Mary Shelley’s classic work of literature will always be a topic of analytical overview and debate. For instance, the ideals of religion, specifically Christianity, has been overviewed and analyzed numerous times using the novel throughout the past two centuries. This is mostly due to Shelley’s use of implementing the books “Paradise Lost”, and the bible into her narrative, as well as the using symbolism to connect her story to that of Adam & Eve. However, one ideal that I saw at the beginning of the novel but haven’t seen been discussed a lot is the use of symbolism and concepts of abortion in Shelley’s work.
I began to see this idea that Frankenstein is about abortion right when Frankenstein first creates his monster. Once it’s alive, he regrets ever bringing it life, calling it hideous and grotesque, all he wants is to bring death back to the creature. Typically, if one wishes to be cruel to another person they would call them “an accident” (someone who should have never been born). These remarks can greatly affect someone’s mental stability. Especially if their parent (creator) has admitted calling them an accident. These individuals begin to consider themselves worthless and pathetic. They go through depression and can’t understand why they are here on this earth. Therefore, when the creature gains a bit of knowledge, it understands that he himself, is an accident. This results in the creature going through an emotional/ mental breakdown and wants to find a way of ending its own when it realizes that he’ll never be accepted by society.
Perhaps the concept of abortion is hard to see in the novel inside our modern society, but back in the early 19th century, I bet it had at least some strong influence on Shelley while she wrote her novel. Victor sees his creation as an imperfection and wants to “abort” it from this world. I believe that Shelley hid these concepts more in her novel when compared to the themes of religions because religion was encouraged to be discussed in books during the 1800’s. However, abortion goes against the Catholic faith, so this could explain why Shelley kept these controversial ideals vaguely hidden throughout the story.
What do you think? Is the theme of abortion prominent in “Frankenstein”, or is it just a simple over-analysis?