Frankenstein is one of Mary Shelly’s most eminent literatures done in 1818 in London. Being an adventurous writer, Shelly traveled extensively throughout Europe in the year 1814. She journeyed along Gernsheim, a city which was about ten miles from the famous Frankenstein Castle, the place where a chemist had been doing experiment two years before. Advancing to Geneva, she gets entangled together with her companions and they decide to compete and find out who among them would write the best gothic story. Frankenstein is the novel Mary expressing a fiction of science where her main character Victor Frankenstein created a creature which turns out to be uncontrollable. This paper consequently focuses on the analysis of the novel Frankenstein illuminating on how Mary uses various literature devices to develop her themes. An introduction will give the reader the main ideas in the novel. An analysis of the novel will follow with various reviews by different scholars will being contrasted with the writer argument. A conclusion will illuminate on the paper point of view in regard to Mary literature, Frankenstein.

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Science and technology bring about both positive and negative impacts to the society. Humankind having the most developed brain structure among the living express their knowledge through various activities such as experimentation. Frankenstein is a novel by Mary Shelly which describes a scientific character by the name Victor Frankenstein who is obsessed with the mysteries of life and death. In his experimentation, he manages to create a creature from dead organisms. Various complications immerge however with the creature becoming a monster and terrorize the society. The novel is based on Victor’s experiences with his creation. In expressing her ideas, Mary uses various literature styles as well as literature tools. This paper analysis her styles of writing and the way her writing illuminates her ideas to the readers.

Narrative Within a Narrative

A story within a story is a style that Mary exploits in her novel. In the introductory part, we are introduced to Captain Watson and her sister who are sailing to the North Pole. They spot a sled being driven by a gigantic creature which is Victor’s creation. They are later able to rescue Victor who begins to narrate his story. Mary connects the reader from one narration to the other and from one character to the other. She initially describes Walton as a failed writer who makes it his goal to explore the northern pole as a result. She then shifts to Victor whose narration becomes the frame of the novel. Describing the origin of Victor’s obsession, Shelly introduces another narration of Agrippa who witnesses the nature’s power of destruction when a house is stuck by a lightning during a storm. Additionally, Mary also shifts her narration from Victor’s life to that of his creation. According to Scarlet, Shelly uses this style to give the readers the perspectives of different characters. At the end of the novel, Victor, Walton, and the monster get their narration part. The style, therefore, enables the reader to get a grip of the exact intention of Shelly’s narration. Consequently, the frame structure builds suspense from the beginning, a style that keeps the readers interested in the content of the novel. By introducing Victor, Walton, and the monster, the narrations then fall in line and the reader desires to know why Victor was so determined to kill the monster and why he is in the isolated areas where he is freezing to death. Using Walton as the initial narrator, Shelly then uses suspenseful present as well as flashback to illuminate on Victors condition. More to the suspense, the frame structure in the story bring together two characters one who wishes to get his scientific discoveries recognized and another who understands the danger and the consequences of an obsession of the same. Shelly, therefore, expresses Victor regrets of what he has created and the deaths he has caused. His work is not in vain after all in that he gets to narrate his experience to Walton so that he can learn from his mistakes.

Mystery of Creation

Another concern of Mary a she wrote her novel was to express the mystery of creation. She introduces Victor, a character who is obsessed with finding out how to create a living organism from dead organs. Fascinated by the natural world’s mystery, he manages to combine his knowledge of electricity a well as chemistry to create a hideous creature about eight feet tall with very strange features. Despite having succeeded in creating the creature, Victor is unable to handle it. Over the narrative, various deaths are encountered them being executed by the monster. In her peculiar way, Shelly tries to analyze and equally criticize the implications of science experimentation as well as practical results of the same. Knudsen argues that Mary tries to distinguish between the science which describes and that which tries to create change and control. The descriptive science is the good science and the controlling science is the bad science. Mary illustrates how life can be complex in and that a human being does not entail the mere living body and fictional organs. With the increase in the desire for man to create, Mary uses her work to caution on the possible danger that might result.

Exclusion of Women

Frankenstein is depicted to be a narration that is excluding women from the social order. Knudsen criticizes the way Shelly focuses on the male figure in the narration. Having described them with little details, Mary illustrates the creation of a human being without the participation of women. She also illustrates various killing happening to women thus illustrating a society where women are powerless. In Knudsen view, Mary as a writer limits the potential of women achievement in her novel. The over dominance of the male figure expresses her environment and the way she depicted the society at her time. The female sex was at that time believed to be weak and powerless. However, Mary’s, in my opinion, uses her narration to express the inability of a stable society without the women participation. The monstrous creation tries his best to look for a female companion. It is can also be argued that lack of love and care results to him lacking a heart and therefore executing murders without a second thought. In his desire to find love and companionship, the creature asks Victor to create for him an identical female companion. Mary advances the significance of the female figure as expressed by the monster. After victor kills the female companion he had created, the monster kills Clerval with no remorse. Using her literature, Mary reports on the conditions of the women at her time expressing the danger the human race would encounter in case one gender is disregarded by the other.


As she advances her ideas, Shelly uses various novels and texts in her narration. According to Leetechnolit, the letters in the novel are an advancement of Victor Frankenstein legacy in that they express Walton’s point of view as he engages with the scientist. In classical periods, written communication was the technological way in which people shared stories. The letters would illustrate one’s own interpretation of a story while at the same time maintaining the important information and transiting it from one generation to the other. Comparing this to the modern texts messages and social media platform, the Mary acknowledges the technological advancement at her time in her literature. Victor’s experience is expressed in the letter which will be kept for future generations to learn from his experience.

Shelly initiates the letters at the beginning of the novel expressing an excitement as well as sadness in the main characters. This can be compared to modern time’s commercial trailers where the audience is given an illustration of what to expect in the novel. Mary is therefore using the letters to introduce novel. She gives the readers a glimpse of what her narration is going to compose. Mary then uses the letters to conclude her paper with readers being able to get Walton’s experiences with Victor. Saying that he would not recognize himself in the state of degradation, Victor reveals his less heroic personality. The letter give the readers the picture of Frankenstein as a miserable wreck which would not be the case if the novel had been a narration Victor himself. As expressed above, the letters are a representation of Frankenstein legacy since they are able to extend his narration beyond death. The creature that he created was a part of his legacy and Walton is able to express his encounter with the creature in his letter. The readers are able to learn of the creature’s death, something that Victor’s narration would not have told. Marry employs letters in her novel aiming to connect her structures of the novel, more so the story within a story structure. She also portrays differing opinions from her characters giving the readers a clear understanding of the novel.

Gothic Novel

As illustrated above, Mary and her companions decided to find out who would write the best horror novel among them. Consequently, Frankenstein is majorly a gothic novel resulting from the competition. In her analysis of the novel, Carina describes that there has always been an existing fascination with the dark unknown and horror narrations overtime. People have always been intrigued with horror stories as long as the oral and written literature have existed. As Carlson in Female Gothic mention, the word gothic refers to a collection of narrations done in the mid 18th century up to around 1820. They describe dark horrific terrors which include blood sucking vampires as well as others extreme and unexpected events. Gothic novels were a movement that existed in the times that Mary was writing her book as writers advanced to a more imaginative aspect and later the romantic movement. Frankenstein was published in 1818 with its romantic and supernatural aspects extending the term. In the narration, Victor moves past the mortal world to a supernatural one where he experiments on life and death. Mary is therefore able to illustrate her imagination of a supernatural creature that would result from the science experiment. Victor creates a creature with enormous power and supernatural strength. The description of the undertakings of the experiments and the environment are described as dungeons, castles and isolated places which are dark and distant. Carina is able to depict the author’s intention as the advancement of her imagination in her writing. The journey to the North Pole and that to Ireland are also set in various dark places which Shelly uses intentionally to create a mysterious gloomy feeling of her novel. This view has been criticized by the critics arguing that the novel was a hybrid for both the gothic type of a novel and the romanticism. The critics claim that Mary’s intentions were to engage the reader with the real world. They argue that romantic writers are majorly concerned worth expressing nature, human feelings, compassion for mankind, rebellion against the society as well as freedom of the individual, most of the things that Mary expresses in her novel. The critics advance their argument that the monster in the novel is a romantic character who symbolizes social rejection and consequently rebelling against his society.

Creator and Creation Alienation

Victor Frankenstein, as well as his creation, are a reflection of alienation. The character of Victor in Mary’s novel is a depiction of a man of science whose goal is to work on his dreams of internalizing the mysteries of nature and more specifically the art of life and death. He consequently spends his entire life recreating his monster. He is obsessed about his dreams and forgets to understand the consequences of his action. He later spends the other part of his life chasing the same thing he created which he fails to kill. He is alienated from the society at his time in the university with no social time as he focuses on his research. Victor’s alienation is, however, his choice unlike that of the monster he created. Victor has a friend, Clerval though their friendship is based on his terms. His isolation gives birth to secrecy. He is not able to confide to anybody about what was happening with his experiments. After the creature is loose, Victor has to be away from his family so that he can protect them from it. The monster on the other hand, unlike his creator, does not choose to be alienated. His hideous appearance makes him stay away from the society. He has a desire to be love and thus asks Victor to make him an equal female companion. As he initially opens his eyes, he finds out that Victor, his creator is scared of him. When he goes to the village, residents started throwing stones at him. Mary describes the scenario with the desire to drive her point home. The alienation faced by the creature lead to him developing a resistance reaction which results in death. She tries to illustrate the dangers of creating something that one does not understand.


Illustrating the reputations of extreme science experimentation is evidently Shelly’s main ideas in her novel. She is, however, able to use various literature tools as well as style in designing her work. A narration within a narration is one style which perfectly shifts the reader from one reader to the other helping the differentiate each and their role in the narrative. Mary additionally introduces an artificial creature who becomes difficult to handle with his remedies outdoing his gains. Mary is able to illustrate the mystery of creation assisting the reader to get the odds of artificial creation. Mary also uses letters extensively in her narration which advance her design of expressing the required information. Illustrating on various characters perspectives by use of the letters, readers are able to get a clue of the author’s idea. Frankenstein is basically a gothic novel expressing the author’s adoption of the prevailing writing design at her time. the style gives the novel the gloomy feeling as the author desired thus giving readers a picture of the environment in which the scenes in the narration were happening. Mary is seen to be expressing a theme of passive women in her novel with the minimal participation no voice as depicted in the paper. Using the varying literature styles and designs, Shelly is able to give her readers the image of her ideas helping then to internalize her motives and intentions.