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A Life Without a Birth - Frankenstein

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A Life Without A Birth

The 1818 classic novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, captures the devastatingly potent aftermath following a creation of life by artificial means, and the havoc the creation reaps within creator's world. Though written and published long before the onset of the 20th or 21st century, the central themes and motifs are still a particularly relevant and are still studied today, especially the concept of an absent mother figure. Known as the prime bearer of life and the natural nurturer, the necessity of that role is uncontested and attests to the wreckage that results partly because of the emptiness when one is missing. Thus, this notion of a nonexistent mother image relates to the author's own life narrative, which is likely to have influenced Shelley's writing, though autobiographical correlations are not always necessarily intentional or meant to elude to that connection. Instead, they are made to provide some additional insight into the author's mind frame to enhance the reader's ability to frame context and allow for some loose connections. In the novel, the absence of the mother figure details the vitality of women involved in the birthing cycle and how society may be impacted with that void, as well as the emotional implications an absent mother has on the development and growth of a young child.

The beginning of the existence of Frankenstein's creation centers upon the idea of giving life to an inanimate substance through the continual work of science and technology. Abandoning his family and personal life, Victor epitomized the parallel of creating life biologically, as instead of this creation uniting a family, it wedges more distance between them. The stormy setting of the evening when the monster was first created further indicates that this scientific breakthrough will be just the beginning of turbulent events to come. These are the first signs of foreshadowing that chronicles the implication of an unnatural birth. Immediately following the completion of the creature, Victor instantly wishes to abort it, to make it essentially disappear. The absence of the physical closeness between a child and his/her creator (mother) is because the emotional and physical attachment between the creator and his/her creation is nonexistent. The bond between Victor and the creation never blossomed or developed the way the link between a mother and her child typically does. Instead, the creation faces instant abandonment by Victor, a devastating psychological effect that continues to haunt Victor long after as the creation begins to seek his revenge in attempts to gain attention, as evident in the killing of William and the indirectly linked death of Justine, as both were exceedingly close to Victor.

The idea of a child seeking attention from a parental figure is one closely replicated throughout the novel. Whether he intended to or not, in creating the monster, Victor became permanently responsible and associated with the monster. As with mothers and their children, she is often the one accountable for her child's actions, just as Victor feels responsible after the deaths caused by his creation. Each time the creation kills, it is to impact Victor's life optimally to the point where he will give his creation the attention - and love - it so desires. With young children, often times they lash out or misbehave in order to gain attention, approval, or love from their own parental-figures. In this way, the creation closely mirrors that of a young child that simply longs for acceptance and affection by his creator. However, since Victor does not feel that attachment to his creation, it causes immense destruction and chaos.

Since Victor's creation yielded devastation, it suggests that without a female presence both during and after the physical birth, a child will be significantly affected. The novel encompasses the eternal question of how important a mother or female figure is in the life of an adolescent child. According to Shelley's take within her novel, the correlation between mother and child is vital. This implies that without such a female figure, a child will, in effect, become a nightmare. This applies to both the physical connection between mother and child, as well as the relationship between the two as well. Perhaps the reason why this classic is continually able to thrive in modern society is because of scientific development of human cloning and how some may see this book as a prime indication of how negative and destructive unnatural creationism really can be by omitting the physical process of birth and motherhood. Cloning eliminates the matter of both female-birth as well as the crucial relationship between the mother and her child. After all, Victor feels no attachment or obligation to his monster, thus suggesting that without these two types of direct and indirect interactions, a child will be doomed to fail and cannot possibly mature into a being fit for society and human interaction.

In the context of the period when the novel was written, rather than human cloning or embryonic research, the fear instead derived from the possibility of women being infertile and unable to produce life. As birth was especially



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