The Life Lessons Brought by Mary Shelley's Work

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Frankenstein is a very in-depth novel with twists, and turns, and underlying meaning. Everything Mary Shelley writes, chooses, and uses in the novel is for a very specific reason. Mary Shelley chose specifically Paradise Lost, Plutarch's Lives, and The Sorrows of Young Werther for the monster to create perspective, and teach the monster ways to look at life, and how the monster was going to do this was completely the fault of the pages, and words he read. She wanted to teach the monster lessons with the three books she chooses. The monster learns to speak and to read, by observing and listening to how the cottager’s go about their lives. He finds a bag that had been left behind, and there were several books in it, he read them. All three of the books at the time were very controversial and could shape opinions very strongly. The three books were: Milton's Paradise Lost, a volume of Plutarch's Lives, and Goethe's The Sorrows of Werter. The author did it to show perspective can be manipulated by our experiences, including what we read shape us. The monster’s entire perspective was formed by the books, he thought Lucifer was the protagonist he thought that dictators and bad people in the other books were great.

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Paradise Lost, Adam and Eve, how they were created and how they came to lose their place in the Garden of Eden. Mary Shelley includes the tail of Adam, and Eve to introduce the concept of god and a higher power. This allowed her to write about what perspectives the monster would take away from the books. Lucifer, god, temptation, and greed. Paradise Lost is a biblical story taught to children in Sunday school to teach them how we came to be, and so forth. “In heaven, Lucifer (who became Satan after his being thrown into hell), was unable to accept the supremacy of God, and led a revolt against His divine authority. “all was not lost,” that he would take revenge on God.” If Lucifer could revolt against his god what was stopping the monster from revolting against his “ god”. “Lucifer was a snake he tempted the humans, into breaking the one rule they had, he taught the humans greed, shame, and desire.” Frankenstein makes quite clear, the monster's identity has been shaped by the story of Adam and Eve. The monster now has this information and has new perspectives based on lucifer and god. Mary Shelley gave the monster this book because it helped shape the monster’s perception of himself through Lucifer and his relationship to god. He compares this story to his own life. He finds the answer to his agonizing question 'What was I?' in the pages of Paradise Lost.

Plutarch's Lives, 48 biographies of famous men, arranged in arrow to highlight their common moral virtues or failings. Mary Shelley included good, and bad men to see what the monster would do with this information. The monster is blank sheet of paper in a typewriter he doesn't know anything, and once you add to the paper, and it is said and done, it is very hard to repair/ undo what has been done so given him such impressionable men as role models was obviously to get a reaction from the monster. Plutarch's Parallel Lives is a very thought-provoking piece. “So it happens in political affairs; if the motions of rulers be constantly opposite and cross to the tempers and inclination of the people, they will be resented as arbitrary and harsh; as, on the other side, too much deference, or encouragement, as too often it has been, to popular faults and errors, is full of danger and ruinous consequences.” This teacher the monster to ways of living with two different outcomes. The first way he could live his life is to be in complete control no matter the cost, or he can live passively, and have a sad pathetic life because of said choice. The monster chose the life of control based on this book, he wants to control his creator and bend him to his will. Mary Shelley knew what this book would do to the monster, she knew the monster would learn something, that the monster would change. What he would learn, and how he would change she didn't know.

The third book the monster finds, and reads The Sorrows of Young Werther is about a young man, Werther, who finds himself caught in a love triangle. He was trapped and didn’t know what to do because he listens to his emotions over his reason, and common-sense, and his inability to let go of the woman that he loves he decides that the only choice for him is suicide. This book is teaching the monster that is you can't find love what is the point of living if you have no one you should kill yourself. This book is teaching the monster about how powerful your emotions can be. “I have so much in me, and the feeling for her absorbs it all; I have so much, and without her, it all comes to nothing.” The monster read these words, and keeping in mind is a blank page this fills the page with an abundance of emotions that just might control his life because he doesn't know how to control them. Without this control the only conclusion is death.“The suffering may be moral or physical; and in my opinion, it is just as absurd to call a man a coward who destroys himself, as to call a man a coward who died of a malignant fever.” You are a coward if you take your own life, and you are a coward if you say in the world without the person you love. One option is to end it all with no integrity, and the second option is to live in a prison for a lifetime watching the love of your life and live in happiness without you. To not live at all is the better option taught the book, and that book taught this lesson to the very impressionable monster.

In conclusion, Mary Shelley gave 3 books to the monster to give him a certain perspective on life, to learn how to interpret words, and meanings whether they be good or bad the monster needed them to evolve and survive in the world. To survive in the world we need to make mistakes the books allowed that to happen with such controversial meanings the monster can interpret however he chooses, and still learn something no matter what. Mary Shelley added the 3 books to help the monster evolve, and to portray the evolution of the monster from start to finish.

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