Interpretation (Elizabeth Nambo)


During the experience of reading Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, it was able to invoke many feelings and thoughts. Gaining an initial interpretation of the writing was difficult. That of course is because of the writing style that Mary Shelley took for the story, which I would soon come to love. Coming to understand the style, my initial interpretation of the story was very simple. The story initially was something simple.  Frankenstein was a confusing story written to induce horror in its readers mind, in a gothic European setting. It was not until a further understanding for whom Mary Shelley was and how she wrote developed, that a better more in depth interpretation of Frankenstein came into understanding.

Around the half way mark of reading, the words and sentences began to flow more easily. It was not until then did I start to realize that there was much more to this author’s style than met the eye.  The themes that were obvious were just the first layer of so much more. Mary delved into her father’s expertise while writing this, the side of her family that was specialized in philosophizing. Mary wrote about loss, depression, self-acceptance, and alienation, all things very present throughout her entire life.

Mary lost so much in her life, without even living a long life herself. She lost her mother before she could even grow to remember her. She would loss all but one of her children through miscarriages and death shortly after their birth. The alienation coming from her step-mother’s hate toward her, and much of her family, especially after running off with her husband Percy. The problem with alienation would cause a problem with self-acceptance, never understanding why all these horrid things happened to her. Lastly, the depression would come from everything that came before this. All of these things present in her writing.

In the story Frankenstein’s monster would experience all of those things. He would, in the end, lose the only thing in his life that meant anything to him, his creator. His creator actually would die seeking revenge for the loss of his loved ones due to the actions of his monster and ultimately him. The monster would inherently feel alienated because of being the only person of his kind. He would also never find self-acceptance as he would commit suicide before being able to do so. This of course all once again would sum up into a kind of depression that the monster felt. There is no suicide without depression.

The story Frankenstein is a story used as a form of ventilation for its author Mary Shelley. Though the story itself would come out from a competition amongst friends, it would end up being something much more to her. The story would be a part of her, putting everything she had been dealing with all of her life onto paper, though she may not have intended to. An author’s experience is reflected onto everything they do. Mary Shelley would live a very sad, struggle filled life, and she would write a story equally as sad disguised as something of a horror.

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