Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - Book Report/Review Example

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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Shelley and Lord Byron, and her illustrious parentage (William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft) put her at the meeting-point of a variety of influences that helped shape her literary sensibilities. The influence of John Milton’s Paradise Lost is visible in her writings. Many writers have commented on this influence, Burton Hatlen’s influential essay, “Milton, Mary Shelley and Patriarchy” (Hatlen) being the one that to a great extent enables a unification of the theories regarding the influences of her parents, her literary circle and her personal reading of Paradise Lost. A professor at the University of Maine and a distinguished American literary scholar, Burton Hatlen was committed to the cause of Marxism and was an ardent supporter of the cause of the oppressed and the subaltern. It is this interest that seems to be reflected in his essay on Mary Shelley and her most famous work. He argues that Frankenstein seeks not to validate and reinforce the hierarchical structures of patriarchy that were propounded by the church and seemed to be endorsed by Milton in his epic. The Romantics sought to dispel this image of a conservative Milton. Hatlen places Frankenstein within this history of efforts to recover and rediscover Milton. ...Show more

Summary

Mary Shelley and her novel, Frankenstein (Shelley), occupy a position in literary history that is unique due to a variety of reasons. Mary Shelley's position within a literary circle that comprised the great poets of her age, P.B. Shelley and Lord Byron, and her illustrious parentage (William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft) put her at the meeting-point of a variety of influences that helped shape her literary sensibilities. …
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