Frankenstein by Mary Shelly is a novel that focuses on a very eccentric scientist who creates a creature in a very unorthodox scientific experiment. The book was written by Marry Shelley when she was only 18 years old. However, the publication was done when Mary Shelley was 21 years old. Frankenstein by Mary Shelly was heavily influenced by several aspects of her life. The influence is clearly depicted in the way the novel has been written. The themes have also been influenced by the various life experiences that she had during her lifetime. The four themes that are influenced by the life of Mary Shelley are fear, dangerous knowledge, secrecy and monstrosity.
Fear is one of the major themes that Mary Shelley tries to express in the novel. The various characters experience fear in the novel in many instances. For example, during the time that Victor wanted to get married to Elizabeth, the fear of being attacked by the monster is expressed (Shelley 23). Victor fears the warning of the monster and suspects that he will be murdered on his wedding night. In order to be cautious of the eminent attack, he sends Elizabeth away. This is influenced by the fear that Mary Shelley experienced in her life when she got in a relationship that was not supported by the parents. This made her live in constant fear.
The other theme that is evident is the monstrosity theme. This theme lies at the center of the action. The monster in the novel is a product of scientific effort and dark supernatural working (Shelley 56). Another scenario where this theme is evident is when Victor decided to create a creature out of a scientific experiment. This theme is influenced by Mary’s life which was full of monsters that include death of family members as a result of suicide and illnesses.
The third major theme is the theme of dangerous knowledge. It is due to the seeking of dangerous knowledge that Victor engages in a scientific experiment that results in the creation of a monster (Shelley 31). Mary herself has also been striving to understand the world from a tender age and at times it put her into some kind of struggles with those lived with.
The final theme is the theme of secrecy. In the novel, Victor takes science to be a mastery that is to be probed and investigated. This requires the discovery of the secrets of science. Once the secrets have been discovered, he believed that they should be jealously guarded. In this novel, Victor’s life and struggles to create life is full of secrecy (Shelley, 67). Moreover, his obsession with the destruction of the monster is also secret. This secrecy continues out of shame and also guilt. Just like the other themes, the theme of secrecy is also evident in Mary Shelly’s life. When she gets in a relationship, she keeps it as a top secret as she believed that her parents would not be supportive of it. When she gets pregnant, she also keeps it to herself.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein: or, The modern Prometheus. London: Thomas Davison, 2001.Print.