The Role Of Novel And Alchemy In Mary Shelley's Life?

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Kiera J. Perryman Instructor Toni J. Weeden Honors Senior English 17 November 2017 The role of novels and alchemy in Victor’s life Not everything presents itself to be obvious. Throughout the first portion of the “Frankenstein” novel, several notable scientists names were mentioned several times. Their interests and pursuits in their lifetimes were subtly referenced towards Victor’s story and his influence to reanimate life. Mary Shelley was an educated woman, which not many readers would know unless they dove deeper into the story of said scientists. One of the most alluded scientists in Shelley’s novels is none other than Cornelius Agrippa. Agrippa is first mentioned in Chapter 2 (34) of the novel and continues to be a reoccurring name throughout the entire book. Victor discovers Agrippa’s work at the age of thirteen while he and his family were having a family outing. Agrippa was one of several noted alchemists that sparked Victor’s interest in the reanimation of life. Alchemists were chemistry practitioners that aimed to transform basic elements into gold and the elixir of life. Their foundational goal of transformation can easily translate into Victor’s desire to improve the human life, but does his fascination involve something deeper? Agrippa was a sentient being well over 200 years before “Frankenstein” takes place. He played many roles during his lifetime, including a philosopher, alchemist, physician, secret agent, polymath, soldier, and occult writer. Agrippa

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