The Documents

The Dark Side of Humanity

Frankenstein

Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, portrait by Richard Rothwell (1840-41)

Short Description

Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, is a novel about scientist Victor Frankenstein, who animates a soulless monster made out of corpses from churchyards and dissecting rooms. Longing for sympathy and shunned by everyone, the creature ultimately turns to evil and brings dreadful retribution on the scientist. The work is viewed as a warning against the “over-reaching” of modern man and the Industrial Revolution.

Remnant Trust Description

(Born Mary Godwin, 1797-1851) English novelist, daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, and second wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary Shelley wrote in the convention of the gothic novel. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, is her best know work. Frankenstein, a young student, animates a soulless monster made out of corpses from churchyards and dissecting rooms by means of galvanism. Longing for sympathy and shunned by everyone, the creature ultimately turns to evil and brings dreadful retribution on the student for usurping the creator’s prerogative, finally destroying him. Shelley gave no name to the monster, but he is commonly called Frankenstein after his creator, the student. This, of course, is an error.