Texts and Traditions

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Texts and Traditions: Semester Two 2012
Caitlin Smith: 17517137
Research Essay

Question: Discuss how the mother-child or father-child relation is central to either Frankenstein or The Hours.

The story of Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, was first published in 1818. The book shows many representations of gothic literature and romanticism. Majority of Frankenstein’s characters are intensely intertwined and have relations with at least one other character. This leads to the tragedies written in the novel, affecting more than one character at a time. There are two main father-child relationships in this novel that will be discussed in the following paragraphs. Indirectly, these relationships are central to the storyline created in this novel of Frankenstein. In reflection of the journal ‘Why did Mary Shelley write Frankenstein?’ by Anthony Badalamenti, certain viewpoints have been pointed out. Mary Shelley certainly had a rough upbringing which reflects a major part of the novel. Mary Shelley gave birth to a baby boy which she soon lost. This disintegrated mother-child bond is an explanation of why Shelley chose to write Frankenstein with such strong father-child bonds, complete opposite of what she briefly experienced (Badalamenti 423). As said in Badalamenti’s journal, Mary Shelley devotes a majority of her novel to compare her own life experiences and live somewhat vicariously through the familial relations shown in Frankenstein (423). This is reflecting the dominating father-child relations that shape this novel. Mary Shelley’s infant was named William, which was also her father’s name. It is also the character, Victor Frankenstein’s, brother. This is an example to show the male importance in the novel. There is a major lack in female importance and relations, which highlights the focus on father-child relations throughout the novel. Victor Frankenstein comes from a loving family, with a kind mother and a generous father. Mary Shelley had a much...
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