up by Victor till he is found in the icy regions by Walton. From point till Victor’s death, the narrative is taken up by Robert Walton again and brings the novel to an end. There are many narratives within Victor’s and that of the monster. Thus the novel anticipates Emile Bronte’s Wuthering Heights published in 1847. Once the outer layer is peeled off, another layer comes followed by yet another and yet another. What is most admirable is the skillful management of the material into an artistically woven fabric by Mary Shelley, just a nineteen year old girl at that. …(Read More)
Q. How is Frankenstein a Gothic Novel?
Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by Mary Shelley. Shelley wrote the novel when she was 18 years old. The title of the novel refers to a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who learns how to create life and creates a being in the likeness of man, but larger than average and more powerful. In modern popular culture, people have tended to refer to the Creature as “Frankenstein” (especially in films since 1931), despite this being the name of the scientist. Frankenstein is a novel infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic Movement. It was also a warning against the “over-reaching” of modern man and the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in the novel’s subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. The story has had an influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. It is arguably considered the first fully realized science fiction novel. The novel raises many issues that can be linked to today’s society. …(Read More)
Q. What is the Main Theme of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley?
Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein has three separate plot lines that circulate through the novel. The first is the Robert Walton plot line that introduces and closes the novel. Walton exhibits all of the emotions that we would expect from a person hearing such a fantastic tale. This plot line is like a picture frame, in which the accompanying story line is the virtual frame that surrounds the novel’s main story. The second plot line, and most important, is the Victor Frankenstein plot line. This plot line takes up much of the novel’s volume. Perhaps the most overlooked plot line, in terms of importance, is the monster’s story. Mary Shelley gives the monster a voice, and the reader can sympathize with his pain and suffering at the hands of mankind. The portion of the tale dedicated to the story of the De Lacey family is part of the monster’s story. Marry Shelley’s Frankenstein is a unique novel in the canon of English literature. The novel seeks to find the answers to questions that no doubt perplexed Mary Shelley and the readers of her time. Mary Shelley presents a unique character in Victor Frankenstein and his creation, the monster. It is as though there are two distinct halves to one character. Each half competes for attention from the other and for the chance to be the ruler of the other half. In the end, this competition reduces both men to ruins. Mary Shelley’s Keen Awareness Of The Technological Advancement Of Her Times. …(Read More)
Q. What are the Characteristics of Victor Frankenstein?
The creator of the monster, Victor spends most of the novel trying to defeat the monster. Victor is the oldest son of Alphonse and Caroline Beaufort Frankenstein. Victor by birth is a Genevese, and his family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. During the first years of their marriage, the Frankensteins travelled constantly, for the sake of Caroline’s fragile health. They divided their time among Germany, Italy, and France; their first child, Victor, was born in Naples, Italy. Victor was adored by his parents, and he adored them in turn; his childhood, from the very first, was wholly idyllic. Until he was five, Victor was an only child, and both he and his parents felt the absence of other children strongly : Caroline Frankenstein one day discovered an angelic girl-child, with fair skin and golden hair, living with a penniless Italian family. As the girl was an orphan, the Frankensteins determined to raise the child as their own. The child, whose name was Elizabeth Lavenza, became Victor’s sister and his constant companion, as well as the object of his unquestioning worship. For him, she is his most beautiful, most valuable possession. Victor’s Passionate Desire To Learn The Secrets Of Heaven And Earth. …(Read More)