Celebration to Individualism in Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein"

Essay by imaGe April 2006

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Downloaded 18 times

What comes to mind when the idea of "Romantic Literature" enters your head? Immediate imageries consisting of two lovers, a rose, or even a starlit sky may come to mind. In Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, she disproved these imageries by creating her own scenario with grotesque images and lonely characters. Many have overlooked this novel as a romantic literature but it is actually one that contains the most elements of a romantic literature. Romantic literature emerged through a movement called Romanticism. Romanticism can be defined as a movement in art and literature that revolted against rigid social conventions. In Frankenstein, Mary Shelly stresses the importance of individualism in Romantic Literature by developing various narratives of the story to generate perspectives of the same environment through different narratives.

Robert Walton begins the novel through an epistolary frame for the actual story to build on. We learn that Walton is on a journey to venture to an area where no man has gone before and is also in search for a close companion.

Although he is amongst a huge crew of men, he felt as if he was on the voyage by himself. He narrates the story through several letters to his sister until we learned that he encountered a new friend, "Victor Frankenstein". Frankenstein then began to tell his story as the narrative switched from Walton to Frankenstein, the main narrator of the book.

As the story shifts to Victor Frankenstein, we begin to understand his life story as an individual that was much isolated from everyone else. With the congregation of his life studies, Frankenstein was able to bring life or artificially gave birth to a grotesque monster. At first he was proud of his work but he later abandoned the creature due to its hideous looks. The...