Interpretation (Andrene Hughes)

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While reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein novel it became very apparent to me that the themes that were blatant were shadowing some of the many issues actually addressed in the writing. Mary expressed many of the issues presented to her in her world at the time she wrote her story. At times it is easiest to convey a message in such a way they the person does not even know what is going on. Now that is not saying her writing style is impossible to follow, it is just very deep in its meaning. The initial meaning that is taken away from any part of the story is always taken in pieces, never in its entirety.

Frankenstein is something to read twice. The reason behind that is basically to gain an appreciation for its multiple themes. When reading it the first time an only a basic view for the amount of themes present will be taken away. Some of the basic, more obvious themes present are things such as the gothic feel present throughout. Then there is feeling of loss surrounding almost every character present in the story, and of course Frankenstein’s central theme of revenge for his lost family and friends due to his creation’s actions. This of course is connected to the obsession that the creator felt toward his creation and his need for revenge. There is of course many more you might find while reading the first time, but it is in the second read that you catch so many more.


After reading Frankenstein a first time, a general understanding for Mary’s style of writing should be obtained. This new gained skill will allow for a more in depth read of the book. Those first few hundred pages that truly were not understood, with another read through, will give a more full understanding of the story. With the help of a little research of the time that Mary Shelley lived in, the decisions made by her for her story will make a lot more sense.

In the story, Frankenstein’s monster was a vegetarian. Now at the time that the book was released meat was becoming more and more accessible to more and more people. This was a big change in the world, that before was feed almost in its entirety on crops. With this change groups of vegetarians began to spring up. Mary Shelley’s husband, Percy, was one of them. To show her support for the cause Mary made her monster a vegetarian. Now what that does is, it shows that even a monster in the eyes of society can see the wrong in killing something alive, just like us. It is supposed to make them understand their troubled morality and change it. This of course did not work, but it explains the decision made. It also would further alienate Frankenstein’s monster from the rest of society.

During the writing of “The Modern Prometheus” the very bloody French Revolution was taking place. During the French Revolution the people made the rich and anyone else they decided to, into a monster. They would of course do what the French Revolution was famous for, and send them to the guillotine. Mary looked at her story and saw an opportunity to show their stupidity. In the book, Frankenstein’s monster was not really a monster. He saw injustice in even the death of an animal. It was not until he was made into a monster by the people around him, just like the French Revolution.


Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein with many ideas in mind. She wanted to try and better society, if not just show their stupidity. She would address so many problems in the world through her writing, though many people would never realize it because of her writing style. This novel is something with enough depth to fill five books twice its size with interpretations. The underlined themes present throughout are there for anyone willing to put the time into finding them.


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