Mary Shelly: riassunto

Riassunto di letteratura inglese su Mary Shelley (2 pagine formato doc)

Appunto di pe93thebest


Mary ShelleyMary Shelley was the daughter of radical philosopher Godwin and of Mary Wollstonecraft, the pioneer feminist.

She was brought up in an atmosphere of concern for the rights of people. In 1814 she met the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. They in love and ran off to Europe. The couple settled in Geneva where reading ghost stories, Byron proposed that they should write a ghost story.
So Mary wrote her first and best work of fiction, “Frankenstein”, published anonymously in 1818.

Mary Shelley: vita e opere


A Philosophical Romance and a Gothic Tale: Frankenstein is a romantic version of the dream of the creation of the artificial life and can be defined both a philosophical romance and a gothic tale. Its success comes from the romantics interest in the effects of science on man (in Doctor Frankenstein’s attempt at creating a new human being through scientific experiments) and because it exploits the Horrific and macabre of the gothic tales ( mainly in the description of the setting where the events take place and of the monster).
Of the tale of terror it possesses the emotional language and an atmosphere of suspense and danger. It differs from many gothic novels because it substitutes the supernatural with science. For treating the theme of scientific research and its ethical implication, Frankenstein is considered the forerunner of science fiction.


A Faustian dream and a Romantic Curse: The story can be read in 2 ways. Dr Frankenstein is a scientifically updated version of Faust (he wants to overcome man’s limitations and create life with his own hands), but the monster created by him is a symbol of the romantic concern for the isolation of the individual by society .

Writing Technique: Frankenstein is told in the 1 person by 3 different non – omniscient narrators. The first part is in the epistolary form: an English explorer, Robert Walton, writes to his sister about how he has saved a swiss scientist, Dr Frankenstein. Then Frankenstein tells the story of his life: this is an autobiographical account. Is also inserted a report by the monster, Which explains the reasons of his monstrous behavior. The narration is concluded by Walton again. The 3 narrators create a shifting of the point of view. The story is not told from a single perspective, but it moves from one character to another.


In his tragedy Prometheus Bound, Shelley’s Prometheus never relents in his resistance; he is the champion of mankind and never compromises with the gods, who are the oppressors of men. Prometheus symbolizes man’s infinite aspiration to intellectual perfection and spiritual liberty; Jupiter stands for the despotism of the organized State and Church.

Also popular was the novel of purpose, written with the purpose of propagating ideas, especially social and political ones following the French Revolution. To achieve its ends, the novel of purpose often took over the plots and devices of the novels of adventure and Gothic horror. The bestknown example of this tendency is Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, a modern Romantic version of the very ancient dream of the creation of artificial life. The novel belongs in part to Gothic tradition and partly to the 18th century philosophical tradition going back to Rousseau that made of themes such as isolation and social injustice fictional subjects.