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Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

05 Aug

Main characters:

  1. Victor Frankenstein ( creator of the monster )
  2. Frankenstein the monster
  3. Elizabeth ( Victor’s cousin )
  4. et cetera

Summary:

This book entitled “Frankenstein” is about the main character, creator of Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein. He was determined to create a being with stronger body than human but he kind of succeeded. He create what he wanted but it turned out to be a monster, a terrifying monster which everyone feared. The author makes this book interesting by writing in different peoples’ point of view. For the chapters, the narrators were Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein and Walton (in continuation). This book may be enjoyable for science-fiction lovers. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly wrote the novel to be incredibly thought provoking, violent, but beautiful at the same time. Not an easy feat to pull off, but she does it wonderfully. Frankenstein’s tale is one that many people can relate to in one way or another. It includes great success, confusion, extreme guilt, depression, loss of loved ones, and many other emotions that are all part of the human condition. Of course, the main story is the allure of the novel for many people. Frankenstein is a kind of science-fiction where another being is created, just like the role of the god. I do think temptation is a main theme of the novel. Victor Frankenstein creates his monster without first thinking of the consequences because the temptation to do so is far too much to resist. The monster is tempted to kill, because he wants revenge from his creator as even his master disliked or detest him. His childlike mind feels anger, and must act upon it. His high level of intelligence tells him that murder is the best way to take revenge on his creator. You should check out this book too.

Background of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly:

Born August 30, 1797, in London, England, Mary Shelley came from a rich literary heritage. She was the daughter of William Godwin, a political theorist, novelist, and publisher who introduced her to eminent intellectuals and encouraged her youthful efforts as a writer; and of Mary Wollstonecraft, a writer and early feminist thinker, who died of puerperal fever 10 days after her daughter’s birth.

In her childhood, Mary Shelley educated herself amongst her father’s intellectual circle, which included critic William Hazlitt, essayist Charles Lamb and poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Another prominent intellectual in Godwin’s circle was poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary met Percy Shelley in 1812, when she was fifteen. Shelley was married at the time, but the two spent the summer of 1814 traveling together. A baby girl was born prematurely to the couple in February, 1815, and died twelve days later. In her journal of March 19, 1815, Mary recorded the following dream, a possible inspiration for Frankenstein: “Dream that my little baby came to life again – that it had only been cold & that we rubbed it before the fire & it lived.” A son, William, was born to the couple in January, 1816.

In the summer of 1816, Percy Shelley and 19-year-old Mary visited the poet Lord Byron at his villa beside Mary ShelleyLake Geneva in Switzerland. Stormy weather frequently forced them indoors, where they and Byron’s other guests sometimes read from a volume of ghost stories. One evening, Byron challenged his guests to write one themselves. Mary’s story became Frankenstein.

Mary and Percy Shelley were married December 30, 1816, just weeks after Shelley’s first wife, Harriet, drowned. Mary gave birth to another daughter, Clara, in 1817, but she only lived for a year.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was published in 1818, when Mary was 21, and became a huge success. The first edition of the book had an unsigned preface by Percy Shelley. Many, disbelieving that a 19-year-old woman could have written such a horror story, thought that it was his novel.

In 1818, the Shelleys left England for Italy. In 1819, following the death of 3-year-old William, Mary suffered a nervous breakdown. Of the Shelleys’ children, only one, Percy Florence, born in 1819, survived past childhood. Further tragedy struck Mary in 1822 when her husband Percy Shelley drowned during a heavy squall in the Gulf of Spezia near Livorna.

Mary, only 25 years old and a widow, returned to England with her son, determined not to marry again. She devoted herself to her son’s welfare and education, and continued her career as a professional writer. Shelley gave up writing long fiction when realism started to gain popularity, exemplified by the works of Charles Dickens. She wrote numerous short stories for periodicals, particularly The Keepsaker, and produced several volumes of Lives for Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopedia and the first authoritative edition of Shelley’s poems (1839, 4 vols.).

Mary Shelley lived in England until her death from a brain tumor in Bournemouth, England, on February 1, 1851. She was 54 years old.

Reference:
*http://www.duluth.lib.mn.us/Programs/Frankenstein/ShelleyBio.html

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8 Comments

Posted by on August 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

8 responses to “Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

  1. David

    August 7, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Nice review however,
    1. A book review is where you give the introduction of a book and basically introduce the book. Therefore there is no need for the author’s biography.
    2. WTH do you need to refer to a website to do a book review, I might as well assume you did not even read the book and just got the summary from the website and copied the whole chunk of biography?!

     
  2. Chua Wen Feng

    August 9, 2010 at 10:05 am

    To clarify things, the link is just for the biography of the author.

     
  3. lAm sZe tUNg

    August 10, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Hmmm …. I agree with that 1o3 guy and David . It does look like copy & paste !

     
    • Chua Wen Feng

      August 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      For your information, there is no 1o3 guy for the comment. Also, I did not approve your comment but it appeared in the blog. strange…

       
  4. Kevyn

    August 11, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Hello.
    If it isn’t copied then it’s a good and detailed review.
    But if it’s copied, then it’s not the right thing to do. You might want to further summarise it so us people can get an idea of what the book is about more easily.

     
    • Chua Wen Feng

      August 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      OK. But I did not copy. David commented on the wrong blog!

       
  5. Tseng Chun Yi

    August 14, 2010 at 1:24 am

    I don’t think that is a copy and paste . I am sure of that as I saw Wen Feng reading the book. Also the review is very smooth, not one which is full of errors or does not flow smoothly. I believe he had put in extreme hard work to write this
    đŸ™‚

     
  6. James

    August 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I think that, despite having possibly referred to some sources, the review is still not bad. You should work on paraphrasing the author’s biography, though.

    PS Walter, if you want to state a point, you should state it openly and not wait for David to point it out for you. If you do so, it might seem like you are agreeing just to put someone in a bad situation. And we wouldn’t want a misunderstanding, hmm?

     

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