Mary Shelley's Journals 


Volume III Chapter II

Volume III Chapter III

Review of Reviews

Explication of Relevent Poem

Shelley's Letters

Character Analysis


Works Cited

        Mary Shelley’s 1814-1844 Volume II journals are strangely interesting to read. It is hard to picture the acclaimed writer sitting alone in a dark corner, chicken-scratching her thoughts. In the fist entry of these journals she seems to be in despair over the death of her husband. “All is silent around me” (Shelley 429,) she writes of her newfound, deep loneliness. “Literary labours, the improvement of my mind and the enlargement of my ideas are the only occupations that elevate me from my lethargy” (Shelley 432.) I is agonizing to imagine what she must have through after the loss of what she describes as such an irreplaceable counterpart.

            It is strange how her feelings here almost seem to coalesce with those of the creature, both in some way isolated and alone. She goes on to speak to her child by saying “You alone keep me—you are the only chain that links me to time” (Shelley 433.) Here again do we see the same theme in Shelley’s writing of transcending oneself and going forward in time through a child. This is similar to the theme of Victor’s creature, his creation that lives on in stories, and keeps him almost immortal. It is hard not to see a recurring theme among all three Victor, Mary Shelley, and their creature of loss, loneliness, and want of transcendence. Similar to Victor in the end of the novel, Shelley sees her writings as keeping her alive.

“Love, youth, fear, and fearlessness led me early from the regular routine of life” (Shelley 433.) This line particularly struck me and brought me back to the theme of love I feel so often throughout Frankenstein. We have again here the theme of everlasting life (youth), love and risk taking.