Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, published in 1818, is a seminal work of Gothic literature and science fiction. The novel tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young Swiss scientist, who becomes obsessed with the idea of creating life from dead body parts. He successfully brings a creature to life but is horrified by its grotesque appearance and abandons it.

The creature, abandoned and rejected by its creator and society, embarks on a path of self-discovery and vengeance. The novel explores the creature’s struggles with isolation, loneliness, and his desire for acceptance and companionship. Driven by his mistreatment and abandonment, the creature seeks revenge on Victor and his loved ones, leading to a tragic series of events.

“Frankenstein” raises profound questions about the consequences of scientific ambition, the ethics of creation, and the impact of rejection and isolation on the human psyche. It is a cautionary tale that delves into themes of responsibility, morality, and the boundaries of science and human knowledge. The novel’s enduring significance lies in its exploration of the ethical dilemmas posed by scientific advancements and the consequences of neglecting the responsibilities that come with them.

10 Key Takeaways from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:

  • Ambition and Hubris: Victor Frankenstein’s unbridled ambition to conquer death through science leads him to create a creature from dead body parts. His hubris blinds him to the potential consequences, emphasizing the dangers of unchecked scientific ambition.
  • Creation and Responsibility: The novel explores the ethical responsibilities of creators toward their creations. Victor abandons the creature, shirking his duty as its creator. This raises questions about the moral implications of scientific experimentation.
  • Isolation and Alienation: Both Victor and the creature experience profound isolation and alienation. Victor isolates himself from loved ones as he pursues his experiments, while the creature is rejected by society due to his appearance. Their isolation drives their actions and decisions.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: The novel engages in the nature vs. nurture debate. While the creature’s initial innocence suggests that he is a product of his environment, his descent into violence raises questions about inherent human nature and the impact of society.
  • Monstrosity and Appearance: “Frankenstein” challenges the concept of monstrosity being solely defined by appearance. The creature is physically grotesque, but he initially seeks companionship and displays compassion, while Victor’s actions reveal his moral monstrosity.
  • Tragedy and Guilt: The novel is marked by tragedy, guilt, and remorse. Victor feels overwhelming guilt for creating the creature and for the destruction it causes. This theme underscores the moral and emotional toll of his actions.
  • Science and Technology: “Frankenstein” critiques the unchecked advancement of science and technology without ethical consideration. It raises concerns about the potential consequences of scientific innovations that outpace our moral understanding.
  • Themes of Revenge: The creature seeks revenge on Victor for his abandonment and mistreatment. This theme underscores the destructive power of revenge and how it perpetuates a cycle of violence.
  • Narrative Structure: The novel is structured as a series of narratives within narratives, with multiple narrators telling their perspectives. This complex narrative style adds depth and complexity to the story, allowing readers to see different viewpoints.
  • Existential Themes: “Frankenstein” delves into existential questions about the meaning of life, the consequences of one’s actions, and the search for identity and purpose. Both Victor and the creature grapple with these existential dilemmas.


“Frankenstein” concludes with a tragic showdown in the Arctic, where Victor Frankenstein dies pursuing the creature he created. The creature, overwhelmed by grief and loneliness, vows to end his own existence. The novel ends on a somber note, with the moral consequences of Victor’s actions and the creature’s relentless pursuit of acceptance and revenge echoing throughout. Mary Shelley’s conclusion serves as a powerful warning about the potential consequences of unchecked scientific ambition and the enduring consequences of neglecting one’s ethical responsibilities.



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