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National Geographic: How A Teenage Girl Became the Mother of Horror
Born on a dark and stormy night, Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus is a true masterpiece of terror that began as a fireside ghost story and grew into a worldwide phenomenon. Its teenage author, the future Mary Shelley, drew upon her nightmares to come up with a story as challenging as it is chilling. The story took shape during the year without a summer, as 1816 came to be known. The 1815 eruption of the Mount Tambora volcano on the island of had released vast amounts ash, rock, and sulfuric dust into the air, which dramatically lowered temperatures across many areas of the globe the following year, and resulted in odd weather events from around the world.
Frankenstein's Impact: Lessons for the Modern World
As an intellectual in the early 19th century, Mary Shelley couldn’t help but be influenced by the Enlightenment, a cultural movement that was characterized by the weight it placed on scientific enquiry, reason, and intellect. But, like her husband Percy Bysshe, she was also a Romantic, and believed in the importance of nature and emotion. The tussle between scientific progress and the “natural order of things” was something the two discussed at length with their friends—and that conflict takes centre stage in Frankenstein.
Frankenstein at 200 – why hasn't Mary Shelley been given the respect she deserves?
Shelley’s Frankenstein has spoken to technological and cultural anxieties from the Enlightenment to #MeToo. Her novel has become the go-to journalistic shorthand for technological interventions in human biology or medical science: Dr Frankenstein and his creature make their way in the mainstream of modern life. They reappear in our fantasies and nightmares more consistently than most fictional or historical characters.
CONTAINS IDEAS FOR RELATED TEXTS
The real experiments that inspired Frankenstein
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Vital matters: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Romantic science
The state of science was thrillingly speculative and open at the historical moment in which Mary Shelley was writing. It was of course her 'prescient' genius in the book to throw the visionary gaze of this moment into a vertiginous reverse by having what she later called the 'speculative eyes' of the created monster gaze expectantly back at his shattered and now impotent creator. But this 'moral' of the story is matched in interest by the kind of 'detached' language that Mary Shelley uses to tell it, particularly when read in its 1818 first edition and against the background of ideas, concerns and disputes which were being thrown up by science in the early decades of the century.
Reading the Cyborg in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"
Often cited as a founding text of science fiction as well as the touchstone for any text on the creation of wholly or partially artificial beings, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has yet to be considered fully in the light of Haraway's radical cyborgology or belief that the man/machine dichotomy of the cyborg destabilises and transgresses boundaries, embracing the free play of fluid identity. The Creature, assembled from the parts of humans and animals and animated through the miracle of modern science, appears in many ways to be just the sort of boundary-confusing cyborg Haraway finds so liberating.
Monsters of modernity: Frankenstein and modern environmentalism
This paper offers a reading of Frankenstein as a critical questioning of both anti-Enlightenment Romanticism and anti-Enlightenment science that provides a framework for evaluating contemporary ecobiocentric ideals. Frankenstein is not an outdated tale. Shelley's novel is characterized and punctuated by a subtle and sophisticated appreciation of the vital role of social relations in determining the nature, direction, products and consequences of science and technology. The tale of Frankenstein presents a challenge to the usual anti-modernist, anti-science, pro-nature alignments of the Frankenstein myth, drawing our attention instead to important questions about what kind of socio-nature we want produced, by whom, for what purposes and under what conditions.
Frankenstein's Monster and Images of Race in Nineteenth-Century Britain
It is now commonly accepted that the Gothic literary genre of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries represents, if remotely and unconsciously, the central tensions of an age of social liberation and political revolution. The dilemmas of identity facing the liberated which permeate Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, obviously resonate with the events of an age that, as Chris Baldick has finely observed, witnessed humanity seizing responsibility "for re- creating the world, for violently reshaping its natural environment and its inherited social and political forms, for remaking itself". In contrast, this essay will offer a racial reading of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as a third level of interpretation which meshes with the Marxist and the feminist location of the novel in the social and psychological context of the times.