Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus is

Topics: Frankenstein, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley Pages: 10 (3577 words) Published: December 18, 2014
 Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley about eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley's name appears on the second edition, published in France in 1823. Shelley had travelled through Europe in 1814, journeying along the river Rhine in Germany with a stop in Gernsheim which is just 17 km away from Frankenstein Castle, where two centuries before an alchemist was engaged in experiments. Later, she traveled in the region of Geneva —where much of the story takes place—and the topics of galvanism and other similar occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her lover and future husband, Percy Shelley. Mary, Percy, Lord Byron, and John Polidori decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for days, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made; her dream later evolved into the story within the novel. Frankenstein is infused with elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Brian Aldiss has argued that it should be considered the first true science fiction story, because unlike in previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later science fiction, the central character "makes a deliberate decision" and "turns to modern experiments in the laboratory" to achieve fantastic results. It has had a considerable influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories, films, and plays. Since publication of the novel, the name "Frankenstein" is often used to refer to the monster itself, as is done in the stage adaptation by Peggy Webling. This usage is sometimes considered erroneous, but usage commentators regard the monster sense of "Frankenstein" as well-established and an acceptable usage. In the novel, the monster is identified via words such as "creature", "monster", "fiend", "wretch", "vile insect", "daemon", "being", and "it". Speaking to Victor Frankenstein, the monster refers to himself as "the Adam of your labours", and elsewhere as someone who "would have" been "your Adam", but is instead "your fallen angel." Summary

Frankenstein is written in the form of a frame story that starts with Captain Robert Walton writing letters to his sister. It takes place during an unspecified time in the 18th Century, as the letters' dates are shown as "17—". Captain Walton's introductory frame narrative

The novel Frankenstein is written in epistolary form, documenting a correspondence between Captain Robert Walton and his sister, Margaret Walton Saville. Walton is a failed writer who sets out to explore the North Pole and expand his scientific knowledge in hopes of achieving fame. During the voyage the crew spots a dog sled mastered by a gigantic figure. A few hours later, the crew rescues a nearly frozen and emaciated man named Victor Frankenstein. Frankenstein has been in pursuit of the gigantic man observed by Walton's crew. Frankenstein starts to recover from his exertion; he sees in Walton the same over-ambitiousness and recounts a story of his life's miseries to Walton as a warning. Victor Frankenstein's narrative

Victor begins by telling of his childhood. Born into a wealthy Geneva family, Victor and his brothers, Ernest and William, are encouraged to seek a greater understanding of the world through science. As a young boy, Victor is obsessed with studying outdated theories that focus on simulating natural wonders. When Victor is four years old, his parents adopt an orphan, Elizabeth Lavenza, with whom Victor later falls in love. Witnessing a lightning strike on an oak...

References: to the French Revolution run through the novel; a possible source may lie in François-Félix Nogaret 's Le Miroir des événemens actuels, ou la Belle au plus offrant : a political parable about scientific progress featuring an inventor named Frankénsteïn who creates a life-sized automaton.
Within the last thirty years or so, many writers and historians have attempted to associate several then popular natural philosophers to Shelley 's work due to several notable similarities. Two of the most notable then-contemporary natural philosophers have been Giovanni Aldini and his many public attempts in London from 1801 to 1804 at human reanimation through bio-electric Galvanism, and Johann Konrad Dippel who was supposed to have developed chemical means to extend the life span of humans. In both cases, while Shelley was obviously aware of these men
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