Essay On Intertextuality In Frankenstein

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At first glance, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein may seem like an odd jumble of texts within texts—letters, reflections from various characters and even references from other piece of literature dot its pages. However, it is suggested that this intertextuality plays a larger part in the novel. Specifically, Shelley lends a greater amount of validity and authenticity to the thoughts, feelings and motivations of her novel’s various characters by weaving all of these texts together. One of the best examples of intertextuality involves the creature’s Chapter 15 “book review” of Milton’s Paradise Lost, particularly the latter’s section on Adam’s Supplication.

In Chapter 15 of Shelley’s Novel, the creature comments on the books that it reads and notes the emotional power of Milton’s Paradise Lost, specifically the passage in Book VIII where Adam addresses God and remarks on the wonder of his
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Her approach adds spice to the narrative structure and makes the reading experience more interesting as a result. It provides a more complete picture of the story than it would have if Shelley had chosen to tell it from the perspective of a single, non-omniscient character. Part of the richness that comes from reading the book lies in sifting through the various points-of-view and separating opinion from fact.

To conclude, Mary W. Shelley’s Frankenstein makes effective use of intertextuality to accomplish its objective: to tell a multi-faceted narrative of a grotesque creature attempting find its place in an unforgiving world, complete with contrast and social commentary. The different texts that the author includes serve as different fiber strands that are woven together to form a solid, classic tale. If playing with readers’ emotions and perspectives was Shelley’s intention all along, then she has certainly achieved it through her writing
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