Frankenstein Critical Analysis Evaluation Essay


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Frankenstein Critical Analysis Evaluation Essay

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has been critically evaluated by many in different phases of the literary evolution of the English literature. For some critics the novel has been the embodiment of what is called immoral and for some others it is creation which is thoroughly devoid of any morality. On the other hand, some critics have applauded the novel as the true reflection of the genius of an author who had a scientific mind enshrouded by literary abilities. But it must also be noted that there had been critics who had admired the novel for its originality and there had been critics who have doubted the authorship of the novel. For some critics, Frankenstein is a mere production of P.B. Shelley just published in the name of Mary Shelley whereas for some the creation is thoroughly genuine and a symbolic representation of the life story of Mary Shelley. In the critical analysis of Frankenstein, “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Science, Science Fiction, or Autobiography?,” Sherry Ginn, a professor at Wingate University, has tried to convince the readers about the credibility of the novel as a work of science, as a science fiction and as an autobiography, but she has primarily emphasized the importance of the piece of art as an autobiography, and this notion of Ginn is quite supportable and can be considered valid.
Though Ginn has tried to justify the original creation of Mary Shelley from the perspective of a work of science, a science fiction and an autobiography; quite interestingly she has almost succeeded in proving all the three perspectives with a strong ground. But the conclusion that Frankenstein is actually an autobiography has found more firm evidences in Ginn’s critical analysis of the novel. From the feminist perspective, it judged and analyzed, it can be seen that Ginn has been right at commenting that the novel seems to be an autobiography of Mary Shelley. Considering the tragic life of Mary Shelley many feminist critics have considered the novel to be a representation of the turmoil and dilemmas of Mary Shelley’s own life.
The theme of procreation and death, which has been a recurrent one in the novel, is also ideologically aligned with the life story of Mary Shelley. Ginn has been quite right at pointing out how the lack of maternal and paternal care that Mary Shelley experienced in her early life eventually took its shape in the novel itself. The craving on the part of the monster in the novel to ultimately find its creator should be equated to the quest of Mary Shelley for finding the person who really cared for her.  Mary Shelley’s complicated childhood and her complex relationship with P.B. Shelley should also be considered to be the root of the dilemmas that the monster in the novel experiences. Ginn has implicitly acknowledged that the monster in the novel is the shadow of Mary Shelley herself and it is the embodiment of Shelley’s sufferings. And if the novel is read from the perspective of a woman who faced the wretchedness of life at almost every step of the process called life. 

The fact that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is autobiographical in nature can be supported by citing the discussion made through the evaluation of the novel by Griswold who, in the article, “Autobiography, Patriarchy, Motherlessness in Frankenstein,” has strived for proving the fact that the entire novel is a representation of Mary Shelley’s own life, which has been filled with dilemmas, insecurities, and ambiguities. Griswold has rightly suggested that “The characters who populate Mary Shellye’s Frankenstein indicate the autobiographical nature of the book, particularly in its stance on the motherless daughter. In a story that reflects Shelley’s own experience, daughters are always motherless, like the monster around which the action revolves.” The motherless Shelley’s own tragedy has been reflected in the tragic experiences of the monster in the novel and the fact that the monster experience dehumanization, scorn and rejection in the human society itself embodies the truth that the novel is nothing but an autobiographical approach that was embraced by Mary Shelley intentionally. 

In conclusion, it must be said that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is autobiographical in nature. Though it might be analyzed from the perspective of being a science fiction or a work of science, the human elements and the dehumanizing effects represented in the novel along with the tragic experiences – all are pointers to the fact that it is a novel, a story that reflects the life of its creator who has been rudely treated by the society and its norms and values. 

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Works Cited

Ginn, Sherry. "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: Science, Science Fiction, Or Autobiography?." Wingate University (2003): n. pag. Web. 8 Feb. 2018.
Griswold, Lynsey. "Autobiography, Patriarchy, And Motherlessness In Frankenstein." The Oswald Review: An International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Criticism in the Discipline of English 6.1 (2004): 87-101. Web. 8 Feb. 2018.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein Or The Modern Prometheus. Adelaide: University of Adelaide, 1831. Web. 8 Feb. 2018.

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