Frankenstein | Critical Essay by Anne K. Mellor

This literature criticism consists of approximately 23 pages of analysis & critique of Frankenstein.
This section contains 6,789 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Anne K. Mellor

SOURCE: "Problems of Perception," in Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters, Methuen, 1988, pp. 127-40.

In the following chapter from her book-length study of Shelley's work, Mellor examines how Shelley depicts human nature in Frankenstein. Considering the novel in its intellectual context, Mellor determines that it "presents diametrically opposed answers": the Rousseauean tabula rasa on one hand and an Augustinian inherent evil on the other.

. . .. How does Mary Shelley conceive of nature as such? In other words, what is nature, both the external world and human nature? Frankenstein insistently raises this question. It is the question that Victor is trying to answer, namely, "whence . . . did the principle of life proceed?" (46). And it is the question that haunts his creature, who repeatedly asks "Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination?" (124).

As...

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This section contains 6,789 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Anne K. Mellor