Publication Year



Literature, Shelley, framed narrative, Frankenstein


Comparative Literature | English Language and Literature | Fiction


In January of 1818 a Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley published her Gothic novel Frankenstein. Legends of monsters have existed since the beginning of recorded history, but what makes Mary Shelley's monster stand out among them is the inability to clearly identify who the monster of the book really is. As in life, this work does not contain any clear villains or heroes. Instead, it possesses an ambiguity which demands that the reader make his own decisions and judgments about who the true monster is an what it is that is monstrous in this take of rejections, sorrow and death. This does not mean that reading of the novel's portrayal of monstrosity can not be accomplished, but instead opens the novel to many alternate readings. The many frames of the novel, for example, provide an interesting theoretical model for reading monstrosity.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

English: Literature and Writing