Frankenstein | Critical Essay by Alan Bewell

This literature criticism consists of approximately 27 pages of analysis & critique of Frankenstein.
This section contains 11,242 words
(approx. 38 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Alan Bewell

SOURCE: "An Issue of Monstrous Desire: Frankenstein and Obstetrics," in The Yale Journal of Criticism, Vol. 2, No. 1, Fall, 1988, pp. 105-28.

In the densely historical analysis in the essay that follows, Bewell considers the importance of late eighteenth-century obstetrics in relation to Shelley's composition. Returning to an earlier critical theory that the novel reflected Shelley's own experiences with childbirth, Bewell argues that it "represents Mary Shelley's deliberate attempt to introduce an ambiguously female-based theory of creation into the Romantic discourse on the imagination."

The amount of attention Mary Shelley gives to the process of creating a human being and to the "duties of a creator towards his creature"1 makes Frankenstein quite unusual. Prior to the twentieth century, writers—though they seem to have found no end to the ways of describing, both literally and metaphorically, how children are made and brought into the world&#x...

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This section contains 11,242 words
(approx. 38 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Kate Ellis