Cliffs notes on Shelley's Frankenstein by Samuel J. Umland

By Samuel J. Umland

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Sample text

This was in the summer of 1816. " Shelley wrote a story based on an incident in his early life, but it is not an important work. Polidori created a vampire story and, hence, in this summer of 1816 two of the most lingering gothic figures in Western civilization were createdthe Frankenstein monster and the Vampire figure. Mary Shelley then tells us that her story was born out of a nightmare that she had. She writes: "I busied myself to think of a storya story to rival those which had excited us to this task.

Frankenstein's father, because of his deep concern for Caroline Beaufort, put her under his protection and, after two years, they were married. " For years, Victor was an only child. But because his parents were enthusiastic travelers and natural humanitarians, a propitious event occurred. " During one of these visits, in Milan, Italy, his mother found a peasant and his wife taking care of ''five hungry babies"; among them, there was a child whom Mrs. Frankenstein found very attractive. This child, says Victor Frankenstein, "was thin and very fair.

In this chapter, Mary Shelley does not concern herself with the whereabouts of Victor Frankenstein's monster; it is as though the monster, after he was rejected by Victor, simply disappeared. Likewise, she does not concern herself too much with chronological accuracy. There is, for example, an apparent contradiction, or omission, concerning the age of young William and how long Victor has been away at the University, but this point is not of central importance. The story of Justine Moritz curiously parallels Elizabeth's own history, and, therefore, once again, we encounter a concern for the downtrodden and for the victim of adversity.

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