Shelley’s Frankenstein Genre Challenge, Competition’s Role?

Shelley’s Frankenstein Genre Challenge, Competition’s Role?

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” initially penned in 1818 and later reissued in a more widely embraced edition in 1831, stands as a groundbreaking literary work. This enduring masterpiece is frequently praised as the first-ever science fiction novel, skillfully interweaving certifiable logical requests with creative components that rise above the limitations of its era. Furthermore, alongside its pioneering exploration of the realm of science fiction, the novel noticeably shows the unmistakable attributes of ghastliness and gothic types, improving its account with layers of dim charm and complicatedly woven narration.

Shelley’s inspiration for this magnum opus was born out of a friendly competition among literary luminaries. An evening of creative challenge and camaraderie saw Mary Shelley pitted against her husband, the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, the enigmatic Lord Byron, and Byron’s personal physician, John Polidori. This intriguing contest aimed to determine who could craft the most spine-tingling tale.

Notably, John Polidori emerged from this literary showdown with “The Vampyre,” a novella that would proceed to become one of the original works in the early class of vampire fiction. However, it is Mary Shelley’s creation, “Frankenstein,” that has scratched its name permanently into the archives of writing. Reverberating across time, this novel continues to captivate readers and remains a beloved foundation of the literary world.

Frankenstein Summary

Shelley’s Frankenstein unfolds with Robert Walton, a sailor, documenting his Arctic expedition through letters to his sister. In the icy wilderness, Walton stumbles upon Victor Frankenstein, a man struggling to traverse the frozen expanse using a dog sledge. Victor, weakened and ailing, shares his life’s tale with Walton.

Victor’s narrative commences in Geneva, delving into his upbringing and the crucial choice to embark on a medical education.  At the core of his investigations lies a fixation on the mysterious domains of life and death. Through relentless experimentation, he unlocks the macabre secret of reanimating deceased tissue using electricity. Months pass as he meticulously crafts a being through this eerie method, finally succeeding in bestowing life upon it. However, the instant he witnesses the grotesque visage of his creation in motion, he recoils in terror and abandons the creature. Victor succumbs to a prolonged fever, in the aftermath of his traumatic encounter.

Upon his recovery, Victor is confronted with the grim revelation that his younger brother, William, has fallen victim to his own creation’s murderous impulses. An innocent woman has suffered unjustly, paying the price for the creature’s malevolent act.

During a mountain excursion, Victor crosses paths with the very monster he abandoned. The creature recounts his harrowing journey since that forsaken moment, revealing his relentless struggle for survival. He shares his futile attempts at human connection, mirroring Victor’s own rejection. Tragically, he encounters and murders William when the boy responds to him with fear, sealing his isolation. Despairing of ever finding acceptance among humanity, the creature implores Victor to craft a companion for him. Reluctantly, Victor concedes.

As the female creation nears completion, Victor’s fear of the consequences should the pair reproduce causes a sudden change of heart. He destroys the nascent being, inciting the monster’s wrath. In a vengeful frenzy, the creature takes the lives of Victor’s dear friend, Henry Clerval, and his beloved bride, Elizabeth. Driven by a thirst for retribution, Victor embarks on a relentless pursuit of the monster, tracing him to the unforgiving Arctic.

Yet, aboard Walton’s ship, Victor meets his demise. Shortly thereafter, the monster arrives, harboring deep-seated animosity but also mourning Victor’s passing. He confides in Walton, expressing his intent to seek solace in the cold embrace of death upon the icy expanse, ending his unending torment.


Frankenstein’s Characters

Certainly! Let’s delve deeper into the characters of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” investigating their experiences, inspirations, and roles exhaustively:

Victor Frankenstein:

Background: Victor is the novel’s central character, a youthful scientist hailing from a wealthy family in Geneva, Switzerland. He is portrayed as highly intelligent, curious, and ambitious from a young age.

Motivation: Victor’s essential inspiration is his determined quest for logical information and disclosure, especially in the field of reanimating dead tissue. His ambition drives him to create the creature, but his motivations become more intricate as the story progresses.

Role in the Novel: Victor is the creator of the creature and serves as the novel’s protagonist. He is responsible for the events that transpire and is plagued by guilt and laments all through the story. His conflict under the surface with the results of his activities is a focal topic in the novel.

The Creature (Frankenstein’s Monster):

Background: The creature is the result of Victor’s experiments in reanimating lifeless tissue. He is brought to life with a mixture of scientific knowledge and alchemical processes. His physical appearance is grotesque, leading to his immediate rejection by society.

Motivation: Initially, the creature is benevolent and seeks companionship and acceptance from humans. However, repeated rejection and isolation turn him bitter and vengeful. His primary motivation is to seek revenge on Victor for creating him and causing his suffering.

Role in the Novel: The creature serves as both a victim and a villain. His narrative perspective allows readers to empathize with his loneliness and despair, while his activities, including the murders of Victor’s loved ones, contribute, to the novel’s contention and misfortune.

Robert Walton:

Background: Walton is an Arctic explorer and the novel’s framing narrator. He writes letters to his sister detailing his expedition to the North Pole.

Motivation: Walton is motivated by a desire for scientific discovery and exploration. He is also driven by the pursuit of knowledge, similar to Victor, and looks for friendship during his difficult excursion.

Role in the Novel: As the narrator, Walton provides an external perspective on Victor’s story. He serves as a foil to Victor, highlighting the consequences of unchecked ambition and the isolation that can result from the pursuit of knowledge.

Elizabeth Lavenza:

Background: Elizabeth is an orphan taken in and raised by the Frankenstein family. She is beautiful, gentle, and deeply devoted to Victor.

Motivation: Elizabeth’s motivation is her love for Victor and her desire for their union. She represents purity and goodness in the novel.

Role in the Novel: Elizabeth serves as a symbol of the domestic happiness and normalcy that Victor seeks to attain. Her tragic fate, as a victim of the creature’s vengeance, underscores the novel’s themes of loss and the destructive consequences of Victor’s actions.

Henry Clerval:

Background: Henry is Victor’s childhood friend and a fellow student at the University of Ingolstadt. He is characterized by his empathy, consideration, and interest in writing and human expression.

Motivation: Henry’s motivation is primarily to support and befriend Victor. He is a stark contrast to Victor’s resolute desire and fills in as an ethical compass for him.

Role in the Novel: Henry’s character highlights the stark difference between the pursuit of knowledge for benevolent reasons and the pursuit of knowledge for unchecked ambition. His sorrowful demise at the hands of the creature heightens the novel’s profound sense of grief and tragedy.

These characters, each possessing unique backgrounds, motivations, and roles, enrich the intricate narrative of “Frankenstein,” delving into themes such as desire, responsibility, isolation, and the consequences of scientific revelation.

Frankenstein Themes

Shelley’s Frankenstein, authored by Mary Shelley, stands as a distinctive literary work teeming with themes delving into the human condition, the repercussions of scientific advancement, and the moral quandaries associated with creation. Here are some of the prominent themes in the novel:

Ambition and Hubris:

Victor Frankenstein’s unbridled ambition and desire for scientific glory led him to create the creature. His overextending desire blinds him to the expected outcomes of his actions, resulting in tragedy.

Responsibility and Accountability:

Victor’s creation of the creature forces him to confront his responsibility for the being he has brought into existence. The novel raises questions about the ethical and moral obligations of creators toward their creations.

Isolation and Alienation:

Both Victor and the creature experience profound isolation and alienation. Victor disengages himself from his loved ones in his quest for information, while the animal is dismissed and evaded by society because of his appearance. These experiences highlight the human need for companionship and acceptance.

Nature vs. Nurture:

The novel explores the debate over whether individuals are shaped more by their inherent nature or by their environment and upbringing. The creature’s actions and development serve as a case study in this ongoing philosophical discussion.

Monstrosity and Otherness:

The novel challenges traditional notions of what it means to be monstrous. While the creature is physically grotesque, his actions and experiences elicit sympathy and raise questions about the true nature of monstrosity.

Scientific Knowledge and Discovery:

Shelley’s Frankenstein delves into the ethical implications of scientific advancement. It asks whether there are moral boundaries to scientific exploration and the pursuit of knowledge.

The Pursuit of Knowledge:

Victor’s voracious hunger for information and his persevering quest for logical revelation drives the plot. The novel explores the dangers of unchecked intellectual curiosity.

Loss and Tragedy:

The novel is marked by a sense of loss and tragedy as Victor’s actions result in the deaths of several loved ones. The theme of irreversible loss underscores the consequences of his choices.

Parent-Child Relationships:

The novel looks at changed parent-child connections, incorporating Victor’s relationship with his folks, his job as a creator, and the animal’s desire for a parental figure. These relationships highlight the complexities of familial bonds.

Notwithstanding its spearheading introduction to the domain of sci-fi, the clever bear the indisputable engravings of ghastliness and gothic sorts, adding layers of dim charm to its account-woven artwork.

Gender Roles and Femininity:

The novel addresses the job of ladies in the public arena and the assumptions put upon them. Characters like Elizabeth and Justine embody certain societal norms of femininity.

Nature’s Sublime Power:

The novel frequently invokes the power and majesty of nature, contrasting it with the dangers of tampering with natural order. Nature fills in as both a wellspring of motivation and a power that rebuffs Victor for his offenses.

Bias and Discrimination:

The creature’s experiences of rejection and discrimination due to his appearance reflect more extensive subjects of bias and the treatment of those who are perceived as different.

“Frankenstein” remains a timeless work because of its exploration of these helping subjects, which continue to resonate with perusers and induce discussions on ethics, science, and the human condition.

[You can Also Read: Key Insights About The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn]


Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” resists conventional scholarly sorts, spearheading a novel mix of science-fiction, horror, gothic, and other elements. It emerges as a timeless masterpiece that continues to captivate readers. Propelled by a cordial contest among scholarly figures, including Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ruler Byron, and John Polidori, the original’s beginning was set apart by imagination and camaraderie. “Frankenstein” explores themes of ambition, responsibility, and the repercussions of unreasonable logical interest, gaining its perseverance through its significance in the world of literature.

Arjun Kumar

I’m a writer specializing in business content. I have 5-plus years of experience in the content marketing world. I’ve worked with various companies in a variety of industries, from news articles to technical articles. I have gained the skills to present helpful content to all precious audiences of the site. My only moto is to build trust, maintain worth and provide interesting content to the people